April 11, 2012

Family Fang & Treehorn


As a lover of books, bookstores, and paper in general, I've decided to let myself ramble on about such things at least once a week.

So for today I will introduce a book I recently had luck enough to randomly pull from the shelf as I sipped my Starbucks skinny vanilla latte at Barnes & Noble. I would like to tell you that I was drinking from a sustainable water bottle and shopping at a local, independently-owned bookstore, but that would be a lie, and I try to never lie because I have a huge guilt complex and will end up confessing later on, and the whole thing would just be embarrassing. Sooo, anyhow, I was at Barnes & Noble and happened upon The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson. I'd never heard of the book or the author but the cover was brilliant – blazing red with this fantastically quirky illustration on the front. It reminded me of Edward Gorey's art, which I love. So I snatched it up, read the dust jacket and I was sold. 

This book was wonderful and quirky and sentimental and well-written – like a Wes Anderson movie (think Royal Tenenbaums). I read it in a day or two and I'll probably do it again sometime, just to remember.

Now out in paperback, it's definitely worth a trip to the book store. You can even order it online. No one will have to know.

Oh, and while I'm thinking about books and Edward Gorey I must mention a still-favorite childhood book of mine: The Shrinking of Treehorn by Florence Parry Heid, illustrated by Edward Gorey. It is hysterical in a dry way (does that even make sense?). Poor Treehorn, a school-aged boy, suddenly begins shrinking and all the adults around him are either too busy to notice, don't believe him ("Do sit up at the table Treehorn" his mother scolds just after he's tried to explain his predicament), or are too wrapped up in themselves to care. Just like the grown-ups in a John Hughes movie! I love how after realizing that Treehorn is in-fact shrinking his parents immediately turn to eachother and ask "what will the neighbors think?"

Well now I think I'm just giving too much away, you'll just have to run to the library and check it out for yourself. Or there's that Amazon place.

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