Friday, January 3, 2014

Letters of Note

Since 2009 Shaun Usher has been compiling what he describes as ‘correspondence deserving of a wider audience’ on his blog Letters of Note: a celebration of an outmoded method of communication in a modern way.

Scans alongside transcriptions of a selection of letters, faxes and telegrams were a winning formula and the blogs popularity and success grew; leading Usher to be able to publish the book form with Unbound in an attempt to capture the things which 'a screen just can’t do'. Making its way steadily up the book charts it has overtaken most celebrity autobiographies to become the book everybody is giving as a gift this Christmas – and it is easy to see why.

The tones of the letters are sometimes philosophical, heart wrenching, but often with a hint of humour. With a letter from Oscar Wilde replying to a reader who asked him what exactly he meant by the phrase ‘All art is quite useless’; alongside a photograph of the coconut shell John F. Kennedy carved a message asking for help when he was stranded in the Solomon Islands there is a wild diversity in the topics of the letters which make it perfect for dipping in and out of when the mood strikes.

Letters of Note is a celebration of the days when people would pass on ideas directly not the sharing to the masses which our generation has grown accustomed to. It shows you another side to the public personas we think we all know; with the handwritten notes and memos alongside a transcription there is a kind of magic in seeing the scans of the private messages intended for the eyes of another. A magic which you know just won’t translate to eBook format adding to the overall message: you lose something when stop communicating in the physical form - an email simply cannot replace a handwritten note. All of this combining to make this book a real gem which you should read if you get the chance.  

>> Letters of Note is available for £19.20 from Amazon.

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Nell C said...

I think you would enjoy Letters to Lupin - a collection of father to son letters which is really heartwarming and witty. I'm planning a review on it soon!

Nell at And Nell Writes

Louise from: //This Book Is Reserved// said...

Oooh thanks for the recommendation - I will have to check it out! L xo

Karina said...

Pen and paper have always been my favorite method of delivering ideas. Great book suggestion. Must add it to my goodreads. :)

Alice said...

I've been linked to this project so often and never given it enough thought - I'm going to have to buy the book come pay day!

I agree with Nell, if you like this you'll love Letter's to Lupin (there are also two other books, one publish and one being published in April to Lupin's sisters.)

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