A Bookprint is the list of five books that leave an indelible mark on our lives, shaping who we are and who we become.
You are what you read.
Harry Bliss shares why we chose the following books his Bookprint:
1. Nine Stories by JD Salinger was and still is a favorite of mine. Each one of these remarkable short stories have characters that resonate deep within me. Salinger creates such beautifully tragic figures in these brilliant post war vignettes - all cut to the core of the human condition.
2.To Esmé With Love and Squalor is the best short story I have ever read.
3.Maus by Art Spiegelman (check spelling) blew me away with masterful comic storytelling. I’d studied the Holocaust in college and I recall reading Maus shortly after digesting half a dozen ‘scholarly’ books on the subject. For me, Spiegelman’s magnum opus memoir crystalized this brutal chapter in our history - changed my view of what sort of impact comics can have.
4. In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak was magical for me as a child. I was a big Laurel and Hardy fan and seeing the bakers rendered as Oliver Hardys made me smile with each reading. Plus, the surreal quality of the illustrations was completely new to me, very unique and imaginative, like a dream. When Mickey makes a plane out of dough and flies above the huge glass milk bottle only to jump out of the cockpit and dive into the milk, I mean, come on, that’s brilliant stuff.
5. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote is unforgettably frightening. This is the first book I could not put down and the first to make me double bolt my front door. The fact that I’ve read the book a number of times is a testament to the sublime styling of Capote’s prose. Also, one of the creepiest book jackets ever - wish I’d designed that jacket.
6. The Thurber Carnival by James Thurber is just plain hilarious. I read this book annually when I feel like throwing myself off a cliff. “My Life and Hard Times,” “Fables for Our Time,” “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” and others in this collection are timeless examples of a gifted humorist. Thurber depicts post war America with a lucid elegant wit that stands alone in the lexicon of American literature. Read ‘The Catbird Seat’ and if you don’t laugh, I’ll give you a dollar.
Harry Bliss is a cartoonist and cover artist for The New Yorker magazine and others. His first book A Fine, Fine School by Newbery Award winning author Sharon Creech, was a New York Times bestseller. He went on to illustrate many other books, including, Which Would You Rather Be by William Steig; Countdown to Kindergarten by Alison McGhee; the #1 New York Times bestseller Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin; and Louise, the Adventures of a Chicken by Kate DeCamillo, Harry Bliss lives in South Burlington, Vermont. You can visit him at www.harrybliss.com