Hooked on a Book By Its Cover


Michael Cunningham wrote The Hours, which is a book I very much enjoyed.  But that’s not the only reason I want to get my hands on his newest book, A Wild Swan. I’m going to read A Wild Swan at least partly because of its illustrations, including that captivating cover by Yuko Shimizu.

I love it when publishers take the extra step to make a physical book into a beautiful object.

Shimizu is a well-known illustrator, and she’s started posting a look at the design process for A Wild Swan on her website, here.  Seeing how she drew and inked the cover illustration is fascinating.

Information about, and excerpts from, A Wild Swan can be found on Cunningham’s website here.   The US publisher’s website is here, which is where I got the cover art used above.


Pen of the Day: Sailor Professional Gear Kanreki


Sailor Professional Gear Kanreki with fine nib.  This is another favorite.  The Kanreki was designed to celebrate the 60th birthday of one Sailor’s nib designers.  It features three different red colors — cherry red for the pen body, a plummy red for the cap and deep burgundy at the ends.


As a special edition, the Kanreki come with a 21k nib.  Mine features Sailor’s precise, ultra-thin fine nib.


Diamine Red Dragon ink works so well in the Kanreki that I almost always pair the two.  I like variety, generally.  But it’s hard to pass up such a perfect pair.

The Twelfth Day of Holiday Ink: Diamine Night Sky and Diamine Sparkling Shadows


On this twelfth and last day of Holiday Ink, it’s time for silver and gold together, and a little grown-up shimmer


Diamine Shimmertastic Night Sky is a black with silver particles that looks sleek and sophisticated.


Sparkling Shadows is softer and warmer, a gray with gold particles.

Together, they’ll round out the holiday season and bring us into what I hope is a sparkling New Year for everyone.