I kind of love it when publishers are consistent with the book design in their authors’ canon. Sure, Sloane Crosley‘s books have had some design variations, but they all orbit around a central theme: same font face, abstractly representative of what’s happening in the story, and always a little tongue-in-cheek. Up The Down Volcano is her Kindle single, which I finished over a bangin’ cappuccino and omelet last week.
The “single” is about Crosley’s ill-planned (and somewhat ill-fated) trip to Ecuador, where took on the challenge of hiking up Cotopaxi with no more preparation than, say, throwing an extra shawl in your suitcase because it “might be rainy in Seattle.” Some parts of the story are laugh-out-loud-even-in-public-places funny, and Crosley has such a magnificent way with analogies. “Offensively pretty” is now a term I use constantly. Here are some of my favorite lines:
“You say you’re born with the sociopathic strain that compels you to hold manifying glasses above ants? Sure, fine, whatever. Be crazy. But if you are not this person, if you are regular, we will spend the rest of your life teaching you to believe in the power of your mind over your body… But sickness is the body’s retort to such hubris. Control was an illusion. You were having a lucid dream, friend. Wht the mind really is, is a Tupperware container full of leftover Ramen noodles.”
“I think of the bees. I am lucid enough to be disappointed by my own insanity.”
“Nothing is so gruesome to the human imagination as regret.”
“I think by now we can all agree that the foundation of world travel goes something like ‘bring a cardigan.’”
P.S. I also love this Vanity Fair article about Crosley, which claims she makes the best Arnold Palmer. Challenge accepted.
Have a great weekend!
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Cover design by Irene Vandervoort.
Another recommendation by a friend, I am earnestly enjoying all these books that are being recommended to me! I’ve been devouring books lately, finishing two over the weekend and already 67 pages into this one after beginning it last night! I think it’s a well-deserved reading spree after being weighed down by the longest short book ever.
Happy (long) weekend!
Over at The Millions this week, they compared the U.S. vs U.K. covers of recently published books. I always thought it interesting in principle to design different covers to reflect different cultures for the same book. What memory one design may spark in an American would certainly be different than in a Brit. And sometimes, I am far more in love with the British cover than the American one.
Above, on the left is the American cover design for The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes; on the right is the UK version. For Alfred A. Knopf, New York, long-standing art director Carol Devine Carson created the design. She has designed such other iconic (or at least well-recognized) covers such as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series, Heat by Bill Buford (a personal favorite), and Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking.
The whole purpose of “Cover Friday” is to share my love of beautifully designed book covers and showcase those publishers that just get it. I hadn’t looked at what Picador has to offer in a while, but was so glad when I did! It’s their 40th anniversary and they are celebrating by having illustrator Robert Hunter design beautifully simple covers (most in black and white) for some of their most popular novels. More designs can be found on Picador’s blog, as well as a statement from Senior Designer Neil Lang regarding the thought process in coming up with covers for these iconic books.
I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!
Everything in my room has a pinkish glow in the morning, due to some outrageously bright hot pink curtains I’ve put up. And to think, I really was never a “pink” person.
Here is (most of) my Christmas Literary Loot: At A Crossroads: Between a Rock and My Parents’ Place by Kate T. Williamson (which I coveted. Thanks big bro!), two Kelly Cutrone books, and Freak Show: Presenting Human Oddities for Amusement and Profit by Robert Bogdan. This last one was from my uncle, who TOTALLY gets me. (He even included a photograph of a “human skeleton” and his wife! BEST GIFT EVER!) I’ve been working on a project for his antiques business, and one of the most fascinating things I am finding is the plethora of bygone circus material. I am fascinated by the way these side shows were advertised, who these people were, the psychology behind the freak show… all of it! I can’t wait to read this book.
Also, since I am completely inept at photography, I’m still Instagraming it (follow me at drunkliterature).
It is a standing family tradition to decorate for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving. We forgo the Black Friday masses, light pine scented candles, warm up some leftovers, and take to covering every last inch of the house with all things holly and jolly. Our Christmas Memories book sits beneath the coffee table, and we page through time, remembering. I love this time of the year, it really is like no other.
Indiana approves of this week's cover design.
Adverbs by Daniel Handler. I heard about this book after reading Flavorwire’s post “10 Twee Authors to Scrapbook and Swoon Over.” Handler is actually Lemony Snicket, but writes under his given name for his adult books.
Flavorwire had this to say about his writing style:
Cute as it all is, Handler has an incredible knack for the lip-smackingly delicious phrase, the assemblage of each sentence often even better than its intended meaning. He’s the kind of author you could read for pages, even if he wasn’t saying anything at all. Oh yes, and he also sometimes plays accordion for The Magnetic Fields.