November 08, 2008

Death At Their Elbows!

In TadMack's post below, she mentions Jen's great post over at ForeWord about fostering a love of books and reading in children. My mother was highly successful in that regard, for which I'm sure she is eternally happy; but I'm not sure she would expect my love of books to extend to a fondness for cheesy and antiquated book titles.

Where's this coming from, you ask? Well, one of the projects keeping me from blogging this week is a commissioned holiday card for the most excellent artist, Jim Rosenau. He creates sculptures from old books, and as a result, he's also got a rather large collection of old, musty dust jackets. For the holiday card, I've carved a linoleum block with an interesting quote ("No furniture so charming as books") which I will print over the dust jackets--everyone will therefore have a rather different version of the card. (Usually we printmakers call that an edition variée, but this is so variée I'm not sure it qualifies).

Anyway, some of these book covers are HIGHLY amusing, so I decided to make a list of the best ones and keep it here for posterity. Clearly Mr. Rosenau has a talent for collecting these.


  • Doctor Come Quickly!

  • Till Fish Us Do Part: The Confessions of a Fisherman's Wife

  • The NEW Can-Opener Cookbook

  • Strange Animals I Have Known

  • Be Glad You're Neurotic

  • This Wonderful World of Trout

  • Jobs for All Through Industrial Expansion

  • How Never to be Tired (or Two Lifetimes in One)

  • Green Hell ("The classic account of four men who walked with death at their elbows through the dense, shimmering, fatally beautiful jungles of Bolivia.")

  • Eat Your Troubles Away

  • Working with Tools for Fun & Profit

  • Artists and People

  • The Way of a Dog

  • How to Build a Record Library

  • Cook, My Darling Daughter


Strangely, there was also a dust jacket for a rather recent YA novel, which I think I may have reviewed ages ago--The Book of Fred by Abby Bardi. Anyway, I'm rather enjoying this project, though I think I need to find a copy of How Never to be Tired.

SHAMELESS PLUG WARNING--if you're interested in a block-printed holiday card, I need to make arrangements before the end of the month! So please do e-mail me if you're interested. Contact info is on my website. OK, shameless plug is officially over.

7 comments:

TadMack said...

HAHAHAHA!
Oh, I am glad that I'm neurotic, and thank you very much indeed for that!

The idea of block-printed cards are very cool. Do you have an example up at your site?

adrienne said...

TadMack, I was totally going to say the same thing, although goodness knows I also like to try to Eat My Troubles Away from time-to-time.

Alyssa said...

That How to Never Be Tired book would be very useful right now! Especially heading into the holidays.

The Lodge said...

I can explain "The Book of Fred". Though it is much more modern than typical for my feedstock, I collect people's names for commissioned pieces -- IF the title is sufficiently open ended. In this case, I may make it into something very personal--my father was a Fred.

Sara said...

"Artists and people." Oooh, that stings. hee, hee, hee.

And "Two Lifetimes in One?" I can't believe anyone was willing to part with their beloved copy!

a. fortis said...

I know, Sara!! Like artists and people are two separate entities. That cracked me up (and also made me wince).

Thanks, Jim, for cruising by and leaving an explanation of the more recent book cover. It just made me stop and look because I'd actually read it! :D

Beth Kephart said...

I am buying that neurotic book, and I am showing it to my husband. Proof at last that he married well.