The Casual Optimist

Books, Design and Culture

December 10, 2015
by Dan
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Update

Pretty much. YA covers for 2015 coming soon. (Cartoon by Bruce Eric Kaplan for The New Yorker)

May 24, 2015
by Dan
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Tim Parks on Where I’m Reading From

At BOMB Magazine, writer Tim Park discusses his new book Where I’m Reading From, a collection of his essays from the NYRB Blog, with Scott Esposito (co-author of The End of Oulipo): In a way, this book is an autobiography of someone brought … Continue reading

April 15, 2011
by Dan
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Something for the Weekend

Holly MacDonald is Assistant Art Director at Bloomsbury in London. She has some of her own lovely cover designs on her blog. Losing the Knack — Stephen King talks about his creative process and the current state of short fiction … Continue reading

January 18, 2011
by Dan
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Q & A with John Williams, The Second Pass

I feel a special admiration for The Second Pass. Launched almost two years ago — shortly after first tentative posts at The Casual Optimist — and with a list of whip-smart contributors, it seemed to signify a second wave online … Continue reading

December 31, 2010
by Dan
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Favourite New Books of 2010

Ducking in just under the wire, here is my list of favourite of new books of the year. It’s not meant to represent the “best” of 2010. Rather, it’s a completely unscientific, very subjective list of books (arranged in alphabetical … Continue reading

December 23, 2010
by Dan
2 Comments

A Year in Reading 2010

2010 was a year of losing battles and one of the first casualties was time for personal reading. The moments I did have were snatched on the subway and, if I could keep my eyes open, last thing at night. … Continue reading

December 22, 2010
by Dan
5 Comments

Midweek Miscellany

Just to continue the Gatsby theme this week, Penguin UK have been adding more recent and vintage book designs to their Flickr, including this Fitzgerald cover from 1998 (Thanks Alan! Can we get design credits please?). Running Out of Room … Continue reading

November 29, 2010
by Dan
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Back from Vancouver

I was in Vancouver last week for the Raincoast Books Spring 2011 sales conference. It snowed (see above) and I heard about a lot of new titles I’m looking forward to seeing next year (I can’t wait to get my … Continue reading

November 19, 2010
by Dan
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The Bends

The Guardian has posted an transcript of this year’s Andrew Olle Lecture given by their editor Alan Rusbridger. The subject of his talk was “The Splintering of the Fourth Estate”, and even in its edited form, it is a long … Continue reading

October 26, 2010
by Dan
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Midweek Miscellany

Bespoke — Richard Weston, AKA Ace Jet 170, on the book designs for the soon-to-be-launched Bespoke Editions: Bespoke Editions is a one-off edition press; offering beautiful custom-made classic books, printed on demand and hand-finished to order. Personalised and unique, each … Continue reading

October 21, 2010
by Dan
6 Comments

From My Desk…

I’ve mention Kate Donnelly’s blog a couple of times here previously, but now you can take a look at my office space on From The Desks Of… should you be so inclined. Other (more interesting) recent contributors to From The … Continue reading

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