Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Even when inspired by deep department store discounts, I’ve never been good at simple calculations. After a particularly satisfying vacation, I’ve been known to forget how to turn on my computer. Never in my life have I been tempted to take apart a household appliance or look under the hood of the family sedan. In other words, I’m about as far from a geek as a person can be. - Alida becker, NYT


Ten Years of Great Sex

Nerve: The First Ten Years -- Way back in the early days of the Internet, Nerve.com challenged the best writers and photographers of the generation to create work that was explicit in both senses of the word: honest and sexy. Now, ten years later, Nerve.com is renowned for its bold and intelligent publishing on sex. This stunning retrospective celebrates Nerve's impact on popular culture with its stimulating essays, interviews, fiction, and photography. Encased in an electric vinyl case, the book is provocative all the way through—with seductive photographs and contributions from celebrated writers such as Jonathan Lethem, Chuck Palahniuk, and Em & Lo on topics ranging from monogamy, to hand jobs, to the best (and worst) sex of a lifetime.

Buy the book here.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Calling All Writers

Hi there writer-friends

I’d like to tell you about a little project that I will be doing next year.

**Please send this to ALL the good writers you know**

(drum rollllllllllll)

Introducing Pulp eStories

You all know by now that Pulp is all about getting more people to read and write. And we want the people who write to be able to get their stuff read. And it’s also nice to get paid. Sometimes this is hard.

But Pulp has a plan.

We will be offering short stories written by talented local writers to be bought and downloaded off our website.
(Think the mini version of ebooks.) Downloaders can then read the stories on their Kindle/iPhone/Computer.

There will be no submission fee for writers, and they will receive 50% royalties on every download.
You can send in as many stories as you want.
I, along with two other discerning readers, will make sure the story meets with our standards (Pulp only sells great reads) before we list it online for purchase.

The copyright remains strictly yours, which means that you can sell it to an alternative publisher/broadcaster – and we can take it off the site at any time you wish.

Every 6 months or so I will take the most-downloaded stories and send the compilation in to various publishers to see if anyone is interested in buying the book. We will obviously get the relevant writers’ consent first.

If you would like to submit anything please send it to me on this address. Here are the submission guidelines and other nitty-gritties:


• Stories should be between 2000 – 5000 words
• Any genre
• Pseudonyms are accepted
• Languages: English; Afrikaans; Zulu (hopefully to expand to all national languages in the near future)
• Initial submissions should be submitted in a word document with a word count on the last page
• Once accepted, the writer is responsible for typesetting it and sending through final, polished PDF

What should the finished PDF look like?
• easily legible font at 14pt, 1.5 spaced
• title of story and author’s name to be in header
• page numbers
• perfect spelling and grammar
• an enticing cover is strongly recommended (make sure you have the rights to it)
• A synopsis of no more than 100 words to appear on the website should accompany the final PDF
• The customer won’t be able to have a flick through your story to see if it’s their kind of thing, so it’s important to make your synopsis and cover as appealing as possible.

Spread the Word
• The more people that know about this initiative, the more likely you are to get more downloads, so the more you can talk/pr/blog/twitter about it, all the better for all of us!

The Fine Print
• All the legal, payment and copyright issues will be addressed in the contract you will receive from us. There is no dodgy fine print and you get to keep your copyright.
• The story will cost the Pulp user R10 to download. (A physical paperback costs around R150 nowadays)
We believe that this is reasonably priced enough for an impulse buy but can add up if your story is popular, and can snowball if you keep writing more stories. Royalties are a beautiful thing ( :
• For especially good stories, we will act as your agents as far as taking your work further, but will always get your permission before your story appears anywhere else.
• As with every Pulp sale, a percentage will go to Project Literacy and Food and Trees for Africa


Looking forward to reading your stories!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Well-Tended Bookshelf

