Archive for the 'Books' Category

For those of you looking for Christmas books for children, two new translations of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s “The Little Prince” have just been published. The one shown above is a sort of double translation, as it’s a graphic adaptation by Joann Sfar with translation by Sarah Ardizzone. It’s published by Walker Books (who really should credit the […]

Earlier posts this week were about books in translation and books designed by Coralie Bickford-Smith. Coralie also designed Penguin’s Limited Edition Clothbound Classic version of The Arabian Nights, translated by Malcolm Lyons with his wife, Ursula Lyons. The Limited Edition version is no longer available (unless you have over £600 to spend on Amazon). But […]

  In a recent article in the Guardian, Stuart Walton asks: “Do books furnish a room, as Anthony Powell’s Bagshaw insists? Or are they just a massive encumbrance?”. It depends on the book, surely. Any designed by Coralie Beckford-Smith would add beauty and delight to any room. Coralie designs for Penguin, and her books would make […]

Books are always a lovely Christmas present, all the more so if they’re carefully chosen and a wee bit out of the ordinary. Hersilia Press and Peirene Press both specialise in books in translation. Hersilia is “an independent publisher bringing you the best of Italian crime fiction” and Peirene “specializes in contemporary European literature in […]

You know you’ve got problems when you’re flicking through a jewellery catalogue and your eye homes in on the etymology tidbits rather than the diamonds. The tidbit in question comes from the Hamilton and Inches catalogue: The word “carat” when applied to gemstones is a unit of weight. It is a distortion of “carob”: the […]

My last post was about the unexpected pleasures that reading to children can bring – sometimes years afterwards. Another, more immediate added pleasure comes from children’s book illustrations. Here are two examples: The first two are from The Frog Who Wanted to See the Sea, by Guy Billout. And the third, sadly only published as a […]

People talk of reading to young children as being a chore, and of parents rather than children falling asleep at bedtime out of sheer exhaustion. Well, there’s no denying that babies and young children are hard work and that sleep becomes the ultimate luxury. But reading to your kids can be great fun, not just […]

Our next-door neighbours had their first baby a few weeks ago – Isadora, known as Izzi. When our own kids were born, friends and relatives gave us an abundance of (i.e. too many) baby clothes and toys. So we decided to buy Izzi a selection of books to see her from baby bathtime to school […]

…for the purpose of appreciation and categorisation. Or, if you like book covers, a website to get lost in: The Book Cover Archive.  The beautifully designed Archive is run by Ben Pieratt of General Projects and Eric Jacobsen of Whisky Van Gogh Go. You can search the archive by designer, title, author, art director, photographer, illustrator, genre, […]

“Birdsong”, by Sebastian Faulks. UK version (left) and Chinese version (right) A recent Observer newspaper article warns us, Don’t judge a book by its cover, particularly in France. Books are routinely given completely different covers abroad, often with baffling results. This doesn’t just apply to foreign language versions. When I lived in Rome and shopped […]