Edward Lear, a contemporary of Lewis Carroll, helped pave the way for the popularity of literary nonsense. We remember him for such works as Book of Nonsense, Nonsense Alphabets, and Nonsense Botany. He is also said to have doted on his cat. So it’s no surprise that Edward Gorey was a fan. This edition of Mr. Lear’s The Jumblies ($15) is illustrated by Mr. Gorey himself. It was one of Gorey’s favorites, and he dedicated his drawings to Lear’s cat.
Price: $15 (Buy Now)
For the (slightly) nerdy music-lover is the handmade Recycled Vinyl Record Journal ($50). Hand-bound, hand-cut and hand-drilled, this journal measures 5 x 7 inches, uses the coptic binding method, and includes 120 blank white pages (counting front and back) – perfect for recording one’s music notes or writing potential lyrics.
Price: $50 (Buy Now)
Looking for a gift for the crafty bibliophile in your life? Try Book Repair for Booksellers: A Handy Guide for Booksellers and Book Collectors Offering Practical Advice on How to Improve the Quality and Look of Your Books and Ephemera ($16). Wow, that’s quite a title, and admittedly, we had to look up the word ephemera. This 90-page guide is reportedly the go-to reference for many bookshop owners, and its contents offer tips and tricks for simple cleanups and repairs – so she won’t have to pass over that copy of Catch-22 at a garage sale just because a high school student wrote in the margins, or decide whether or not the library pocket in a hardcover Vonnegut at a basement sale is a deal-breaker (as if!).
Price: $16 (Buy Now)
This out-of-print guide to classic video games may set you back a pretty penny due to the recent attention it’s been getting on the web. Written by British novelist Martin Amis and published in 1982 with an introduction by Steven Spielberg, it’s a strangely awesome find: Invasion of the Space Invaders: An Addict’s Guide to Battle Tactics, Big Scores and the Best Machines ($194-$300, used). Word is, the book is an admixture of the author’s literary style and practical gaming advice. Huzzah! [Via.]
This just in: Austin Kleon’s new book, Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative ($11) is now available in stores. And if you purchase your copy by midnight Feb. 28, 2012, you can enter to win an 11×14 framed limited edition print of one of Kleon’s newspaper blackout poems. The contest details are here. Kleon calls his book a “manifesto for creativity in the digital age.” Seth Godin says: “Breezy and fun and yes, scary. Scary because it calls your bluff.” We’ve been big fans of Kleon’s work over the past few years, and we’re really excited about this book. [Photo courtesy of Austin Kleon.]
McAllen, Texas-based artist Susan Hoerth collects random objects as she travels, transforms them into fine-art curios, and sells them via The Abandoned Attic. Her work is marvelous. Seriously, go visit her Etsy store. Pictured here is An Altered Book: Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen ($200). It ships ready to be hung on the wall of the (slightly) nerdy girl in your life.
When two of our favorite living authors – Michael Chabon and Jonathan Safran Foer – give advance praise for a novel, we take notice. Details one generally takes into consideration before buying a book, such as subject matter and style, become irrelevant. We don’t even need to browse the first few pages. We’re sold. The book is The Flame Alphabet ($26).
Is any book collection really complete without The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification ($20)? No way! The author of this guide truly answered a higher calling when she devised and published an elaborate classification system for abandoned shopping carts, complete with full-color photographs. If the (slightly) nerdy girl in your life enjoys books, nature, shopping carts or laughing, she’ll probably be pleased to add this to her library. (Scouted by Taffie.)
Bibliophiles rave about this book about books: At Home with Books: How Booklovers Live and Care for Their Libraries ($60). Its 256 pages are filled with daydream-worthy photos of gorgeous book collections, along with practical advice on starting your own collection and organizing your library. Warning: if you’re buying this as a gift, you might want to buy a copy for yourself, too.