In order to have the walls of my diminutive apartment scraped and repainted, I recently had to heap all of my possessions in the center of the room. The biggest obstacle was my library. Despite what I like to think of as a rigorous “one book in, one book out” policy, it had begun to metastasize quietly in corners, with volumes squeezed on top of the taller cabinets and in the horizontal crannies left above the spines of books that had been properly shelved. It was time to cull.
- Laura Miller, NYT


The Ones They Couldn't Put Down

See which 2008 books thrilled quasi-celebs and arbitrary people here.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Struggle To Fill The World With Flowers

Richard Reynolds is clearly a genius. Any man who can fuse gardening with guerilla tactics is a man after my own heart. This is what he has to say:

I began guerrilla gardening four years ago. These strikes were solo nocturnal missions. My aim was to make myself a garden from the miserable and neglected flowerbeds abandoned by Southwark Council's horticultural contractors. In parallel, little did I know, but thousands of others were doing the same, taking land that was not theirs and cultivating it, for flowers and food, alone and in groups, in cities and in country lanes. Read More...
Buy the book here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Bad Day at the Office Inspires Edgy Breath Mint Concept

It was 2002, a good year. But an attorney was having a bad day at the office and needed a breath mint, though her peers said an attitude adjustment might be more in order. And though she got neither a mint nor her mind altered that day, the Embittermints concept was born. Even though the lawyer couldn’t say “bite me” or “you suck” or “buzz off” or “yo mama” or “wench” or “idiot” to the people who were ruining her day, she soon figured out a way for anyone to say those things, and still keep their job.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Six Word Memoirs

"A shilling life will give you all the facts," as Auden sadly observed, and a memoir by James Frey will add a bit more. But how much would a life compressed into six words be worth? That's the challenge in our six words competition, and the entries have been rolling in.

We've started adding some of our favourites to a postcard gallery. I particularly enjoyed the understated romance of Nick Bailey's "Grumpy bastard. Until wife came along", and Rishi Dastidar's "To date; one love, no deaths."

I've been thinking that the perfect entry was already - almost - written by Samuel Beckett ("Tried again. Failed again. Failed better.") Which inspired my first thought: "Entered various competitions. Did not win." I'm sure you can do much better - please feel free to post them here too.
- Lindesay Irvine for the Guardian.co.uk

Not Quite What i Was Planning
Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure
Rachel Fershleiser (Editor)

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Daily Aphorism - new from The School of Life

The School of Life: "We need good ideas today more than ever, to give us the courage and humour to get through these uncertain times. So today we’ve launched The Daily Aphorism, a new website that distributes a short and pithy piece of wisdom every morning. Sign up now to receive a beautifully typeset aphorism in your inbox every day for a month."


But what exactly is an aphorism? An ‘itch of wisdom’, 'the world in a phrase’, or for the more prosaically minded, ‘an original thought, spoken or written in a laconic and easily memorable form’. Anyone can write one, though it takes some skill to do it well. Famous aphorists have included Blaise Pascal, William Blake, Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain, Albert Einstein, Marcel Proust, Franz Kafka, Winston Churchill, Jenny Holzer and Woody Allen, many of whom are featured on The Daily Aphorism website.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


The School of Life brings you bibliotherapy:
"Once upon a time, it was easy to find books that you could enjoy and felt were relevant. Now a new book is published every 30 seconds, and you would need 163 lifetimes to get through all the books offered on Amazon. That’s why The School of Life has set up a bibliotherapy service: the perfect way for you to discover those amazing but too often elusive books that can transform and illuminate your life."


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Rock on, Obama

Dreams From My Father - A Story of Race and Inheritance
Barack Obama
Paperback, 457 pages
200 x 130 x 25mm (L x W x H)
ISBN-13: 978-1-4000-8277-3
November 2004
Published by Three Rivers Press

In this lyrical, unsentimental, and compelling memoir, the son of a black African father and a white American mother searches for a workable meaning to his life as a black American. It begins in New York, where Barack Obama learns that his father--a figure he knows more as a myth than as a man--has been killed in a car accident. This sudden death inspires an emotional odyssey--first to a small town in Kansas, from which he retraces the migration of his mother's family to Hawaii, and then to Kenya, where he meets the African side of his family, confronts the bitter truth of his father's life, and at last reconciles his divided inheritance.

