Feb 24, 2012

Friday Round-Up

Each week I round-up all the (mostly book-related) articles/blog posts/book reviews/websites/videos that entertained me during the week. Enjoy!


HuffPo features "Books on Screen: Our Favorite Bookish Love Scenes From Films"

Oh, Amazon. It's so hard not to hate you and your attitude toward a positive, successful, mutually-beneficial, non-manipulative, not-a-monopoly book industry: "Amazon Pulls Thousands of E-Books in Dispute [AGAIN]"

As a chronic re-reader (there are at least three or four books I reread on a yearly basis), I feel gratified that there really can be a mental health benefit from rereading.

The very early news that JK Rowling will now write an adult book for Little, Brown.

Thoughtful commentary on a longer article: "E-Books Can't Burn"

I can't explain the book/word/art collaboration known as Round Robin, but Grain Edit can.

Book Products

Bookplates from Mac & Ninny Paper Co.

Get a painting of your favorite books on your own bookshelf here at Ideal Bookshelf. Beautiful work!

Children's Books

Remember the children's book Stephen Colbert wrote during the Maurice Sendak interviews I posted a couple of weeks ago? Well, surprise, surprise, it's getting published.

Does this list surprise you? "The 100 'Greatest Books for Kids" ranked by Scholastic Parent & Child magazine.



Name the titles of these book covers (I got 17 of 24)


<-- An experiment in 3D letterforms by Letters are my Friends. Read more about it on the Co.Design blog.

"From the retrotastic typographic signage to the beautiful vintage color schemes, these storefronts are priceless time-capsules of an era as faded as their paint coats, haunting ghosts caught in the machine of progress." Read more in this article.

Alphabet Roadtrip, the blog of Iskra Design.

Letterology, an open classroom discussing book design and experimental typography.


The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Ann Patchett
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive


A Tumblr blog dedicated to book photographs and quotes: PrettyBooks

Feb 10, 2012

Friday Round-Up

Each week I round-up all the (mostly book-related) articles/blog posts/book reviews/websites/videos that entertained me during the week. Enjoy!


Even if you're not a non-fiction fan or a reader of alternate histories, this is a fascinating and engrossing article about writing in general, non-fiction history writing in particular, and an in-depth look at 5 unusual histories chosen by Geoff Dyer for The Browser.

Of all place, Boston.com has a roundup of "7 book recommendation websites to find your next good read".

Mystery Bus Tour! That's exactly what it sounds like. Read all about it.

Featured in Speakeasy, for all authors out there - "How to Be an Indie Bookseller's Dream" - and being a former bookseller, I concur!

A new international literary magazine presents an intimate look at war: "Warscapes — with sections that include literature, poetry, art and reportage — treats the subject elegantly by publishing stories that underline the personal, the intimate and the introspective."

Love lists like this! From Inhabitat: "7 Amazing Green Bookstores and Libraries from Around the World"

Today's Inspiration is blogging a series of "Female Illustrators You Should Know". You can find the links here, here, and here so far.

Children's Books

"If Dr. Seuss Books for Titled on According to Their Subtexts"

Flavorwire article of the week: "Literary Mixtape: Jo March"

Mitali Perkins, children's lit author extraordinaire, discusses how "Children's Books Explore Real-World Issues"

Lemony Snicket book deal news.

Korean children's book and magazine covers for the 40s/50s and 60s.


"In My Book" - book-themed greeting cards and bookmarks, featured on Books on the Nightstand


An infographic showing "The History of Western Typefaces" (thanks to Shane for this!)


William Blake is one of my favorite poets. This Brazilian short film was inspired by his poem The Tyger.
(Shout out of thanks to Chelsea for turning me on to this!)

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare sieze the fire?

And what shoulder, & what art.
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?

What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?

When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

Feb 4, 2012

February HuffPost Book Club: Blood, Bones, & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton

The Huffington Post Book Club has released their second title:

Having recently received a copy in the mail (remember?) (thanks, Random House!), I am excited to announce that I will be participating in this month's book club festivities. Or at least the read-along portion.

You can participate, too. February 8 is the official read-along start date, and you can post your thoughts on Facebook (facebook.com/huffpostbooks) and on Twitter (@huffpostbooks) with the hashtag #HPBookClub. Happy reading!

Feb 3, 2012

Friday Round-Up

Each week I round-up all the (mostly book-related) articles/blog posts/book reviews/websites/videos that entertained me during the week. Enjoy!


The New York Times offers a slideshow of "Books as a Way to Grace a Room" - if you can stomach how much money people spend on the personalized service hired here, it's worth the look.

