Wednesday, June 27, 2007

a couple of things...

I received two books in the mail in the last 24 hours. One is as close to a biography of Kate & Anna McGarrigle as we're ever likely to see. It's called Kate and Anna McGarrigle: songs & stories (published by Penumbra Press) and it's a lovely thing. Sort of a scrapbook covering their whole life (lives?) with photos and clippings from their career, and the lyrics to their songs. But that's not all. It comes with another book which is a songbook containing more than 30 of those songs, with music and guitar chords. Excellent.
I'm only counting this as one book though. The second book is entitled Goodbye Gutenberg, written (and designed) by Valerie Kirschenbaum. Ms Kirschenbaum is a teacher who was asked one day, "Why aren't our books in colour like these old books were?" They were looking at The Canterbury Tales at the time. She didn't know, so she researched it. Novels, poetry and the like (literature, if you will) was published in black print on white pages, but cookbooks and other genres were heavily illustrated, and coloured. And the price was comparable! So it wasn't a question of cost! She wrote this book to describe the potential for a revolution in publishing, and as a call to others to write/design books that would utilize all the tools at hand. Her book is illustrated on every page, with clippings from olde volumes, she even designed her own font (she calls it booklady). It is apparently the first font designed by a female writer in 500 years! There's a section on the need for female fonts!
Anyway...both books (or all three, I guess) state a very clear message about creativity. And they are wonderful things to behold in their own right.
Check out Penumbra Press and have a look at Goodbye Gutenburg here:

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