Saturday, May 1, 2010
On the topic of labor and profit (and a whole lot more), Here's Chris Ware's rejected cover illustration for the May 2010 issue of Fortune 500. Click the picture to make it bigger and take a close look. Hilarious, heartbreaking, and all too true.
Friday, April 30, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
We would always prefer to sell you a book, but we are pleased to announce that Green Apple is now ready to meet all your head warming needs.
That's right, come spring winds, summer fog, fall fun, or winter winds, the Green Apple beanie will keep you warm AND help keep Green Apple's brilliant booksellers employed.
At only $9.95, it's the perfect gift for any literate San Franciscan with a cold head.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
A few years ago, we started an occasional series in our email newsletter: an original essay by a writer called "Why I Read." We've been reprinting them on the blog on occasion (see below for links to others).
Today's comes from Peter Carlson, who wrote a fine and funny book called K Blows Top. It was our Book of the Month back in June 2009 (my blurb on the book is here; or pre-order the paperback here--it's due in about a month). Without further ado, here's why Peter Carlson reads:
I read to be entertained and enlightened, amazed and amused.
I read to hear great stories and encounter fascinating minds. I read to fall asleep and I read to wake up. I read to learn how the world works, how the other half lives, how we got in this mess and how we can get out. I read to find out what happened yesterday, and also to find out what happened in the Big Bang and the Black Plague and the Black Sox scandal. I read because reading transports me through time and space and I don’t even have to get out of my chair, except to pour more coffee.
When I was in kindergarten, I fell in love with the delightful rhythm and music and wordplay of Dr. Seuss and ever since then I’ve been reading in the hopes of finding a book that made me feel as ecstatic as the good Dr. did. Seuss led me to the zany comic verse of my next literary hero, Ogden Nash. My search for Nash poems led me to anthologies of American humor, where I discovered Mark Twain and William Saroyan, and I haven’t been the same since.
I love how one book leads to another and another and another in a never-ending chain of discovery. I read to satisfy my curiosity, but my curiosity is insatiable, so I keep on reading.
I read everything--newspapers, magazines, novels, poems, biographies, history, e-mail, junk mail, and the backs of cereal boxes, although the quality of cereal box literature ain’t what it used to be. I also read the wisdom inside fortune cookies, always adding the customary implied ending “in bed,” which inevitably improves the message. I also enjoy reading FBI files, in which words, lines, sometimes entire pages are blacked out by G-man censors—a heavy-handed, backhanded tribute to the power of words.
I love the moment when something an author wrote in another time and place makes me burst out laughing. And I treasure the moments when I’ve watched people riding the Metro in Washington read my newspaper stories and laugh out loud. That’s a better award than a Pulitzer Prize, although less lucrative.
Of course, it was my love of reading that led me to start writing in the first place. And attempting to write inevitably gives you a deeper appreciation for what you read. But there is a downside, as any honest writer will admit: You read something that’s really good and you think, Damn, I wish I’d written that.
I‘ve just published a new book —“K Blows Top,” a non-fiction comedy about Nikita Khrushchev’s bizarre adventures in America. I’ll be thrilled if readers think, Damn, I wish I’d written that. The only thing better would be hearing them laugh out loud.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Where Childhood Went
The teeth sold to the fairies
are tombstones in the graveyard of the fireflies.
By their cold caught light
you can make out the big house submerged
in the backyard creek,
thought-minnows spinning in motes in the attic.
The lovely young parents, so long preserved,
are showing signs of rot;
the kitten named Princess, signs
of invisibility. But look, the old dolls
are doing well; they smile and smile.
And the witch? Darling, the witch was real.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
But this is his first book ever! The book he waited twenty years into his career to publish. The book Bolaño himself said, "the only novel that doesn't embarrass me is Antwerp."
Here is what I will say: Just today opened my locker to see a small, black, hardcover book with gold foil stamping on the front (the picture to the left does no justice). I turned the book to look at the spine to see in the same gold foil stamping ND.
So I spent my breaks reading the first 20 pages of this magical book and trying to figure out just what to make of it. . . .
Well, I'm loving it, though I can see what Bolaño means in his introduction when he says, "I never brought this novel to any publishing house, of course. They would've slammed the door in my face and I'd have lost the copy."
All that Bolaño will later write is in this small, concise, beautiful surrealist murder mystery that travels countries and continents and literary borders.