Magical, Musical and True

Man_With_ViolinIn 2007, the Washington Post sent world class violinist Joshua Bell into the subway. In the 45 minutes that he played, only 7 people stopped. The children who passed wanted to. But their parents hustled them on.

It inspired author Kathy Stinson to write The Man With the Violin about a little boy, Dylan, who pays attention and his mother who doesn’t. Fabulously illustrated by Dusan Petricic, it is, as you probably suspect, for children of all ages. It’s also one for the ages.

Check out the author and illustrator in the trailer for The Man With the Violin.


Pete Hamill Creates at Word

photo(16)Last night legendary journalist and creative writer Pete Hamill read from his work at Word, an independent bookstore in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. It took place in a small room down in the basement with a few peculiar odors floating near the back. There was a pile of broken-up doughnuts, a pitcher of water, and some kind of wine, probably not of a vintage served at Nobu. The lighting was bad, the speaker’s platform creaky, the folding chairs uncomfortable. But it was great. An evening to remember.

Between the covers of a book, a writer creates a unique world filled with atmosphere, characters, drama and life. And so in that room last night did Pete Hamill bring his work and an earlier day in New York City alive for the audience. Reading from S’Wonderful, a short story from The Christmas Kid, he took us inside Rattigan’s Bar and Grill to meet bus driver, Dinny Collins, and some of his guzzler pals. We overheard their gossip, learned about their wives and Wonderful Kelly, a local paragon who seems a touch too good to be true. An entire world in six pages.

You can talk about his stories, but really you need to read them. They are special and so is he. He filled the room with kindness and wisdom. He took questions from the audience and answered them with patience and humor in great detail. He spoke about writers of the past and the lessons he had learned from them. He talked about his writing habits, about libraries and the changing face of New York. He inspired us with his understanding and compassion. We all left better for having been there. Which is what great writing and great people and the great city are all about.

– Catherine Kirkpatrick




Links to Artists’ Book Websites

Artists’ books are one-of-a-kind or limited edition books in which an artist can explore freely without the constraints of traditional publishing. They use all kinds of materials, come in all shapes and sizes; some even expand (accordian-style books) to stretch across a room! Lotta fun, very stimulating and inspiring.

Artist Books 3.0

Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Printed Matter, Inc.