The Audacity Of Hope - Thoughts On Reclaiming The American Dream
Barack Obama
Paperback, 375 pages
203 x 131 x 20mm (L x W x H)
ISBN-13: 978-0-307-23770-5
November 2007
Published by Three Rivers Press (CA)

Obama has written a book of transforming power. Only by returning to the principles that gave birth to the Constitution, he says, can Americans repair a political process that is broken, and restore to working order a government that has fallen dangerously out of touch with millions of ordinary Americans.

The Antidote to Tired Typography

Robert Klanten brings us a fresh, playful take on old, tired fonts.

Playful Type: Ephemeral Lettering and Illustrative Fonts
Robert Klanten

Playful Type discovers a new and young generation of designers who are applying typography beyond the classical typeset and creating a dynamic range of playful and illustrative fonts and ephemeral lettering. From manual lettering, calligraphy and collage to manipulative time exposure of photographs, designers are developing fonts for the moment which are irregular and often accidental.

This book shows such cutting edge examples of elusive scripts that are being translated into serially employable alphabets to be used digitally with the computer. Playful Type presents an inspiring collection of illustrative fonts and hand-made typography created from a variety of approaches and indicates current development in font design.

Look at more here http://www.gestalten.com/books/detail?id=ceaea7651adf9ba0011b69a6a1500267

Monday, November 3, 2008

Meet the Biodegradable Bible

“The Green Bible” is printed on eco-friendly recycled paper, with a linen cover and soy-based ink.

Every passage that features the most taken-for-granted player in the Bible’s vast cast — the planet Earth — is printed in grass-green ink. The effect can be powerful, chastening and even exhilarating, as when you come upon these lines in the book of Isaiah, glinting green: “The mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”

In a foreword, Archbishop Desmond Tutu reveals the unsubtle message of this edition: “We, who should have been responsible stewards preserving our vulnerable, fragile planet home, have been wantonly wasteful through our reckless consumerism, devouring irreplaceable natural resources.” Repent while ye may … and along the way, recycle. - Liesl Schillinger, New York Times: extract from the Paper Cuts blog

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Got 10 minutes you don't know what to do with?
Play with the nice robo-bee and improve your spelling at the same time.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pens Are My Friends

For the first time ever Jon Burgerman’s commercial, personal and collaborative works are collected together in one lavish publication. Included amongst the many projects are toys, clothing, exhibitions, murals, customizations, sketchbooks and a sick bag.

Accompanying the hundreds of pages of brain melting doodles, drawings, characters and colours are essays by the Pictoplasma team and editor of Modart Magazine, insights into Jon’s working process and, of course, photos of salads.

Included Bonus:
Poster: 755mm(h) x 620mm(w)
Mini Sketchbook: 20 pages of sketch art
DVD: Motion graphics, animations, videos, wallpapers and icons
Transparent dustjacket

Look inside the book at http://www.jonburgerman.com/book/

Friday, October 24, 2008

Why do they always leave out the best bits?

The new film of Evelyn Waugh's classic leaves Alyson Rudd longing for the subtleties of the original novel

IF YOU READ Evelyn Waugh's 1959 preface to Brideshead Revisited, you might be tempted not to bother with the novel at all. Waugh warns us of glaring defects and ornamental language and more or less apologises for the whole project, offering the circumstances he wrote in - the Second World War - as explanation or, perhaps, excuse. But despite his misgivings, the novel has become famous. It is on that list of books that must be read and probably on that list of books that were more enjoyable than anticipated - and more complex. - Alyson Rudd, Times Online


Monday, October 20, 2008


Calma introduces the visual language of Brazilian painter and illustrator Stephan Doitschinoff, who finds his creative cadence in the realm between authentic urban art and rural spirituality.

