We all know the story. Most of us could recite the narrative from memory, and probably not miss any key points. But, this holiday season, I decided to snuggle up to the original, and read the whole of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.
And? It's good. It's really good. Dickens is a good writer...duh. It's festive and seasonal, and the template for what many of us think of as an old fashioned Christmas...also duh. But something else happened to me, and I think you should read it, too. Not in the "let's gather 'round the fire while dad recites " 'Twas the Night Before Christmas..." sorta way, but because this is a book about men.
Artist Bob Staake snagged a collection of vintage children's books, then scanned the artwork, fired up Photoshop, and gave them plenty of new, but very, very not child-friendly covers and titles.
You sit down. Read a magazine. Have some tea. Chat up that cute bookseller with the glasses.
And then, you go home, and the bookstore closes, and that, my friends, is when the real fun begins.
Watch the video below to see what really happens. (Trust me, you'll love it.)
Over the holiday season, economists guessed that among folks who did any online shopping, more than 85% of them ordered at least one shipment from Amazon.com. In fact, the company hired 15,000 temporary employees, just to help with increased orders in November and December. Seeing as they employ around 31,200 folks during the rest of the year, that's a whole buncha jobs. And orders.
In 1969, Salvador Dali Illustrated "Alice in Wonderland"...and It's as Trippy as You'd Think It'd Be
If you imagined that surrealist artist Salvador Dali illustrated the nonsensical Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in 1969, during the height of the psychadelic movement, you might expect some pretty crazy results.
And you'd be right. Cause he did. And they are.
As I type this, it's 12:07p where I live. Which means, according to this blogger body, it's time to stand up, stretch, walk around a bit, and grab a snack. If there's one thing I've learned from working at home, it's that I won't remember to eat an actual lunch until it's too late, so I've gotten into this groove where I eat breakfast as early as I can, then have little mini-meals thoroughout the day. It actually helps me to eat smaller portions at dinner time, and I find I'll choose healthier munchies in general. Win win.
Even if you're not a graphic designer, you interact with letterforms all day long. You read, certainly: newspapers, webpages, work documents, signage, advertisements. You use type in your emails, on your blog, at your job, in your art projects. So, "whether you’re a professional designer, recreational type-nerd, or casual lover of the fine letterform, typography is one of design’s most delightful frontiers, an odd medley of timeless traditions and timely evolution in the face of technological progress."
Maria Popova gathers ten essential books on typography, "ranging from the practical to the philosophical to the plain pretty."
There's certainly a canon of beloved [Western] children's stories: those fairy tales, fables, and books that our parents knew, we loved, and are still ripe to pass along to the next generation. My niece and nephew know all about the Wizards of Waverly Place, but they still know what the Tin Man and the Scarecrow each wanted, or what Jack traded in for those crazy beans.
Chicago-based artist and designer Christian Jackson pays homage to that great history by creating, "hyper-minimalistic posters of the children's stories we grew up knowing and loving."
So, last week, in my epic marathon of singleguyness, and in an attempt to replenish my to-be-read pile, and the Twitterverse exploding about the final film, I decided something, pretty revolutionary for me.
I'm gonna read all the Harry Potter books. For the first time. In order, and fast, so I can then watch the movies, and be up to date with the rest of the Western world. My sweetheart had them all (but the third one, I discovered yesterday), andI was able to score the audiobooks from my local library, and have been reading while home, and listening while doing some long bike rides. (Trail only, one earphone in, just talk, no music. Be safe people.)
Mary and Holly are public librarians in Michigan, and as part of their jobs, regularly weed out bizarre, odd, outdated, or "should be reconsidered" books to maintain a "current and relevant collection." They publish their findings on Awful Library Books, and my friends, it's awesome.
I'm normally a pretty active reader, but for some reason, I'm voracious this summer. I regularly keep both a stack of to-be-reads and a ongoing list (Listography is awesome), and I'm gonna kill that tonight. Dead. All checked off. That's never happened before.
So, I need a new book, and I figured I might as well ask you fine people for suggestions.
I've gone on record before about my general distrust of gender-based gift guides. I find them to be mostly biased, reinforcing the norms that led me to start ManMade in the first place. But, more importantly, and more offensively, they're unimaginative. Yes, men wear t-shirts and have wallets, and play video games, and tend to like gadgets. We know this. Please take it to the next step.
But this fine Father's Day gift guide from Brittany and Jacob at Wantist avoids all the traps. Its inclusive for all types of guys, and provides unique, solid stuff, that anyone might want, including dads. Plus, it's beautifully designed and full of care.
Check it out.
I mean, I guess it makes sense: The kind of person who violently claws and maims one's way to evil autocracy is likely the kind of person who can get themselves published.
And by "published," I mean, write a really terrible book and get it printed. Name a despot, and dude's got a book. A bad one.
- Muammar al-Gaddafi - Hallucinogenic stream of consciousness
- Saddam Hussein - erotic allegorical fiction
- Kim Jong Il - revolutionary film criticism
- Joseph Stalin - Georgian pastoral odes
- Ayatollah Khomeini - Persian mystical poetry
And the list goes on and on. Weird, right?
Over the weekend, I rode by bike over to the secondhand book store. I often get in trouble here, since it's even more tough not to overload on goodies when they're much less expensive [and recycled, I tell myself!], so when I go by bike, I know I'm limited to just the few that can fit on my wheel rack.
I decided to live dangerously, and hung out a bit in the Food and Wine section (this and the Art/Design aisle are serious tempters for me), and noticed one thing:
There are a $%*load of cookbooks out there.
Sure, I know folks have different types of expectations when it comes to food, and even if you're not good at it, nearly everyone prepares some sort of food for themselves.
But, oh my, the genericness and redundancy of so many of these was overwhelming...I escaped a potentially credit-crushing trip with two very lucky finds (why anyone would sell these back is a mystery) - David Chang's Momofuku cookbook and Anthony Bourdain's The Nasty Bits. I've checked out Chang's tomb several times from the library, and it's never gotten old, so finding it for $7.99 was pretty amazing. I'm headed to my local Asian market in a few hours to get started...