When the term “living legend” is thrown around, it is often misapplied. For Hermann Zapf, the term has been well earned. This 89 year-old lettering master is still active daily in the design and the redesign of his classic typefaces. His Palatino Nova and Palatino Sans have just been released, and 2007 brings his latest book: Alphabet Stories. Those familiar with Zapf and his accomplishments will be familiar with many of the anecdotes that are told in this chronological recounting of a life in the lettering and book arts. The English language version of Alphabet Stories is produced in a limited quantity for the Cary Graphic Arts Press and will surely sell out quickly. If you are looking for a great overview of Zapf’s work, with well printed reproductions, this is a book to pick up. Some of his earlier books are quite hard to find, so this new work as an accessible fine-press book is a welcome release. While the book doubles as a specimen for Palatino Nova (running text) and Palatino Sans (extended quotes), the content is not filler at all. Alphabet Stories is concise enough for the person just being introduced to Zapf, but is also a welcome addition to the library of the completeist.