Not “Bound in Limp Purple Leather”

Posted by jlubans on October 17, 2017

Caption: An out-take.

You can’t judge a book by its cover, they say, but in the case of “Fables for Leaders” you can; it gets better and better on the inside!
What brag, you might be thinking!
Not really, since my assessment is less about my writing and more about Sheryl Anspaugh’s editing of the manuscript into its seven management topics, Béatrice Coron’s captivating illustrations and Alise Šnēbaha’s creative design.
What I wanted, after publishing dozens and dozens of grey scholarly books and articles, was a beautiful book, an objet d'art. This blog’s Friday Fables* became a means to achieving that long-held desire.
What’s a beautiful book? No, it’s not the Wodehousian “slim volume of poetry bound in limp purple leather”.
Obviously, the book has to have solid content. Literary fabulists like La Fontaine, Aesop, Sir Roger L'Estrange, and Krylov provide that. My commentary - my musings about leadership in the workplace - builds on, embellishes and enlarges their meaning.
I could have done that without a single illustration and it would have looked just like any other of my books.
A friend from long ago told me he could tell by the “heft” of a book if it was any good. Perhaps an outrageous claim, especially from a distinguished scholar and bibliophile as my friend was, yet I knew exactly what he meant; the book in hand has to feel right.
A beautiful book is one that delights the eye and mind through illustration, typeface, quality of the paper and ink and color, with a cohesive, imaginative design that makes every page unique yet integrated from cover to cover.
Each page has to have freshness and purpose, as in the turning over of a new leaf.
Béatrice’s cat and mouse illustration - at the top - did not make the cut, at least not as a stand-alone illustration. I got a bit squeamish about this depiction of friendship lost. Cat and Mouse, the 75-word fable was already sad enough.
Fables for Leaders arrives just in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas, a perfect gift in appreciation of the best leader you know; even better for your worst leader – shove it under the door.
Or, get it for anyone learning what it means to lead or to follow.
Is there anyone I’ve left out?
And, of course, this book of fables – the underpinnings of the world’s literature - is a “natural” for every library, those bastions of human culture.

Fables for Leaders, with original illustrations by Béatrice Coron and designed by ALISE ŠNĒBAHA, launched September 30, 2017 ($26.99).
Ezis Press
ISBN: 978-0-692-90955-3
LCCN: 2017908783

*The Friday Fable, a feature of this blog since 2010 is the source for the book. Each Friday I share a fable and make observations on how this little bit of literature applies to leadership, that composite of leader and follower.

© Copyright John Lubans 2017

« Prev itemNext item »


No comments yet. You can be the first!

Leave comment