Magpie Monday

Here are some shiny things that caught my eye recently:

PistolesPress makes some beautiful, beautiful book art. Check out this accordion tunnel book:

Naomi Bardoff has more pictures of this book over at the SFCB blog; below she offers this description:

Tunnel books, or peepshow books, are books in which cutouts allow the viewer to see through several pages or the entire book to create an illusion of depth and create a stage-like scene. They are usually in concertina form, which allows the book to stand on its own for display, and for more space staggered between the pages. PistolesPress instead uses accordion books, and codex-bound books with the cut-out pages staggered, to create scenes.

Definitely click through to read the rest of the post and see more pictures of the book art from PistolesPress. Via.

♦ While the reviews of the set suggest it’s pretty craptastic for the price, I love the design of the 31-disc Harry Potter Wizards Collection boxed set. But the Amazon-discounted $350 is a bit pricey, even for my aesthetic. Via.

♦ Over at McSweeney’s, Andy Bryan has a hilarious piece entitled, “Back from yet Another Globetrotting Adventure, Indiana Jones Checks His Mail and Discovers that His Bid for Tenure Has Been Denied.”

♦ On Facebook, Alison McMahan gave me the heads’ up about Cole Gamble and Cathal Logue’s article on Cracked about 9 Foreign Words the English Language Desperately Needs. My favorites are the Georgian shemomedjamo (“To eat past the point of being full just because the food tastes good”), the Finnnish pilkunnussija (“A person who believes it is their destiny to stamp out all spelling and punctuation mistakes at the cost of popularity, self-esteem and mental well-being”), and, perhaps the most important to my own life, the German Kummerspeck (literally translated as “grief bacon”: “Excess weight gained from emotional overeating”). Mmmmmm, grief bacon.

How did I not know about lightning trees before?

The Book Nook. has devoted March to The Palencar Project, wherein David Hartwell found an unassigned painting by John Jude Palencar (see image at left) and commissioned short stories based on the art from five writers: Gene Wolfe (March 7), James Morrow (March 14), Michael Swanwick (March 21), and Gregory Benford (March 28). The first story, “New World Blues” by L.E. Modesitt, Jr., debuted February 29th.

Kelly Thompson posted a list of 10 Graphic Novels for the Literary Minded at LitReactor. Whether you’re interested in short fiction, young adult, fantasy, action/adventure, mystery, or science fiction, Thompson has a suggestion.

I was so happy that Greer Gilman posted about “a newly discovered short story by Sylvia Townsend Warner,” “Flowers” (and there are three others). The lost stories were found in the New York Public Library archives, and Warner fans have much cause for rejoicing. Unfortunately, these stories (collected as The Doll’s House) are not available yet in America. If you’re unfamiliar with Warner (she wrote the luminous Lolly Willowes, about an unmarried older woman who decides to become a witch), Gilman also linked to a great essay about her by Sarah Waters.

If you’re a fan of Goodnight Moon and Dune, you’ll love Goodnight Dune (thanks to Cameron for the link!). It made me really happy.

Thanks to Elizabeth Hand for on Facebook posting about this New York Times article, “Internet Archive’s Repository Collects Thousands of Books,” by David Streitfeld. In short, Brewster Kahle, who founded the Internet Archive, wants to “collect one [physical] copy of every book in existence” and has already spent $3 million building his repository. I have to say, I do feel a little better about the future now (which, for me, is saying something!).

I love Bruce Weber’s picture of Shalom Harlow reading:

Charles Vess‘s Book of Ballads has been accepted into the Library of Congress. For more details and to see some of the gorgeous pages, read Irene Gallo’s article here.

The Writers’ Corner.

If you’ve ever wondered if your publisher loses money if your book doesn’t earn out its advance, Chip MacGregor breaks it down for you. Interesting stuff! Via.

Neil Gaiman reminded readers this week about Teresa Nielsen Hayden’s instructive post on how writers have responded (poorly) to editors’ rejections. She also includes a list of fourteen reasons editors and slush-readers reject a manuscript (the first ten account for 95-99% of rejections). Go read it, writers!

Also, Gaiman shared some thoughts about writing on his blog.

Susan K. Perry talks about 10 Types of Rotten Writing Advice. Via.

♦ In the category of “disturbing but fascinating,” Tim Barribeau posted an article about why people sometimes gouge out their eyes (and it’s not because of Oedipal complexes or religious guilt). Also, loneliness can be deadly.

In the category of “I want one of these inside my house,” why is it always California that has cool stuff like a 24-hour cupcake-dispensing ATM?

Patrick Smith designed minimalist posters visually expressing six mental disorders, and they’re pretty spot on (click here to download PDFs of all the designs). Below are the two that spoke to me the most, which you can click to see larger. (I’d seen the first versions of these posters about two years ago, but they came back to my attention recently via.

♦ I couldn’t wait until Friday to share this video, which just cracked me up. Nathan Fillion and Tim Daly are pretty awesome. Also, I can’t believe Tim Daly has an adult son! Via.

Caitlín R. Kiernan has a new novel coming out this month, The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, which I’m excited about (a new Kiernan book is always cause for excitement). Below is the book trailer, which is exceptionally lovely (directed by Kiernan with photography by Kyle Cassidy and Brian Siano).

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