The Companionship of Art and Writing
October 16, 2011

The Penguin Classics new series of designs for some of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s books are why I will likely never buy an e-reader.  

I was home last Monday night, curled up on the sofa. It was past dark, and the knock on the door when I wasn’t expecting anyone startled me and scared the cats. Nervously, I opened and peeked out the front door to find a box sitting to the side of it. Obviously UPS or FedEx had come and gone. Gleefully—for who doesn’t like a gift left on the porch?—I opened it to find a batch of about a dozen books from Penguin Classics.

I always like packages from them, but what I found in this package took my breath away. Their senior cover designer for the Penguin Classics line is London-based Coralie Bickford-Smith, a woman of extraordinary talents. Among her breathtaking designs are the Great Food series (which anyone is welcome to gift me), the Hardbacks, the Paperbacks, Gothic Horror, Sherlock Holmes, Boys’ Adventure, Red, Irish Poetry, the various Clothbound series (one, two, three, four, Arabian Nights, miscellaneous), and the newest, and one of the most spectacular in the line, F. Scott Fitzgerald.


Three of those six were what caught my breath when I pulled them out of the box. These are gentle metallics that shimmer with soft radiance. Like Fitzgerald’s writing. If you are a Fitzgerald fan—you should be—or if you know someone who is, consider these books as a gift for the upcoming holiday season. These are true works of art. And I refer both to the covers and to the stories.

Upcoming Book Festivals and Fairs:
Lots of book festivals coming up this week and next weekend. Is there one in your area? Check below.

Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Site: Various venues in downtown Madison

Festival: Wisconsin Book Festival
Date: October 19-23
From 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, early one hundred authors including Chris Bohjalian and Judy Collins in the areas of Children’s, Cookbooks, Fiction, Local, Nonfiction, Other, Teen, and Travel will gather to share their books and their stories with attendees at this fair. There will also be stage plays, film screenings, a song tour, hands-on workshops, feature spoken word performances, story time for children, book art, the Friday Night Festival of Fiction, and more.

Location: Ketchum, Idaho 

Site: Community Library

Festival: Ernest Hemingway Symposium
Date: October 20-22
This year’s theme is “Hemingway and Women,” and the presenters will explore how the women in his life influenced Hemingway and his work and how his writing and his public persona influenced how women were and are perceived. Eight speakers ranging from a playwright to a scholar will present talks; there will also be film screenings, a symposium reception, a Hemingway Haunts tour, a Silver Creek Preserve Nature Walk, and more. And they are all free.

Location: Columbus, Mississippi 

Site: Mississippi University for Women

Festival: Eudora Welty Writers’ Symposium
Date: October 20-22
A dozen authors will be making appearances to share their thoughts on Ms. Welty and this year’s theme, “Crossing Cultures in the South: 'into the lovely room full of strangers’,” which has been taken from her short story “The Bride of Innisfallen.” All are free and open to the public.

Location: Keene, New Hampshire 

Site: Keene State College

Festival: Children's Literature Festival
Date: October 22
Five well-known authors and illustrators in the world of children’s literature will be appearing during this one day festival. There is also a mid-day lunch and a reception following where books and festival items will be available for sale.

Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Site: Carlisle Expo Center

Festival: Celebrate the Book
Date: October 22
From 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, attendees can indulge themselves in a day of books. Special guest David Baldacci heads up the more than thirty authors and nine publishers who will be appearing in talks and panels throughout the day. For children and young adults, there is a special Celebrity Story Time where various local celebrities from all fields will be reading from their favorite books. There will also be stage performances, and an appearance and demonstration by a bookbinder.

Location: St. Petersburg, Florida 

Site: University of South Florida

Festival: St. Petersburg Times Festival of Reading
Date: October 22
Nearly fifty authors and even more exhibitors will be there to talk, share, sign, and sell books to all enthusiastic book lovers and readers. The schedule is a busy but good one. So be there because it’s all free.

