This month at Diesel, we’re celebrating Beautiful Books. Books not just as things you can read, but as glorious objects—for example, ones that fit in the palm of your hand, a style John Evans pays tribute to:
I’ve always loved the intimacy of smaller format books, that fit in the hand, in the pocket, in the eye. Books are ultimately a subtle magic composed of ink, paper, and light. Whether reading Emerson’s essays in a used compact edition published by Collins–the original Collins, from Glasgow, Scotland–or the first reading of Whitman‘s Leaves of Grass in an equivalent American publisher’s seductive and handy edition, I’ve been hooked on this delicate crafting of books for the itinerant traveler.
Read the rest of his appreciation here, and check out the videos we’ll be adding throughout the month, such as Cheryl‘s exploration of texture:
Here’s what we’re reading this week at Diesel!
Anna in Brentwood
A Good Man Is Hard to Find
By Flannery O’Connor
If you’ve never read it, the title story will provide one of the biggest literary shocks of your life. I’m still reeling!
Geo in Brentwood
Nature and Selected Essays
By Ralph Waldo Emerson
Emerson’s essays are staunch defenses of individualism. They are each positive and affirming, and they are just as powerful read in today’s society as in Emerson’s time.
Grant in Oakland
Perfecting Sound Forever
By Greg Milner
This topic could very easily be boring, but in Milner’s hands it’s totally not. He brings a lot of fascinating social history, such as race relations, into his narrative of recorded music.
John Peck in Oakland
Martyrology Books 1 & 2
I’m rereading this gorgeous epic poem from the late Canadian experimentalist. In case you doubt the depth of my feelings for this book: I have a tattoo of the second to last illustration on my left arm.
Miles in Malibu
The Amazing Adventures of a Marginally Successful Musician
By Bill Cinque
A hilarious look at the joys, wonders, and harsh realities of being a professional musician, as told by someone who’s been in the business over 30 years. A must read for all musicians, or anyone unfortunate enough to have to deal with one on a regular basis.
Our addiction to chart porn continues to find stimulus in Lapham’s Quarterly‘s fantastic exploration of great geniuses’—including writers such as Mary Shelley, Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, and J.D. Salinger—more, uh, personal connections. (Click on the image to enlarge.) And of course, it all comes back to Kevin Bacon. No, really for reals: Ralph Waldo Emerson and the actor are only four steps apart. Think about that the next time you’re watching Tremors on cable.