The title Calma is not only Stephan Doitschinoff's alias as a graffiti writer, but also the abbreviation of "con alma" (c'alma) in Latin, meaning "with soul." His emblematic metaphoric imagery feeds off Afro-Brazilian folklore, pagan and alchemistic symbolism and contemporary pop culture.

Doitschinoff composes spectacular murals and applies his extraordinary talent to emblazon houses, churches and walls in rural cities in his South American homeland. For the first time, Calma documents his artistic journey through these rustic areas and presents the complete visual pandemonium of a young urban artist who creates powerful figurative worlds. His colourful murals and black and white drawings are a sensation internationally and have been shown in galleries and museums around the world.

Calma: The Art of Stephan Doitschinoff
Stephan Doitschinoff
Hardcover, 144 pages
280 x 240mm (L x W)
ISBN-13: 978-3-89955-224-9
September 2008
Published by DGV
Buy now

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

White Tiger takes the Booker

Aravind Adiga was awarded the Man Booker prize last night for his debut novel, ‘White Tiger’.

The Booker judges described this book as an extraordinarily readable page turner that is shocking and entertaining in equal measure.

(When asked what he would do with the cash, he quipped that he would try to find a bank to put it in.)

White Tiger
Aravind Adiga
Paperback, 521 pages
211 x 147 x 25mm (L x W x H)
ISBN-13: 978-1-84354-721-1
March 2008
Published by Atlantic
Buy Now

Balram Halwai is the White Tiger - the smartest boy in his village. His family is too poor for him to afford for him to finish school and he has to work in a teashop, breaking coals and wiping tables. But Balram gets his break when a rich man hires him as a chauffeur, and takes him to live in Delhi.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Complete Polysyllabic Spree

The Diary of an Occasionally Exasperated but Ever Hopeful Reader

Through twenty-eight monthly accounts of books bought and books read, Nick Hornby explores the how and when and why and what of reading.

A testament to the joy and surprise and despair that books bring, The Complete Polysyllabic Spree covers debuts, blockbusters, poems and comics, self-help ('how to stop smoking and stay stopped for good'), sports biographies and literary letters, classics and science (read through panicked tears). Hornby is the perfect guide to this cornucopia of books, engaging the reader with wonderful conversation pieces, hilarious one-liners, lists, ideas, admissions and autobiography. He introduces the magnificent concept of a Cultural Fantasy Boxing League. And includes bonus material - excerpts from works by Chekhov, Charles Dickens, Patrick Hamilton, and many more.

Smart, funny, unruly and utterly readable, Hornby's columns reveal why we read, even when there's a pram in the hall, Arsenal to support, jobs, DVD players, and a good band playing in the local pub.

Good Book Karma

If you have bought a book from Pulp in the last year you have contributed to the 'Run Home to Read' family literacy project facilitated by Project Literacy.

That's Good Book Karma.

Raddest bookshelves

Bookshelves have never been this sexy. Look at the others here.

(Thanks for the tip-off, Vendetta.)

The World's Best Paid Authors

"While the publishing industry has struggled to come up with a "Happily Ever After" storyline in recent years, there's still plenty of money to be made in the business of books."
Lacey Rose and Lauren Streib, Forbes.com

See who the world's best paid authors are here.

Banned books quiz

Have you been exercising your freedom to read?

Take the Guardian's quiz to find out.

When Will There Be Good News?

"Kate Atkinson is that rarest of beasts, a genuinely surprising novelist" - The Guardian

"Suspense is tinglingly maintained throughout... shot through with wry wit and gritty realism" - Daily Express

"The most enthralling to date" - Mirror

Marion Keyes Interview

Watch the interview on Trashionista: This Charming Man

Irish author Colfer to write new Hitchhiker's Guide book

"The best-selling children's author Eoin Colfer is heading into a whole new galaxy.

