Love Day came and went, but I personally was embittered from having seen one too many boxes of heart-shaped chocolates in the bargain bins of Leather Lane, promising eternal love but delivering an economical afternoon snack with a dusty aftertaste. In this spirit we tweeted #ArtBooksForValentines, because appealing to your love interest’s intellectual capacity is infinitely more enticing than a tired cliché – especially if you’re Emma, and you’ve asked your Valentine for a book on Fashion and Fascism. As well she knows, nothing says ‘I love you’ like a detailed analysis of the function of dresses under an authoritarian regime. Apart from that romantic tome, our shelves are an excellent resource of Valentine’s gifts, whether you want to send actual love notes or ward off your impending panic about perpetual loneliness with Cat Lady Journal.
If you need more evidence of the power of a bloke with a book, I direct you to Hot Dudes Reading.
But I haven’t got a heart of stone, and couldn’t help but feel uplifted by today’s most exciting development, the arrival of Sitting In Bars With Cake – the chronicle of one girl’s attempts to lure men with baked goods. I don’t know if this seduction technique has the same impact if you’re not a writer in LA, but I have to find out. So if anyone needs me, I’ll be propping up the bar at Wetherspoons, winking at the men of Farringdon with an Orange-You-Glad-We-Met Marmalade Cake.
This month we were also lucky enough to welcome Jack Wang, the co-creator of the Star Wars Epic Yarns series, into our office. This was pretty exciting for me, a long-term fan of the felt Darcy and Bingley represented in their Cozy Classics series. My dedication to their art was won when I first laid eyes on Darcy’s haughty woollen sideburns and his tiny stitched eyes burning with untold passion against the pithy caption: ‘Mean.’ The Wangs just get it. As for their new and adorable Epic Yarns series, I feel a vague lassitude at the prospect of watching the Star Wars trilogy, but it’s difficult to get bored when reading the story in twelve words and with a large felt Millennium Falcon. The detail and artistry that goes into each figurine is astounding, as are the miles expended in search of the perfect backdrop – they travelled to the Imperial Sand Dunes in the Yuma desert where Return of the Jedi was filmed, in order to get one perfect shot into the book. Which puts into awkward perspective my feelings of personal persecution at the tribulations of walking 100m down the road to get milk. #milkmartyr
February also means awards season, and we spent almost as much time poring over the hits and misses of the red carpet as we did celebrating the gongs racked up by our favourite films (and the lovely A&CB books that go with them). The morning after the Oscars/Grammys/BAFTAs is always a bountiful time to sit down with a cappuccino, fire up the gossip rags and ping emails to your colleagues with photos of Pharrell’s shorts, Rihanna’s toilet roll doll dress and John Travolta mouth-breathing on Scarlett Johansson’s face. Due to an office reshuffle, I’m now sadly deprived of the colleagues who sympathise with my need to see what Taylor Swift wore before commencing the day’s work, and understand the moral confusion of my enjoyment of the Daily Mail’s Sidebar of Shame. As a result, my professional interaction has taken an extreme lean towards emailing gifs and Buzzfeed quizzes like ‘Which Harry Potter character is your drunk alter ego?’) (Mine is Snape).
This month we did:
Get nominated for the GBS Services to Independent Publishers Award!
Dominate the canapé scene at the launch of The Bookseller’s Buyer’s Guide.
Have a week’s worth of drawing lessons with Art Before Breakfast. Maddy brought beauty and order to the clutter on top of our microwave – a not-insignificant feat.
Celebrate Winesday on a Wednesday… and also a Friday…. And also a Thursday. Maybe there’s something in the water at A&CB Towers, but this month there seem to be opportunities of Bacchanalian excess at every juncture. Last week we offloaded wine booty on Twitter, went to the pub for wine and chips (a classic combo), and, in the spirit of neighbourliness, had a lunchtime wine tasting next door at the Clerkenwell Collection. Vive la France.
This month we didn’t:
Watch 50 Shades of Grey. Not even one of us.