Bookishness: Week of November 28, 2011

No sleep please, we’re novelists We’ve entered the final days of National Novel Writing Month. Particpants have until Wednesday night at 11:59:59 to finish the mandated 50,000 words that will mark their works as novels according to the people at NaNoWriMo. Anyone needing inspiration for these final laps might want to try Written? Kitten! (via Huff Post Books), or, for even more motivation, this list of actual published books that started their lives as NaNoWriMo projects. Also, you should probably not be reading this right now. To work!

Ooh baby, I love your big words This past week The Literary Review announced the finalists for their 2011 Bad Sex in Fiction Award. Among this year’s finalists are Haruki Murakami for 1Q84 (“A freshly made ear and a freshly made vagina look very much alike.”) and Stephen King for 11.22.63 (“‘Ohmygodyes,’ she said and I laughed. She opened her eyes and looked up at me with curiosity and hopefulness. ‘Is it over, or is there more?’”). The winner will be announced December 6th.

Why the Mac is happy This essay on Susan Kare, a designer who was instrumental in giving Apple its graphic personality with her early font and icon designs, is charming. Featuring pages from her sketchbook, early designs for her icons drawn on graph paper with each square serving as a pixel, this essay links the digital, something often experienced as rigid and remote, with the warmth and pull of the human, which seems to be exactly what Kare has spent her career doing. As a friend of mine said, “She deserves our thanks and a hug.” Kare has just published a book of 80 of her favourite icons from 1983 to 2011, Susan Kare Icons, which is available on her website, along with limited edition prints of many of her icons (I’m coveting the cup of coffee).

OCAD book fair poster

Just what you need, an excuse to buy more books But they’re handmade! This Saturday is OCAD’s 27th annual Book Arts Fair. From 10 am to 5 pm you can peruse the work of “artists, printmakers, bookbinders and others involved in creating handmade books and paper, zines and small press publications” and quite probably pick up some bookish gifts, for yourself or others. At OCAD’s Great Hall, 100 McCaul St in Toronto.

Speaking of gifts The Toronto Standard has suggested gifts for the bibliophile(s – I’m guessing there are many) on your list. That takes care of most of the people on my list, but now for the hard work – what to get the non-bookish types I know. Curses.