The Wexford writer has been chosen to write a new book in the hugely popular 'Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' series.

Eight years after the tragically early death of its creator, Douglas Adams, Colfer has been asked by Adams's widow to continue the series of Hitchhiker books that are international bestsellers and have a cult following of millions of readers around the world."

- John Spain, Books Editor of the Independent


Obituary - David Foster Wallace ) :

David Foster Wallace, writer, born February 21 1962; died September 12 2008.

Read The Guardian's Wallace obituary here.

Rushdie Snubbed on Booker Shortlist

"The six finalists for the Man Booker Prize, considered by many to be the most prestigious award for literary fiction in the English-speaking world, were announced on Tuesday in London with the traditional fanfare. But this year, as sometimes happens, the shortlist attracted more attention for who was not on it."

- Julie Bosman, the New York Times


Top 10 graphic novels by Danny Fingeroth

"Danny Fingeroth is an American comic book writer and editor. He was group editor of Marvel comics' Spider-Man books, and is the author of many comics for Marvel. An expert on superheroes, he is the author of Superman on the Couch, among other works. His latest book is The Rough Guide to Graphic Novels, a comic book companion which looks at the medium's history, details 60 must-read graphic novels, profiles the movement's legends, and covers everything else you need to know about: film and television adaptations, manga, documentaries, conventions, books, magazines and websites, as well as how to make a graphic novel."

- Guardian.co.uk


JK Rowling's Beedle and the Bard to be released in December 2008

The five stories are:

The Wizard and the Hopping Pot

The Fountain of Fair Fortune

The Warlock’s Hairy Heart

Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump

The Tale of the Three Brothers

Includes commentary by Dumbledore ( :


Is the Kindle ebook reader becoming Amazon's iPod?

What The Guardian's Jack Scofield thinks of Kindle.


How to Smell Like a Used Bookstore

Dwight Garner reviews 'Perfumes'

"Turin and Sanchez are smart, funny, deeply literate and crazy/sexy tour guides, and they persuade you that “perfume is, among other things, the most portable form of intelligence.”

If Orwell were a blogger...


The Oddest Book Title Prize

Titles include 'The Anger of Aubergines', 'Living With Crazy Bottocks', and 'Fabulous Small Jews'.

Watch the slideshow here.

Food is better in Soweto, says Jamie Oliver

"Diet of the drunken English is so bland. Food is better in Soweto, Jamie Oliver tells French.

Jamie Oliver has portrayed the English as a nation of beer-guzzling cultural illiterates who live on a diet of dreary food munched in front of wide-screen televisions."



Socks away! Roald Dahl’s wartime sex raids

"He is known to the world as the author of bestselling children’s books such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach. Yet before he became a successful writer, Roald Dahl had a very different reputation – as the sexiest British spy in America.

A ribald portrait of Dahl’s second world war years as an undercover agent attached to the British embassy in Washington emerges from the pages of a new biography that credits the writer with a very special talent for the Anglo-American special relationship."

- Tony Allen-Mills, Guardian.co.uk


39 Clues

Super cool way to hook kids on reading.


Tears, tiffs and triumphs

"One judge threatened to throw himself off a balcony, another provoked a punch-up, a third was chatted up in the taxi home by Saul Bellow ... To mark the 40th anniversary of the Booker prize and the impending announcement of the 2008 shortlist, we asked a judge from every year to tell us the inside story of how the winner was chosen."
- Guardian.co.uk


Salman Rushdie wins Booker of Bookers

Salman Rushdie has won the Booker of Bookers again for his 1981 masterpiece Midnight's Children.

He had this to say: "how astonished my younger self writing Midnight's Children in the late-1970s would have been about this. It was written with such hope but not with the expectation that this book would still be interesting and relevant to people who were not even born when it was written."

The shortlist contained the following titles:

Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee (1999)
Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey (1988)
The Conservationist by Nadine Gordimer (1974)
The Siege of Krishnapur by J.G. Farrell (1973)
The Ghost Road by Pat Barker (1995)


South African Henrietta Rose-Innes won the 2008 Caine prize for her short story 'Poison'.

