Category Archives: Books

Car Emblems . Logos de Coches

I saw this beautiful book while attending an art show at Fedro Libros, a bookstore in the San Telmo district of Buenos Aires.

I wasn’t able to immediately track it down in English, (I googled “Car Logos”) but later searched the author Giles Chapman and found that the English title is named “Car Emblems: The Ultimate Guide to Automotive Logos Worldwide

Chapman details the history of logos, branding, design and evolution of automobile logos, including well known brands such as Chrysler and Oldsmobile and less heard of companies like Trabant. (At least less heard of to me.)

Check out how the logo samples on the English cover are different than the Spanish cover, which leaves out Lexus and Chrysler.

If there’s someone in your life who’s a car buff, this would make a great gift. You can find it (in English) on Amazon.

Promotional Items

Denver Book Mall Moving

Nina, one of the participants/sellers at the Denver Book Mall, commented on an old post and informed me that the operation will be moving down the street to 200 South Broadway. (That’s right before Alameda.)

This is one of my favorite places to find old books to read and then freecycle, and I’ll be sure to visit in August and post up a few photos. I’ll miss the creaky floors however.

More Info

Related: Denver Book Mall

Columbus New Mexico vs Mexico

The L.A. Times has a series of articles titled “Mexico Under Seige.” After viewing the headlines I might rename it “Holy Shit What the Hell is Happening in Mexico?” This collection of articles journals specifics of the drug war and its unfortunate effects on citizens and visitors.

Op-eds like this one by Tim Rutten blame the U.S./us for the horrific gang action.   This article instills some fear factor by trailing the dark side of Cancun.

I read a bunch of these articles over the weekend and really appreciated this one about the small town of Columbus, New Mexico.  Scott Kraft paints a portrait of daily life in this sleepy border town 30 miles south of Deming, just north of Mexican border town of Palomas and the Three Sisters mountains.  If you Google Map Columbus you can see just how remote it is.

Columbus’s most notable claim to fame occurred in 1916 when Francisco “Pancho” Villa attacked the town, practically leveled it, and escaped back to Mexico never being captured.   Prior to September 11th this was the only place in the continental U.S. having experienced an invasion by a foreign army.  (“Continential” qualifier to exclude Pearl Harbor.)

Kraft describes the relationship between the two cities, and it’s unfortunate turn for the worse over the recent years.  Read “Border Drug War is Too Close For Comfort.”

It’s understandable that with horrific stories of beheadings and other unbelievely incredible  horror stories that travelers would be deterred from enjoying time across the border.  Even if the majority of incidents only affect those involved, (or sadly decent law enforcerment,) it still doesn’t put the casual tourist’s mind at easy.   Warnings are out to the standard vacation spots too, which even if Americanized and not the “real” Mexico still support tourism and bring in a ton of money to the locals.  And the border towns are suffering even more, with daytrippers choosing to forgo their Tijuana tequila binges or pharmaceutical stockpiling excursions.

As recently as December I flew to Cancun and drove down the coast for some scuba diving south of Playa del Carmen, then visited some ruins near Valladolid.  I felt completely safe tooling around the back roads of Mexico – but if I feel a bit wary and sad after reading this stuff I can only imagine what “Joe All Inclusive” might think about a future trip to Mexico.

I’m headed to Puerto Vallarta later this month, (speaking of touristy stuff.)  I found an airfare that would have allowed a day and night in Mexico City, but ended up flying with friends who don’t have such an interest in the bustling metropolis.  So maybe next time…

Meanwhile for the sake of tourism, travel, and cross-culture, I certainly hope that things reverse course muy pronto.  (Quick Spanish lesson:  that last sentence would call for the subjuntive.)

An additional note:   Steven F. Havill writes a series of books set in fictional “Posadas County” New Mexico, which follow affable undersherrif Bill Gastner.   I think I’ve read every one (that the library has,) over the past few years.    It’s not Tom Clancy, and they’re fairly simple reads, but I really like the characters and setting.

Between eating burritos at the Don Juan de Onate and hanging out with Estelle and his god kids, Gastner finds himself in one crazy mystery after another.  After reading this article I can’t help wondering if Columbus was the inspiration for Havill’s “Posadas County”

Oh and it turns out a new one was published in November, titled “Fourth Time is Murder.”

Photos from Scott Kraft’s L.A. Times article, and B&    by James Van Dellen

Idlewild Books . NYC

Idlewild Books wasn’t my little rainy day find.  I saw a post on Lonely Planet about this new bookstore and it seemed like my type of place.  I made sure to stop by while in New York last fall.