Location: Carlisle, Pennsylvania 

Site: Duke Energy Convention Center

Festival: Books by the Banks
Date: October 22
Chris Bohjalian, Judy Collins, Matthew Reinhart, and Dennis Lehane will be heading a list of nearly one hundred authors and illustrators in the areas of children’s. cookbooks, fiction, local, nonfiction, other, teen, and travel categories. A K12 Kids Corner will have a full day of entertainment, story times, author readings, character strolling meet-and-greets, and crafts. It takes place from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, and is all free.

Location: Austin, Texas 

Site: State Capitol and surrounding venues

Festival: Texas Book Festival
Date: October 22-23
Nearly 250 authors and eighty vendors will be appearing at this two-day festival in honor of the book. This free festival will include not only talks, panels, presentations, and signings by visiting authors but a huge number of activities and entertainment for children.  A LitCrawl (see below) will be part of it as will cooking demonstrations. There is literally something here for everyone.

Location: Austin, Texas
Site: Various venues 

Festival: LitCrawl Austin
Date: October 22
Offered in collaboration with the Texas Book Festival (above), this is a special literary night for adults that will feature a number of writers on stage and in conversation all over town. Six different events will run from 8:00 – 8:50 pm, and five from 9:00 – 9:50. If you are in Austin, don’t miss this one.

Location: Stafford, Texas 

Site: Stafford Centre

Festival: Houston Vintage Book, Paper & Postcard Show
Date: October 22-23
Thirty-nine dealers in antique books and related ephemera will be here for two days (10:00 am to 6:00 pm on Saturday, and 10:00 am to 4:00 pm on Sunday) with plenty of gorgeous things. Admission is only $3.50, which is good for both days.

Location: Charleston, West Virginia 

Site: Charleston Civic Center

Festival: West Virginia Book Festival
Date: October 22-23
Calling itself a “two-day book bash,” this festival is all revved up to entice booklovers from all over Virginia. It will run on Saturday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, and on Sunday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. Nearly sixty vendors and an unstated number of authors (including Lee Child and Jaimy Gordon) will be appearing. There will also be a used book sale and a special Word Play area for children.

Location: Albany, New York 

Site: Washington Avenue Armory

Festival: Albany Antiquarian Book Fair
Date: October 23
A full day, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm awaits attendees who have an interest in antiquarian and out of print books, manuscripts, autographs, postcards, posters, photographs, and ephemera. More than sixty dealers will be there to chat and sell. Admission is only $6.

The Pub House:
Oceanview Publishing is an independent house specializing in original mystery, thriller, and suspense books. They opened in 2006 and have, in five years, amassed a reputation for high quality. Fly by Night, due out November 1, begins when a top secret CIA drone crashes in the Horn of Africa. When evidence surfaces that indicates the wreckage was captured and lies hidden in the hidden hanger of a shady cargo airline, an investigator sent to investigate finds himself caught in the middle of a conspiracy that threatens to tear the region apart and engulf America in its death throes. And Then There Was One explores every family’s deepest nightmare: the unexplained disappearance of children. This psychological suspense story delves into one family’s issues and fears when two of their three identical twins disappears while in a movie theatre and their parents plus the remaining twin must cope not only with the horror of the act but the possibility that it may not have been a random act. And for music fans, South Beach Shakedown, the third in a series, takes suspense into the music industry when a songwriting legend mysteriously disappears just as he is about to turn his career into a profit. Nightclubs, speedboats, sniper fire, mobsters: it’s all here and the only question is who will win.

Imaging Books & Reading:
Messy, yes, but definitely artistic. If only my overstuff bookshelves had this kind of personality! (Click on the image to enlarge it.)

Of Interest:
Determinedly low tech, the Singing Wind Bookshop has no website, does no advertising, isn’t on a paved road, but it does have 600 acres of land surrounding it. And that’s just the way it should be says81-year-old Winifred Bundy, who recently shared her story about this unique bookstore in Arizona.

Until next week, read well, read often and read on!




Contact Us || Site Map || RSS || Article Search || © 2006 - 2012 BiblioBuffet