Reading The Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion. Recently she read Throwim Way Leg: Tree Kangaroos, Possums and Penis Gourds: On the Track of Unknown Mammals in Wildest New Guinea, by Tim F. Flannery, which she really liked. The title--the first part, anyway--is New Guinea pidgin for taking the first step of a long journey.

After the reader and I parted ways in the Mission, I did my own "throwim way leg" and, en route to a pumpkin carving party on Bernal Hill, walked to Center for the Book on Potrero Hill (check out http://www.sfcb.org/) for the opening reception of "50 Books/50 Covers", a "juried selection of the best designed books and covers published in 2006." The show runs through the first of December.

Here's my sister, who started her throwim way leg much earlier in the day with a walk from the Haight to the beach and (part way) back again to Mission where we met up before walking to the event.

It was seeing Didion's book on display that finally drew us (well me, anyway) away from the cheese. I was surprised that it was there. The cover was pretty plain, but, apparently, that in itself was notable. Only one other book did it better--the one to it's left with the peeling off label reading "Brand Hijack marketing without marketing Alex Wipperfurth."

On the other extreme there was People of Paper, by Salvador Plascencia, which not only has a beautiful cover, but also fun things inside like, when the narrator's ex-girlfriend's bad new boyfriend is "mentioned," the name is cut out--there are actual holes in the pages. For example: "She loved" (and then a hole). Last year my sister bought this book to take with her when she went to China for a ceramics residency, but it was so good she read almost the whole thing before she even got on the plane.

And then there was McSweeney's Edition 16 that, instead of taking stuff out, put stuff in. The beautiful fold-out book bound in beige cloth comes with a comb!

(I think McSweeney's also published People of Paper)

1 Comment:

Special K said...

Ah HA! I knew I would see a friend here soon!