"Lynn had almost made it to the petrol station when her old Toyota ran dry on the highway. Lucky me, she thought as she pulled on to the verge, seeing the red and yellow flags ahead, the logo on the tall facade. But it was hopeless, she realised as soon as she saw the pile-up of cars on the forecourt. A man in blue overalls caught her eye and made a throat-slitting gesture with the side of his hand as she came walking up: no petrol here either..."

Click here for the rest of the story.

Click here for the interview with Henrietta.

What Nick Hornby thinks of ebooks

1) Book readers like books, whereas music fans never had much affection for CDs. Vinyl yes, CDs no. They are too small for interesting cover art and legible lyrics, the cases break easily, and despite all promises to the contrary, they are extremely easy to break and scratch. Books have remained consistently lovable for several hundred years now. For readers, a wall lined with books is as attractive as any art we could afford to put up there.

2) E-book readers have a couple of disadvantages, when compared to mp3 players. The first is that, when we bought our iPods, we already owned the music to put on it; none of us own e-books, however. The second is that so far, Apple is uninterested in designing an e-book reader, which means that they don’t look very cool.

3) We don’t buy many books – seven per person per year, a couple of which, we must assume, are presents for other people. Three paperbacks bought in a three-for-two offer – expenditure, fourteen pounds approx – will do most of us for months. The advantages of the Iliad and the Kindle – that you can take vast numbers of books away with you – are of no interest to the average book-buyer.

4) Book-lovers are always late adaptors, and generally suspicious of new technology.

5) The new capabilities of the iPod will make it harder to sell books anyway. How much reading has been done historically, simply because there is no television available on a bus or a train or a sun-lounger? But that’s no longer true. You could watch a whole series of the Sopranos by the pool on your iPod touchscreen, if you want. Reading is going to take a hit from this.

Joe The Polar Bear


Hand Job: A Catalog of Type

"In this digital age of computer-generated graphics and typography, it's refreshing to find typographers who still believe in working by hand. No longer relegated to designer's sketchbooks, hand-drawn type has emerged from the underground as a dynamic vehicle for visual communication—from magazine, book, and album covers to movie credits and NFL advertisements. As the practice and appreciation of hand-drawn type grows, it's time to celebrate the work of those typographers whose every letterform is a work of art.

Hand Job collects groundbreaking work from fifty of today's most talented typographers who draw by hand. Graphic designer and hand typographer Michael Perry selects work representing the full spectrum of design methods and styles. Each hand-drawn work is entirely shaped by the artist's unique process—every one a carefully executed composition enhanced by unplanned "accidents" of line, color, and craft. Hand Job also includes photographs of found type, artists studios, and the tools that help make typography come to life. Whether you are looking to invigorate your design work or are just in need of a little offbeat inspiration, Hand Job will have you reaching for your favorite pen."
- Magmabooks.com

Booker Longlist announced

The Man Booker dozen 2008:

Aravind Adiga The White Tiger

Gaynor Arnold Girl in a Blue Dress

Sebastian Barry The Secret Scripture

John Berger From A to X

Michelle de Kretser The Lost Dog

Amitav Ghosh Sea of Poppies

Linda Grant The Clothes on Their Backs

Mohammed Hanif A Case of Exploding Mangoes

Philip Hensher The Northern Clemency

Joseph O'Neill Netherland

Salman Rushdie The Enchantress of Florence

Tom Rob Smith Child 44

Steve Toltz A Fraction of the Whole


Pulp loves Moleskines


Summer Stories

Five excellent short stories brought to you by Guardian.co.uk

Chris Ware
Franklin Christenson Ware is an American comic-book artist and cartoonist, best known for his graphic novel Jimmy Corrigan, The Smartest Kid On Earth. He has drawn for many publications, including the New York Times and the New Yorker.
· Powerless

