The Moolah Tree

“Pluck, an irritable and featherless rooster, and his best pal, the awkwardly unsocialized but lovable teddy bear known as Fuzz, met long ago in a garbage truck. A tenuous if decidedly co-dependent friendship between Fuzz & Pluck followed, sending them on a series of not-so-heroic adventures. But now, we find them on a ramshackle barge, slowly drifting out to sea. How did they get there? How will they escape? The answer lies in the book’s title, but the true fun is in the Picaresque and often Swiftian adbsurdities that our heroes find themselves in along the way. Ted Stearn’s work is rich with pathos, wit, farce, existentialism and drama. Sometimes cruel but always funny, like aWinnie the Pooh for adults.”

The Moolah Tree published by Fantagraphics

Sold at “Winnie the Pooh for adults.”

The Art of Worldly Wisdom by Baltasar Gracián

“Tis better to have a dispute with honourable people than to have a victory over dishonourable ones. You cannot treat with the ruined, for they have no hostages for rectitude. With them there is no true friendship, and their agreements are not binding, however stringent they may appear, because they have no feeling of honour. Never have to do with such men, for if honour does not restrain a man, virtue will not, since honour is the throne of rectitude.”

The Art of Worldly Wisdom by Baltasar Gracián

I’ve loved this book since I was in high school.

Agree to Disagree or Fight

“‘I don’t believe in argument,” he said…

…’You don’t?’ Erens said, genuinely surprised. ‘Shit, and I thought I was the cynical one.”

‘It’s not cynicism,’ he said flatly. ‘I just think people overvalue argument because they like to hear themselves talk.’

‘Oh well, thank you.’

‘It’s comforting, I suppose.’ … ‘Most people are not prepared to have their minds changed,’ he said. ‘And I think they know that in their hearts that other people are the same, and one of the reasons that people become angry when they argue is that they realize just that, as they trot out their excuses.’

Excuses, eh? Well, if this ain’t cynicism, what is?’ Erens snorted.

‘Yes, excuses,’ he said, with what Erens thought might just have been a trace of bitterness. ‘I strongly suspect the things people believe in are usually just what they instinctively feel is right; the excuses, the justifications, the things you’re supposed to argue about, come later. They’re the least important part of belief. That’s why you can destroy them, win an argument, prove the other person wrong, and still they believe what they did in the first place.’ He looked at Erens. ‘You’ve attacked the wrong thing.’

‘So what do you suggest one does, Professor, if one is not to indulge in this futile … arguing stuff?’

‘Agree to disagree,’ he said. ‘Or fight.’

Fight?

He shrugged. ‘What else is left?’

‘Negotiate?’

‘Negotiation is a way to come to a conclusion; it’s the type of conclusion I’m talking about.’

‘Which basically is to disagree or fight?’

‘If it comes to it.’

-Iain M. Banks, Use of Weapons. London: Orbit, 2008.

Elsa Charretier’s Artbook

“A collection of my best pieces, covers, and detailed process of my storytelling work + Exclusive November: Commentary Edition…This artbook is…a collection of some of my best pieces commissioned by collectors, comic book covers, and detailed process of my storytelling work from NOVEMBER and STAR WARS: DR. APHRA. I’m hoping this will be an opportunity to understand how I think a page and work as an artist.  

—Elsa Charretier, “Elsa Charretier’s Artbook.” Kickstarter.com. Ends November 21 2019 1:37 AM CST.

Top 104 Books Published in English on Russia in 2019

“Hundreds of books about the Russian-speaking world are scheduled to be published in English in 2019. This list narrows that group down to 104 that show exceptional promise — and gives you the tools to find the ones you’ll love in seconds…

…the previews below are largely laudatory, but their optimism can make them a light read in and of themselves: this collection will take you from literary greats to romping counterfactual histories and from dark Soviet humor to gorgeous children’s books.”

—Hilah Kohen, “2019’s top Russia-related books: ‘Meduza’ has your reading list for the next 10,000 years.” Meduza. January 30, 2019.

Make Space

“Appropriate for designers charged with creating new spaces or anyone interested in revamping an existing space, this guide offers novel and non-obvious strategies for changing surroundings specifically to enhance the ways in which teams and individuals communicate, work, play—and innovate. This work is based on years of classes and programs at the d.school including countless prototypes and iterations with d.school students and spaces.”

—Scott Doorley & Scott Witthoft, “Make Space: How to Set the Stage for Creative Collaboration.” Hobeken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 2012. (Extras Website)

Fitzcarraldo Editions

“Like some other small imprints – and some record labels’ singles clubs – Fitzcarraldo runs an annual subscription scheme. For £100, subscribers get a year’s worth of books – in 2019, the label will publish 12 titles – and Testard gets some small measure of financial breathing space, with income that may not be received for eighteen months being banked in advance of publication.”

—Angus Batey, “Pushing The Boat Out: Art & Business The Fitzcarraldo Way.” The Quietus. September 15, 2019.

I need to put together a list of these interesting small publishers. Dorothy is another that came to mind reading this article.

Lithium: The Gripping History of a Psychiatric Success Story

“Some 70 years ago, John Cade, an Australian psychiatrist, discovered a medication for bipolar disorder that helped many patients to regain stability swiftly. Lithium is now the standard treatment for the condition, and one of the most consistently effective medicines in psychiatry. But its rise was riddled with obstacles. The intertwined story of Cade and his momentous finding is told in Lithium, a compelling book by US psychiatrist Walter Brown.”

-Douwe Draaisma, “Lithium: The Gripping History of a Psychiatric Success Story.” Nature. August 26, 2019.