Book Trailer of the Week

Thank you to Publishing Perspectives for turning me on to this book trailer for "La agenda del fin del mundo (Diary for the End of the World), an irreverent 2012 almanac and agenda featuring anecdotes, sound bites and trivia that topped Amazon Spain’s bestseller list." I wish I could get my hands on one!

Children's Books

The appropriate follow-up to the Colbert/Sendak interviews regarding Colbert's proposed children's book, I am a Flag Pole, and So Can You. From Melville House.

NPR highlighted The Snowy Day this week: "The Snowy Day: Breaking Color Barriers, Quietly"

FANTASTIC query about why there are so few female Caldecott Medal winners.

Milk + Bookies is a "non-profit organization that exposes young children to how great it feels to give back while celebrating the love of a good book."


Wolves in children's fiction - how well do you know them? I only got a 7 out of 10.

Introvert or Extrovert? Take the informal quiz at NPR's interview with the author of Quiet, Please. I'm apparently split right down the middle - what does that mean?


An absolutely mesmerizing and magical 15-minute film, nominated for an Oscar, all about the power of books.

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore from Moonbot Studios on Vimeo.


This IS a UK-based site, so I don't know how applicable it will be to most of the readers of this blog, but this is an idea I've been in support of for a long time - smaller, quicker reads for commuters, non-readers, and anyone else looking for a small, quick read. QuickReads

For all other English language enthusiasts, I stumbled across this site: English Language & Usage (and no, I'm not promoting it solely because they use my ampersand tattoo as their and symbol). "This is a collaboratively edited question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required."

Feb 2, 2012

A Month of Letters

As an established letter-writer from way back, I am so excited to announce my participation in Mary Robinette Kowal's A Month of Letters project.

In the author's own words: “I have a simple challenge for you. In the month of February, mail at least one item through the post every day it runs.  Write a postcard, a letter, send a picture, or a cutting from a newspaper, or a fabric swatch. Write back to everyone who writes to you. This can count as one of your mailed items. All you are committing to is to mail 24 items.  Why 24? There are four Sundays and one US holiday. In fact, you might send more than 24 items. You might develop a correspondence that extends beyond the month. You might enjoy going to the mail box again.”

Now, as someone who belongs to PostCrossing.com, regularly participates in letter and package exchanges around the holidays and birthdays, and loves to design her own cards and stationary, a project like this is a dream come true.

If you would like to participate, here are some links to get you started:
If you would like to receive a letter from me, send me an email at broche (dot) fabian (at) gmail (dot) com to exchange snail mail addresses. I guarantee you'll receive a pretty something in the mail soon enough.

Feb 1, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: By a Thread by Jennifer Estep

Waiting on Wednesday (WoW) is a weekly meme hosted by

My posts about adult literary fiction are here:
Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks

My posts about my guilty pleasure reading (romantic, often paranormal, novels) can be found here:

My posts about YA/teen titles are here:

My posts about middle grade titles are here:

And now for today's:

By a Thread (Book 6 in the Elemental Assassin series)
by Jennifer Estep
9781451651768, Pocket Books, Pub. Date: February 28, 2012 

I have such mixed feelings about this book. While the early books in the series drew me in, I'm sorry to say I think the writing has gotten worse rather than better over the course of the series. AND, I haven't enjoyed the two new YA titles in a new series Ms. Estep recently released. BUT, there's something about the basic premise of these books - kick-ass female assassin who is honest, straight-forward, well-read, uses both knives, skills, and her elemental magical powers to take down evil in her city - that has me hooked. So I keep trying. Here's the publisher's description:

When killing people is your job, there’s no such thing as a vacation. Then again, how often does an assassin live long enough to enjoy her retirement? In this line of work, you either get lucky or you get dead. And since I destroyed my nemesis Mab Monroe a few weeks ago, all of Ashland’s lowlifes are gunning to make a name for themselves by taking out the lethal Spider—me, Gin Blanco. So I’m leaving behind my beloved barbecue joint and heading south with my baby sister, Bria, to cool my heels in a swanky beach town. Call it a weekend of fun in the sun. But when a powerful vampire with deadly elemental magic threatens an old friend of Bria’s, it looks like I’ll have to dig my silverstone knives out of my suitcase after all. Complicating matters further is the reappearance of Detective Donovan Caine, my old lover. But Donovan is the least of my problems. Because this time, the danger is hot on my trail, and not even my elemental Ice and Stone magic may be enough to save me from getting buried in the sand—permanently.

Read the first chapter here.