Monday, August 15, 2011

Required Reading (no. 3)

Exploring the short form right now. It seems an apt reflection of this flickering-attention-span world. And the low commitment can pay off with high returns.

Two favorites from anthologies we're reading now:

Orange by Neil Gaiman
Featured in: My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: Forty New Fairy Tales
Edited by Kate Bernheimer, 2010
A modern book with a moth-eaten soul, this compendium features fairy tales re-told and re-imagined as never before, by authors such as Aimee Bender and Neil LaBute. Orange unfolds the story of an annoying-little-sister-turned-21st-century-deity in unusual and mesmerizing form: through responses to a written investigator's questionnaire.

how I contemplated the world from the Detroit House of Correction and started my life over again by Joyce Carol Oates
Featured in: Anti-Story: an anthology of experimental fiction
Edited by Philip Stevick, 1971
Another work exploring the boundaries of form, Oates' disturbingly raw and disjointed outline of a narrative leads us down an adolescent girl's dark, delinquent path. As relevant today as it was decades ago, Anti-Story is structured into sections such as Against Mimesis (fiction about fiction), Against Reality (the uses of fantasy) and Against Meaning (forms of the absurd). Can't wait to read more.

We also geeked out at Old Tampa Book Company this past weekend and picked up some fun items to stack the shelves:

Star Trek Concordance has amazing costume and scenery sketches inside, plus a working cover wheel allowing fans to look up original episodes by Air Date or Star Date. We're using "geeked out" in the literal sense here.

Live long and prosper.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Tired + Inspired

The Art House Co-op Sketchbook Project stopped off in Winter Park, FL, this year, to our great pleasure. Artists from around the world contributed some 10,000 sketchbooks to this mobile art library, permanently housed in Brooklyn, NY. At each stop on the road tour, visitors signed up to receive library cards and check out hand-crafted volumes, two at a time.

Our first discovery: Christina Choffe from France interprets sleeplessness.

A lovely, minimalist book by Samantha Sng from Singapore, on the theme of Secret Codes, fell into our hands by chance:

Sng writes, "Fight not what is in front of you, but what comes from behind. Weariness is but another intangible notion. When one is invincible, it is hard pressed for one to ever be knocked down. Down or out."

The sketchbook stacks seemed endless. Children, seniors, artists and students flocked to Full Sail University to dig into them. Soon we'll show and tell you more about Art House Co-op's inspiring project, including our plans to bring it to the Tampa Bay area next year. But for now, sleep beckons. Weariness has become tangible. Close the book.