I love artist Jeanne Shapton's painted books. These one of a kind pieces made from acrylic and house paint on wooden blocks merge two of my passions books at art. Her titles lean heavily towards English and French fiction and belles lettres and they are sold exclusively through John Derrian in New York (www.johnderrian.com).
It would be difficult for me to choose my favorite. But I'd have to go with Raymond Carver. When in doubt it's never a bad idea to go with Raymond Carver. And just because, here's my favorite poem ever...
“Luck” by Raymond Carver
I was nine years old. I had been around liquor all my life. My friends drank too, but they could handle it. We'd take cigarettes, beer, a couple of girls and go out to the fort. We'd act silly. Sometimes you'd pretend to pass out so the girls could examine you. They'd put their hands down your pants while you lay there trying not to laugh, or else they would lean back, close their eyes, and let you feel them all over. Once at a party my dad came to the back porch to take a leak. We could hear voices over the record player see people standing around laughing and drinking. When my dad finished he zipped up, stared a while at the starry sky--it was always starry then on summer nights-- and went back inside. The girls had to go home. I slept all night in the fort with my best friend. We kissed on the lips and touched each other. I saw the stars fade toward morning. I saw a woman sleeping on our lawn. I looked up her dress, then I had a beer and a cigarette. Friends, I though this was living. Indoors, someone had put out a cigarette in a jar of mustard. I had a straight shot from the bottle, then a drink of warm collins mix, then another whisky. And though I went from room to room, no one was home. What luck, I thought. Years later, I still wanted to give up friends, love, starry skies, for a house where no one was home, no one coming back, and all I could drink.