Idlewild is a self described “bookstore about places.”   Their categories are arranged by location, from continent down to region and country.  Along with the standard selection of travel guidebooks are history books, travel writing, and some fiction.  All by local and well known authors, and all sorted right down to the country.

You can find them on in the narrow canyon like street of 12 West 19th Street, just west of 5th Avenue. 

Idlewild Books .com

Story Corp Book Tour . Boulder

The Story Corp mobile studio made a stop in Denver over the summer.  During this hot week visitors stopped in, many with family and close friends, to share and reflect on life experiences.   Their audio recordings are stored at the Library of Congress.  The project is quite well known due to their weekly excerpts on NPR’s Morning Edition

Dave Isay, the founder of StoryCorps, has compiled some of the most moving stories into a new book titled Listening is an Act of Love.  He’ll be at the Boulder Bookstore this Tuesday, October 28th (7:30pm,) discussing the book and his experiences conducting this long term project.

Details on the book and other cities on the tour at

David Sedaris at Tattered Cover

Author David Sedaris will be at the Lower Downtown Tattered Cover this Sunday the 22nd at 2pm. His new book is titled “When You Are Engulfed In Flames.” I noticed it retails for $25.99, which I consider a substantial amount of money for a book, but maybe not so if you plan on getting it signed.  Needless to say he’s an entertaining speaker and author.

Tickets have already been handed out, however additional tickets, (mostly to the overflow area,) will be available at 11am.

Check for details.  Due to his popularity I’d expect the Tattered Cover to be only slightly less mobbed than the Gay Pride events in nearby Civic Center Park.

The Industrialized Cyclist

Thanks to a streak of non icy and slushy days I’ve been enjoying my daily bike commute uninterrupted for the past two weeks or so.

Robert Hurst, author of “The Art of Urban Cycling,” and “Road Biking Colorado’s Front Range” has a new blog:  The Industrialized Cyclist.

Robert shares my interest of urban geography and utility cycling.  In his blog, among biking articles and news, are some excellent photos of Denver landmarks, buildings, trip reports, and trail info.

If you want to see a cycling outlook beyond the sterile paths of Lodo and Riverfront Park check out Robert’s site and his books at

The UnDutchables

I’ve been studying up on The Netherlands in preparation for an upcoming March trip.   As noted in my previous post I’ll be staying for two weeks in The Jordaan neighborhood, and if things go as planned we’ll be enjoying our stay in a quiet canalside apartment.

One book I’ve found is “The UnDutchables: an observation of the Nederlands, its culture and its inhabitants.”  The UnDutchables is a collective written about life and culture in Amsterdam and throughout The Netherlands.   There are several editions, each updated regularly since 1989. Through a humorous look the writers take on such stereotypes as wooden shoes and tulips, and tell stories of daily life, how to assimilate and how not to.

I’ll admit I haven’t started this book yet as I’ve been busy with some other guidebooks and maps.  But I’m looking forward to reading the idioms, stories, tips, and advice.  It’s been highly recommended on Amazon for anyone spending time in the The Netherlands, no matter how brief.

More on their site at

Mapping London

“Hey do like maps? Me too! Those are some great maps you have on your wall.” Sorry that’s an excerpt from an inside joke. Prompt me and I’ll explain.

Mapping London – Making Sense of the City is a 288 page hardcover featuring over 200 historical maps of the city of London. With detailed photos and writing the city’s changes are shown year by year and through generations, including historical events such as London’s great fire, the Plague, the two World Wars, and even future planning for the 2012 Olympics.

If you’re interested in cartography and history this is a must read.

From Black Dog Publishing:

The maps in this comprehensive survey are allowed to speak for themselves, revealing not only their political and social context, but also the dreams of their makers and the drama of their creation. The maps are often objects of great skill and beauty themselves, with the names of the greatest of their makers still revered today.

The New Art of Japanese Cooking

Yearning to change up the old dishes for your holiday parties and office potlucks?   Who wouldn’t like to serve some alternative fare to the standard gingerbread cookies and eggnog? 

I recently perused Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s book “The New Art of Japanese Cooking.”  This Hiroshima native established his own restaurant at age 25, then moved to Manhattan to become head chef for several restaurants, and eventually opened “Morimoto Restaurant” in Philadelphia.

Although the foundation of his recipes and flavors are based in the traditional Japanese foods, Morimoto adds European and American elements to his dishes to create a blend that’s his own creation and style.  If you want to try something different in the kitchen this book is an excellent primer for Japanese cooking.  It’s well written, easy to reference while prepping and cooking, and the pages are full of sharp designs and colorful food presentations.

More about Chef Masaharu Morimoto at his personal site: