Inspire your heart with cover art

Today is Inspire Your Heart with Art Day, and so today, wherever you maybe, get out and see some inspiring art.  Most cities have public art, or galleries, but a well-kept garden is also art.  So too, are book covers, music and magazine covers. Or at least they used to be.  Granted there is marketing going on, but take a wander through your local bookstore or library and check out the art of the cover.

For anyone interested in Classic American covers, check out Richard Minsky’s book published in Oct of 2010. It sold out its first run of 2000 copies immediately, but they have since reprinted.  Chock full of beautiful covers from the late 19th and early 20th century.  Really, does it get any better than this . . . .

Published in: on January 31, 2011 at 8:23 AM  Leave a Comment  
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The Digital Innovation Awards are right around the corner — make your voice heard

The Bookseller announces the first, biannual, Digitial Innovation Awards

The first ever awards for ‘digital innovation’ across publishing will celebrate how the trade is embracing the future. The awards will run biannually and all category winners will go through to compete for the Digital Innovation award at The Bookseller’s Industry Awards in May.

The aim of the awards

We want to highlight and celebrate professionals across the trade who are doing the real work to facilitate digital innovation. Those working late nights to launch websites, devise Twitter campaigns, edit video trailers, establishing partnerships and more. We also want to showcase new products and ideas, and help demonstrate how they will help shape the future of publishing, reading and learning.

These awards will be held every six months and category winners will receive a certificate and a bottle of champagne at a FutureBook drinks evening. All winners will go through to the Industry Awards held in May.

The details

There are seven individual categories and nominees may be from any part of the world. To make an entry you must log on. The sponsors are heavy hitters, such as Ingram and OverDrive, and the panel of judges (13 — but only 3 women) come from varied backgrounds, such as Waterstones, Google, Wiley, and HarperCollins.  Alas, no one has stated the vintage or maker of the champagne to offered to a DIA winner.  May we suggest a Piper-Heidsieck Rare 2002?  If you’re going to enter, it has to be worth winning!

Published in: on January 28, 2011 at 8:09 AM  Leave a Comment  
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UK libraries are on the out, the check out that is

The following is a list of the top 50 books checked out by UK Libraries in 2010.  The list is composed of books that are front list books (book released within the last year). It’s interesting because it shows you just how many people are still opting to check out their new books from their local library rather than buy.

According to the article in The Bookseller, the top 1,000 most checked out books accounted for 40 million checkouts, or 1 checkout for every person in the UK. And this was only the 1,000 most checkout books! And our favorite of the top 50? Number 50!

Library 2010 Top 50
Pos    Title                            Author                      Check-outs
1       The Lost Symbol    Brown, Dan              183,000
2          Gone Tomorrow Child, Lee              149,000
3         61 Hours Child, Lee                 141,000
4           I, Alex Cross Patterson, James    139,000
5    Wolf Hall Mantel, Hilary            134,000
6    The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest Larsson, Stieg    133,000

7    Silent Scream La Plante, Lynda             128,000

8    8th Confession Patterson, James           128,000
9    The Return Journey Binchy, Maeve               128,000
10    The Complaints Rankin, Ian                    127,000
11    Hard Girls Cole, Martina                   127,000
12    Run for Your Life Patterson, James         127,000
13    Swimsuit Patterson, James         125,000
14    Cross Country Patterson, James    124,000
15    The Associate Grisham, John    122,000
16    206 Bones Reichs, Kathy                  122,000
17    Nine Dragons Connelly, Michael             122,000
18    The Girl Who Played with Fire Larsson, Stieg    122,000
19    Long Lost Coben, Harlan                    121,000
20    The Scarecrow Connelly, Michael              114,000
21    In Time for Christmas Flynn, Katie                  114,000
22    Doors Open Rankin, Ian                 113,000
23    Heart and Soul Binchy, Maeve             112,000
24    Sail Patterson, James            110,000
25    The White Queen Gregory, Philippa    110,000
26    Girl Missing Gerritsen, Tess                110,000
27    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Larsson, Stieg    109,000
28    The Fever of the Bone McDermid, Val                 108,000
29    Play Dead Coben, Harlan    107,000
30    Keeping the Dead Gerritsen, Tess    107,000
31    Twenties Girl Kinsella, Sophie    107,000
32    Aliens Love Underpants! Freedman, Claire    107,000
33    The Bodies Left Behind Deaver, Jeffery    106,000
34    Picture Perfect Picoult, Jodi             106,000
35    Born Bad Cox, Josephine              104,000
36    Paths of Glory Archer, Jeffrey              103,000
37    The Gruffalo Donaldson, Julia    102,000
38    Found Wanting Goddard, Robert    101,000
39    Stolen Pearse, Lesley              101,000
40    It’s the Little Things James, Erica    101,000
41    Genesis Slaughter, Karin    100,000
42    All the Colours of Darkness Robinson, Peter    100,000
43    The Price of Love Robinson, Peter    100,000
44    First Family Baldacci, David    99,000
45    The Scarpetta Factor Cornwell, Patricia    99,000
46    Worst Case Patterson, James    99,000
47    The Front Cornwell, Patricia    99,000
48    The Brass Verdict Connelly, Michael    99,000
49    Bloodline Billingham, Mark    98,000
50    Folly Titchmarsh, Alan    98,000
* Based on Nielsen LibScan Top 1,000 data for the year to 1st January 2011. LibScan now covers approxaimtely 20% of all UK library loans but the figures above have been weighted to more actually relfect 100% coverage

Published in: on January 27, 2011 at 8:05 AM  Leave a Comment  
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Sometimes you need to understand the baboons in your garden are your friends

For anyone that missed it, a new, early-ripening, extra sweet tangerine, has been found.  Nature produced the mutation, and nature had to point it out to mankind.  We speak of course about the single tree, in the midst of thousands, that a group or baboons have been raiding year after year on the property of South African farmer Alwyn van der Merwe.

This discovery means his fruit will be first to market, and, better tasting.  But the upshot of it all is, everyone’s got a baboon now and then.  The key to success is knowing baboons in your garden don’t mean you need to run for your shotgun. They mean hidden treasure.

Published in: on January 26, 2011 at 8:24 AM  Leave a Comment  
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Hello Young Lovers wherever you are . . . it is St Dwynwen’s Day

“Nothing wins hearts like cheerfulness”—St Dwynwen

January 25th is  St. Dwynwen’s Day in Wales. St. Dwynwen is the Welsh patron saint of lovers. In her special area of patronage, love, it is said her intercessions will always be granted of God in favor of all true-hearted lovers, so that they should either obtain the object of their affections or else be cured of their passion.

The 14 foot hight Celtic cross above, at Llanddwyn, was placed by the Hon. FG Wynn of Glynllivon, son of the 3rd Lord Newborough, in 1903. No word on whether he put up the cross asking for help obtaining his true love’s heart, or put up the cross as a thank you for help successfully granted.

Published in: on January 25, 2011 at 8:09 AM  Leave a Comment  
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Prepare to celebrate The Bard! No, not Shakespeare, the other Bard, Robert Burns!

For those of you that have not yet marked your calendars, tomorrow night is Burns Night, the annual celebration of the Ploughman Poet, lyricist, folk song collector, rake, and all around party animal, Robert Burns (b. Jan 25, 1759).

O my Luve’s like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve’s like the melodie
That’s sweetly play’d in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry:

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun:
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only Luve
And fare thee weel, a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho’ it were ten thousand mile.


This rather famous song, attributed to Burns, was actually something he heard a woman singing. It was a folk song he’d collected but just as fine for that!

Published in: on January 24, 2011 at 8:02 AM  Leave a Comment  
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Words Well Worth Contemplating this Weekend

We’ll finish out this week with more by Dr May, but with which we think Dr King would have whole-heartedly agreed.

[S]pirituality has to do with the fundamental propelling forces of our lives, our most profound loves, passions and concerns. As such, it is the wellspring of our sense of meaning and of our will to live, the source of our deepest desires, values and dreams. Spirituality, then, is not a thing apart from our daily lives, but rather a part of all our emotions, relationships, work, and everything else we consider meaningful.

[I]t is . . . absolutely ordinary and completely natural. Everyone has a spiritual life . . . .like a deep ocean current, often unseen but flowing through all our experience, moving us to seek fulfillment and connectedness, impelling us towards truth, goodness and beauty. As William Wordsworth said, it is something “deeply interfused” that “rolls through all things.”

Spirituality is the living heart of all the great world religions. Each faith tradition in its own way proclaims that the essence of spirituality is love. The Christian expression is in the two great commandments: to love God with one’s whole self and to love one’s neighbor as oneself.

We will not finally come to love God, our neighbors, our planet or ourselves by means of what we learn to do or accomplish on our own. Instead, we must receive the truth that will set us free, be guided in the good actions that truly serve our neighbors and world, and be given an appreciation of the beauty within and around us. Only as this happens, only as we let God lead the divine dance, can we more fully participate in God’s loving presence in and for the world.

The original Shalem Institute lecture on contemplative spirituality is well worth reading, but too long for a post. The Shalem Institute specializes in helping people of all traditions develop a connection with the Divine.

Published in: on January 21, 2011 at 8:30 AM  Leave a Comment  
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