Sunday, October 10, 2010

2011 Picture-A-Day Wall Calendars

365 Days in Ireland
ISBN No. 978-0-7611-5806-6

365 Days in Italy
ISBN No. 978-0-7611-5534-8

365 Days in France
ISBN No. 978-0-7611-5533-1

All available through

Some magazine article I read a while back said that the health of the economy can be based on the sales of wrist watches: the more they sell, the better the economy is doing. I’m not sure what the health of the calendar business means but I’m guessing in our era of iPhones and iPods that the Wall Calendar business should be on its last legs. Or not.
Workman Publishing makes the best calendars – Wall, Desk, whatever; they’re the best. And not to diss major authors who work for a decade on a big Fall title, but I’m as excited to see the new 365 Days in Ireland Picture-A-Day Calendar as I am to see the new book by Jonathan Franzen. That’s because Workman’s Picture-a-Day Wall Calendars are the perfect marriage of Palm Pilot and art gallery. While their calendars feature everything from 365 pictures of kittens, puppies and songbirds, my favourite calendars are those of European places such as Italy, France and, as I’ve mentioned, Ireland. It’s not hard to see why. The oversized Wall calendar format is divided into a big, grand above-the-fold opening shot that summarizes the location being featured that month. Below the fold the place is broken up into different photographs for each day of the month. One day might be accompanied by a shot of a typical meal in that country; another might be the view from a B&B. All are lovely to look at - but none seem so photo-shopped as to be unrealistic (my big complaint with most calendars – and, in a way, of contemporary fiction).Each month is accompanied by some text which is just as economical yet evocative as the pictures themselves. The result is the sense of having either visited the place, or the discovery of someplace you’d like to go to. Even better, if you’ve been to any of the places featured in the calendars you’ll find neighbouring cities or towns that you didn’t hit but would plan to on your next trip there. With the best fiction you get a sense you’ve been transported to a different time or place. With these calendars you can joyously feel you’ve lost all sense of place.