Awesome book cover Friday: Maps and Legends

Michael Chabon’s Maps and Legends sounds like the perfect book for me.

From Amazon:

Michael Chabon’s sparkling first book of nonfiction is a love song in 16 parts — a series of linked essays in praise of reading and writing, with subjects running from ghost stories to comic books, Sherlock Holmes to Cormac McCarthy. Throughout, Chabon energetically argues for a return to the thrilling, chilling origins of storytelling, rejecting the false walls around “serious” literature in favor of a wide-ranging affection. His own fiction, meanwhile, is explored from the perspective of personal history: post-collegiate desperation sparks his debut, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh; procrastination and doubt reveal the way toward Wonder Boys; a love of comics and a basement golem combine to create the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay; and an enigmatic Yiddish phrasebook unfurls into The Yiddish Policeman’s Union.

Maps and Legends by Michael Chabon

Not only are the colors lush and beautiful, but look at all the detail and personality that went into the cover! The design reminds me more of a comic than a traditional book because it’s 1) illustrated and 2) finely detailed. I see way too many book covers that are just boring snapshots of people sitting or walking or looking lustily at someone.

Do you think the book world could use more imaginative covers?

Michael Chabon

Proud of Pittsburgh literacy

According to Central Connecticut State University findings, my home city of Pittsburgh ranks sixth in literacy out of seventy-five top U.S. cities—falling behind Washington (#1), Seattle, Minneapolis, Atlanta, and Boston (#5). That ranking is down from 2010 and 2009, when it placed fifth and fourth, respectively, but up by half from 2008.

Photo from the Big Idea Bookstore website.

I’m so proud of Pittsburgh, especially considering how a lot of chain bookstores are closing down in the area, a trend that might mean another drop in reading. But there are still plenty of good venues for books:

How does your nearest city measure up? Have you participated in any literary events in your area?

Updated 2/7/2012.