Saturday, November 12, 2005

Two New Books

I recently picked up two wonderful new books, full of inspirations and beauty. The first is entitled “The Rarest of the Rare – Stories behind the Treasures at the Harvard Museum of natural History” Oh it is such an interesting and beautiful book. Also if you know anything about me, I love natural history and the natural sciences. The book is hard cover with amazing pictures and is just a treasure. A sampling from the 20 million specimens closeted at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, the several dozen plants, animals, and minerals presented here were selected for their connections to interesting tales.

The second book is an interactive book entitled “Postal Séance - A scientific Investigation into the Possibility of a Postlife Postal Existence”. It is published by Chronicle Books which is one of my favorite publishers; they put out such great books. It filled with striking letters that fold out to reveal with brilliant colors and artwork.
Postal Seance is the result of Dreschers bizarre and ambitious experiment, in which the afterlife meets the epistolary impulse in the form of elaborately decorated letters to the dead. By sending out 52 ornately designed cards and letters to deceased luminaries throughout history -- including James Joyce, Dolly the Sheep (in two letters), Chairman Mao, Saul Steinberg, and others -- Drescher puts his faith in the efficacy of the international postal network. In some cases, the letter is returned, bearing evidence of its lengthy journey in the form of international postmarks as it bounced from Singapore to Manchester, Sydney to Kentucky, or Madrid to Moscow, at last surrendering to the ultimate defeat, the "Return to Sender" stamp. Of those not returned, it is deduced that the letter was successfully delivered. With a foldout map showing the post-life postal system and custom stamps for the reader's own far-reaching missives, Postal Seance is a uniquely imaginative presentation, and perhaps the closest we humans have ever come to contact with the dead.

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