A LIFE IN BOOKS: The Rise and
Fall of Bleu Mobley
and designed by acclaimed author/artist Warren Lehrer, is an extraordinarily original, funny, heartwarming and heartwrenching exploration of one man’s use of books as a means of understanding himself, the people around him, and a half-century of American/global events. It celebrates the mysteries and contradictions of the creative process, and grapples with the future of the book as a medium, and the lines that separate truth, myth, and fiction.
A LIFE IN BOOKS is an illuminated novel containing 101 books within it, all written by
Lehrer’s protagonist—Bleu Mobley—who finds himself in prison looking back on his life
and career. Over the course of one long night in the darkness of his prison cell, he whispers
his life story into a microcassette recorder, tracing his journey from the public housing
project of his youth, to a career as a journalist, then experimental novelist, college professor,
accidental bestselling author, pop-culture pundit, and unindicted prisoner.
Bleu Mobley’s autobiography/apologia is paired with a review of ALL 101 OF HIS BOOKS, each represented by its first-edition cover design and catalog copy, and more than a third of his books are excerpted. The resulting retrospective contrasts the published writings (which read like short stories) with the confessional memoir, forming a most unusual portrait of a well-intentioned, obsessively inventive (if ethically challenged) visionary. A masterful fusion of art and literature, A LIFE IN BOOKS distinguishes itself as one of those books you’ll want to hold in your hands, feast your eyes on, read and re-read, share with friends, and treasure for years to come. And its surely a great gift!
PRAISE for A Life In Books
"An ingenious, one-of-kind novel." Kurt Andersen, STUDIO 360
“A profound commentary… A Life In Books is brilliant, beautiful, delicious for eyes and mind.” Andrei Codrescu, poet, novelist, public radio commentator
“In A Life In Books, author and graphic design visionary Warren Lehrer
crafts a vivid kaleidoscopic odyssey that frames one man’s life through
not one, but one hundred different books—and book jackets.”
—Jessica Helfand, designer, writer, founding editor DESIGN OBSERVER
“Lehrer’s 101 cover designs for Mobley’s books are pitch perfect… A parallel art world.” Steven Heller, THE ATLANTIC
“In the era of cookie-cutter books and rubber-stamped stories, Warren
Lehrer’s A Life in Books is fresh, original, idiosyncratic, beautiful,
and important.” Rabih Alameddine, author of Koolaids, Hakawati, and I, the Divine,
“A blend of writing and design, which extends to performance art, A Life
in Books: The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley is a typographical and
design tour de force.” Ellen Shapiro, PRINT MAGAZINE
"In scope, execution and ambition, A Life In Books is an extraordinary book." Lucy Sisman, WWWORD
"The coolest book ever." DESIGNERS AND BOOKS
"A gorgeously produced multi-color “novel,” A Life In Books is a
brilliant meditation on the state of publishing in the 21st Century…
You’ll be laughing through your tears... I can’t think of a better
gift." Tsiviah Huttner, SECOND CITY TZIVI
"A genre-defying night that fuses art and literature, prose and design into a multi-media presentation unlike any other." Skylight Books.