Category Archives: Holiday

Holiday Crafting with Library Manifesto

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Today being Christmas Eve, it seems an apt time to share some festive literary tree ornaments. I made them using a neat catalog of rare books from the wonderful Honey & Wax Booksellers. The images of first edition book covers, with beautifully designed lettering, ornate borders, and darling details, inspired different variations of a DIY tree decoration. (I also used them as gift tags.)

I like simple crafts and this idea, if you couldn’t already tell, is the simplest. All it took was a circle cutter, scissors, and a little glue. I also used ribbon and baker’s twine for hangers. First, using a circle paper cutter I made a front and back circle, then I glued the ribbon or twine on the inside of the back circle and fastened the top circle over it with glue. For a bit of decoration, I used needle and thread to secure the hanger. I let it dry for a moment, and voila! My tree looked infinitely smarter.

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I saw the cover of this first American edition of Ulysses on display in an exhibit of Ernst Reichl‘s work at Columbia University last year. I love how the title spans the height of the book, with lines stretching up, down and across the cover. A nerdy detail: Including the book’s spine, I found, added dimension.

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This two sided ornament is my favorite. Mitsou is a wordless story of a runaway cat, the picture book was created by the artist Balthus when he was 13 years old. It’s a wonderful reminder of the imagination of young creative minds.

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An even simpler method: Choose a page with compelling books on both sides and a hole punch. This John Keats title page is as immaculate as any traditional tree ornament!

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Wishing you the best holiday season. Thank you for reading. Next week, I’ll have an end of year reading list.

3-D Printing, DOMA and Doughnuts

LM's Best of 2013

Library Manifesto recommends the following blog posts and articles from 2013:

People that use 3-D printers to make guns feature in this (slightly terrifying) video from Vice that shows the use and possible misuse of new technologies.

My friends know of my obsession with doughnuts. My obsession intensified in 2013 after seeing this doughnut-archive collaboration that helped University of Oregon purchase author Ken Kesey’s (“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”) archive.

WITNESS put together this comprehensive guide to digital recording for activists on a tight budget, which is basically every activist.

Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger offered some interesting analysis of Edward Snowden and the public in this A New York Review of Books article.

…But this GIF said it all.

I had a blast at Booklyn Artists Alliance for their 24-Hour Zine Spree.

This slideshow of Edith Windsor and Thea Spyer had me in tears when Defense of Marriage Act was ruled unconstitutional.

NPR’s piece about the anticipated vast media archive of President Obama.

India said goodbye to telegrams.

And the funnest oral history project.

Thank you so much for reading and supporting the blog this year. Happy 2014!

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Reissues that won’t be regifted

media gifts

Library Manifesto’s down-to-the-wire shopping suggestions for film and music.

1. Your special someone who thinks he’s heard it all: “A Band Called Death” DVD

Three teenagers formed the band Death in early-1970s Detroit. Directors Mark Covino and Jeff Howlett argue that they are the world’s first punk band.

2. Drinking buddy who doesn’t think it gets any better than The Beatles:  The Beatles “On Air Live at the BBC Volume 2”

The Beatles recorded hundreds of hours of footage at the BBC. “On Air” compiles performances from what some say was the band’s peak live show.

3. Documentary filmmaker intern you hired to follow you around: “Grey Gardens” on Blu-ray

Criterion Collection digitally restored Grey Gardens, a classic of cinema verite. The touch up gives the Maysles’ film a fresher look but all the quirks of Big Edie and Little Edie stay in tact.

4. Jazzy sister with the best vintage dresses: “Chick Webb & Ella Fitzgerald Decca Sessions (1934-41)”

Mosaic Records compiles the collaborative work of Chick Webb, an innovative drummer nicknamed “The King of Swing,” and the beloved Ella Fitzgerald. The collection sheds some light on the history of jazz.

5. Self gift – cause no one else would get it for you: Scott Walker “Scott: The Collection 1967-1970”

Scott Walker has always been an enigmatic person (he was most often photographed wearing dark sunglasses). This collection will help me get to know him better.

6. Neighbor who loves Turner Classic Movies: “James Dean: Ultimate Collector’s Edition” Blu-ray

Three films that made the icon. East of Eden, Rebel Without a Cause and Giant. Dean outshines today’s leading men.