William Boyd
Born in Ghana in 1952, Boyd won the Whitbread and Somerset Maugham awards in 1981 with his debut novel, A Good Man In Africa. Other celebrated works include Any Human Heart. His ninth novel, Restless, a wartime thriller, was published in 2006.
· The Things I Stole

Alice Sebold
Published in 1999, her first book, Lucky, was a memoir of her rape as a freshman at Syracuse University. Her debut novel, The Lovely Bones, followed in 2002. It became an instant bestseller and is being made into a film by Peter Jackson. Her second novel, The Almost Moon, was published last year.
· For The Life Of Her

Julian Barnes
Barnes is the author of two books of stories, two collections of essays and 10 novels, including Arthur & George. In 1981, he received the Somerset Maugham award for his first novel, Metroland. His most recent work is Nothing To Be Frightened Of, an exploration of mortality.
· 60/40

Tessa Hadley

Hadley teaches literature and creative writing at Bath Spa University. Since her acclaimed 2002 debut novel, Accidents In The Home, she has published two further novels and a collection of short stories, Sunstroke.
· Because The Night

Iron Fists

"How did a practice as vile as branding become so valued, indeed, the very mark of value? Officials in the past have branded slaves and criminals — remember Milady’s fleur-de-lis in “The Three Musketeers”? Samuel Maverick didn’t brand his cattle, but dictionaries are vague about whether he was the first maverick or his cows were. Today, cities and colleges have joined toothpastes and soft drinks in the battle for “brand loyalty.”

Steven Heller’s “Iron Fists” makes a sophisticated and visually arresting comparison between modern corporate-branding strategies — slogans, mascots, jingles and the rest — and those adopted by “four of the most destructive 20th-century totalitarian regimes”: Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, the Soviet Union under Lenin and Stalin, and Mao’s China. As he pursues his four “case studies,” Heller, by means of unsettling images and shrewd analysis, amply restores the vileness to branding."
- Christopher Benfey, The New York Times

A (Not So) Complete History of Literary Tattoos

"Johannes Guttenberg invented the printing press in Germany in 1439. Samuel O’Reilly invented the modern tattoo machine in 1891. And sometime around the turn of the century the first literary tattoo was born. Whether nostalgic for the characters from a favorite children’s book or as a tribute to a favorite writer’s words, the book tattoo is a classy way to go. The lowbrow nature of the tattoo juxtaposes nicely against the highbrow art of the book. Here now, a look at some of its many forms."
- Yuppiepunk.org



Looky here: a site that allows you to look through entire book before buying.


We get Mail

The editors of The Book Review on books and publishing - interesting 'literary ephemara' - watch out for some nice promo ideas in this slide show.

The Sunday Times 100 best holiday reads

Times Online:
"Whether it's on a far-flung beach or in your back garden, settle back in your deckchair with a selection from our guide to this summer's most rewarding reading."

Poetry Nightstand


Spread 'em

"The human leg has evolved continually over many eons, adapting from an underwater propeller to its current form. But on book covers and on film and theater posters, the leg has evolved very little. In fact, the “A-Frame,” a cutoff-torso-spread-leg framing device, is the most frequently copied trope ever used. From steamy paperbacks designed in the ’40s (Pamela’s Sweet Agony), hardly a year has gone by without at least one ham-fisted advertisement using this perspective. The earliest known uses were 19th-century engravings that showed spread-legged, Simon Legree–type slave masters lording over cowering victims. In Westerns, the quintessential showdown frames one duelist through the legs of the other, and mid-20th-century pulp magazine covers were known for their noir images of recoiling women seen through the legs of menacing men. Eventually, designers used the conceit to frame all manner of things, from retro musicals (Cry-Baby) to the James Bond flick For Your Eyes Only (plus the Austin Powers spoof Goldmember) and gritty, contemporary Westerns (3:10 to Yuma)."

For a slideshow of all the images on this page, click here.