Happy New Year from all at 4th Estate. Here’s to another year of exploration on the internet. As a new year dawns, we hope that 2013 brings odder and funnier literary tumblrs, greater book obsessives, even more awe-inspiring (and sing-along) videos and further articles, essays and debates on the most important of subjects: what to read when, where, how and why. To start us off here are our picks from the web this week, chosen by us for you.
Here in the business of books, we know that you can judge a book by its cover, and its title. So when both of these go horribly wrong, the results are hilarious. Abe Books’ Weird Books Room features peculiar looking books with titles such as Grandma’s Dead: Breaking Bad News With Baby Animals and How to Be Happy Though Married. And yes, the books are available to buy.
This year, 4th Estate publishes House of Earth, a recently unearthed novel by American folk singer Woody Guthrie, set in the US dust bowl. Kick off the year with Woody’s New Year’s Resolutions for 1942 which include ‘Keep rancho clean’ and ‘Dream good.’ Follow his instruction to ‘Read lots good books’ by pre-ordering House of Earth here.
Just as its introduction states, ‘the Nineteenth Century gave us many things, but above all it was a hotbed of facial hair experimentation’. The blog Mustaches of the Nineteenth Century is a gallery of some of the extraordinary hairy faces that graced the period. It must be kept away from any susceptible men given to whims of the facial hair variety.
Do you annotate your books? This post from The New York Times will make you want to. Sam Anderson shares some of his marginalia from his year in reading, recording his enjoyment and frustration, ‘OK – this is where I stop reading this book.’ Neat.
This literary preview of 2013 from the Telegraph is an excellent round-up of the books to look out for this year. We’re pleased to see many of our books getting the shout-outs they deserve, including Joyce Carol Oates’s Gothic horror The Accursed and Philip Hoare’s exploration of our relationship with the sea, The Sea Inside. It’s time to start those pre-orders.