Ben Franklin’s bookish epitaph

I’m still reading about witty old Ben Franklin. In 1727 or ’28 Franklin wrote this amusing epitaph for himself. It was circulated among his friends and published in 1770. However, it wasn’t used on his gravestone when he died in 1790. The actual stone, still visible in philadelphia, features¬†a very simple inscription of his name and the year.

Ben Franklin talks about my old stomping grounds.

If you listened to the most recent podcast you’ll know I resolved to become a Ben Franklin scholar in 2012. I’ve been reading The Life of Benjamin Franklin by J.A. Leo Lemay. It’s the massive first volume in a projected seven-volume biography series published by the University of Pennsylavania Press*. A couple nights ago I was pleasantly surprised to see a quote from Franklin mentioning a thunderstorm in Bucks County. This is the Pennsylvania¬†county where I grew up, so it’s almost like he was talking about my home town. When Franklin reported on events in his newspaper he often liked to add a little quip to liven things up. And who doesn’t like a good lightning-to-the-crotch story?

*Did you know Franklin founded U. Penn? He did!

QQ Podcast : 06 : Specialties

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Book designers Andrew Brozyna and Ian Shimkoviak discuss subject specialties in book cover design. Andrew starts off with a study of the very awesome printer and publisher Ben Franklin. Ian complains about stupid book reviews. Indie comics! Double dust jackets! Explicit!

Stuff referenced in this week’s episode:
Stanford University’s Ben Franklin and the World of the Enlightenment podcast
Roberto DeVicq’s Dickens Double Dust Jacket.
Fantagraphics’ Laura Warholic by Alexander Theroux
Fantagraphics’ Willie & Joe: The WWII Years by Bill Mauldin

Recently Read, January 2, 2012

Everybody loves those “the best of the year” round-ups you see at the end of ever year (I’m actually a bit annoyed at them, but my point is this is a thing that is done). So here are a bunch of random sites displaying their picks for the best book covers of 2011. If you’ve seen other sites doing this, please let me know. I’ll add them to the list.

25 Best Book Jackets of 2011 on BookPage, December 20, 2011.

The Best Book Cover Designs of 2011 on Hensher Creative, December 19th, 2011.

The Top 10 Book Covers of 2011 on Publishers Weekly, December 13th, 2011.

Favourite Covers of 2011 on The Casual Optimist, December 13, 2011.