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Gifts for the Literary Home

Decor Gifts

Library Manifesto suggests these home library gifts for the people in your life.

1. Old roomie devoted to snail mail: Card Catalog: 30 Notecards from the Library of Congress

Chronicle Books and the Library of Congress teamed up to make this box set, 30 note cards that reproduce  the card catalog entries for classic novels in housing that nods to the wooden catalog stations.

2. Brother who doesn’t shy away from color and still keeps books from middle school: Reading Fox Bookends

His dog-eared classics will look newly handsome stored between these foxy bookends.

3.  Crafty mom with a penchant for pretty penmanship: Walden Quilt

A great way to read in bed? A passage from Thoreau’s beloved work is sewn into this quilt created by Comma Workshop.

4. Collector grandmother with a metal detector: Antique Brass Curio Case

This case will keep the dust off of unearthed treasures and ephemera.

5. Hammock-lounging friend with a philanthropic heart: Luci task light

This solar-powered, inflatable lantern seems perfect for nighttime reading on the roof or in the backyard. Bonus: You have the option to buy more lanterns at a discounted rate to give to communities that need nontoxic, off-the-grid light.

6. New lunch buddy with an impressive ability to retell all the stories she’s read: Ideal Bookshelf Gift Certificate

A custom-made painting of all her favorite books will leave her speechless.

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The Gift of Lit

Gift of Lit Library Manifesto

Library Manifesto’s book suggestions for the diverse people in your life.

1. Pen pal with a film fetish: “A Life of Barbara Stanwyck: Steel-True 1907-1940” by Victoria Wilson

Maybe not as well know as some golden-age stars like Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth, or Ginger Rogers, Barbara Stanwyck appeared in some of the greatest movies of the time and always showcased her beauty and brains. New Yorkers can see her films on the big screen this December at Film Forum.

2. Lanky nephew with a future in special collections: “The Mighty Lalouche” by Matthew Olshan (Author) and Sophie Blackall (Illustrator)

This French postman-turned-boxer children’s story wins with charming illustrations. Archival research gives the story some historical backbone.

3. Uncle who doesn’t know the difference between Marvel and D.C.: “Super Graphic A Visual Guide to the Comic Book Universe” By Tim Leong

Comic con veteran and clueless novices will get a laugh from the way Leong has organized the worlds of superheros and villains into info-graphics.

4. Boyfriend’s equal parts bookish and artistic dad: “Journey to the Abyss” by Harry Kessler (Author) and Laird Easton (Editor)

German aristocrat and diplomat Count Harry Kessler (1868-1937) was friendly with some of the larger than life philosophers and artists of his time: Bonnard, Stravinsky, Rodin, Renoir, Gide, Monet, Mahler, Matissee, Verlaine, George Bernard Shaw, Munch, Nietzsche, HG Wells and many others. His correspondence is a snapshot inside an important period.

5. Photography loving boyfriend in journalism school: “Watabe Yukichi, A Criminal Investigation” by Yukichi Watabe (Photographer) and Titus Boeder (Author)

This book from 2011 looks like a scrapbook from the 1950s. Watabe’s photojournalism documents a murder investigation in Japan. Minimal textual information is given, recreating the mystery in black-and-white noir scenes.

6. Best friend who sees beauty in the small stuff: “Sylvia Plath: Drawings” by Sylvia Plath (Author) and Frieda Hughes (Author)

There are certain icons in history that the public grapples to understand better. Lives cut off too short that leave questions about the personalities and passions of great artists. Sylvia Plath is one. This book of drawings unveils another layer of her psyche.

7. Co-worker with all the underground tracks: “The Riot Grrrl Collection” by Lisa Darms (Editor), Kathleen Hanna (Preface), Johanna Fateman (Introduction)

The “Riot Grrrl Collection,” is an archive of assorted DIY culture, zines and ephemera from the feminist punk rock movement surrounding Kathleen Hanna, Bikini Kill and Bratmobile. As a bonus: throw in movie tickets to “The Punk Singer” about Hanna’s impact on the music industry and the world.

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