Friday Round-Up

Each week I round-up all the (mostly book-related) articles/blog posts/book reviews/websites/videos that entertained me during the week. Enjoy!

Children’s Books

Absolutely gorgeous redesigned minimalist children’s book covers by Christian Jackson featured on Flavorwire. You can also see them on his website here.

Reimagined children’s book covers by various artists on this blog: Uncovered Cover Art.

100 Scope Notes (a children’s lit news and review site) reports on School Library Monthly reporting on Red Hawk Elementary School’s new library system.
A few elementary school libraries have begun to organize their books based on the bookstore model, also known as “WordThink”, doing away with the Dewey Decimal system.
I am in favor and here’s why:
1. It’s elementary school. For those who respond that the children will grow up not knowing how the rest of the library world operates, they will have plenty of time to learn that in jr. high/middle school and high school.
2. It absolutely facilitates more reading based on interest. Particularly for those reluctant readers who may have been greatly surprised to find themselves enjoying a Harry Potter book or a Carl Hiasson novel, they can now pick another book off that section’s shelf and risk possibly enjoying another, similar, read.
3. The purpose of school reports at that age are, in part, to teach the fundamentals of research. The fact that you can look up several books on your subject in one place might actually encourage a student to do MORE research for a project, as all the books are look, right there! By the time they’ve realized they’ve read three rather than two books on the subject, the project will practically have completed itself. Then when they’re older and will have to run around the library looking up books on their subject based on call numbers, they might be more likely to look up a few more rather than just that one big one they found in that one spot.
That’s just my unsolicited 2 cents. What’s your opinion?

Download the first four chapters of fantastic fantasy from husband-and-wife team, Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis, Wildwood Chronicles (a middle grade novel being released August 30, 2011). Lots of extras on their website, in addition to the preview, like videos, music, and their blog.

In case you didn’t get enough of this last week, I now present Werner Herzog reading Go the Fuck to Sleep at the NY Public Library (it’s a short clip, not the whole reading).


I can’t decide if this should go under “children’s” or “articles”, so here it is on the cusp of both. io9 presents “10 Creepy, Sexy Fairy Tales That Should Be Films”. I believe they stretch the definition of “fairy tale” just a bit with some of their suggestions, but I understand the sentiment. I, personally, keep hoping for a live-action, Ang Lee-directed, Mulan with Ziyi Zhang, the amazing martial arts star/actress from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Mediabistro‘s GalleyCat has “Free Samples of the 2011 Man Booker Prize for Fiction Longlist”.

For something a little more lowbrow, take a gander at HuffPo‘s round-up of the “15 Most Ridiculous Book Titles Ever”.

“A Whiff of History” is an article about capturing and recreating the smells of history, whether that’s a 3,500-year-old perfume or the scent of an endangered flower. Why would I recommend this? Besides the obvious “learn something new every day” factor, these lines show the stretch I’m making between olfactory history and books:

“Perfumers like New York-based Christopher Brosius have used headspace to re-create less obvious smells, like the odor of an old fur coat or a well-worn paperback [this is the part where I interject and say, “And this is why I don’t own an e-reader…”]. Their goal is an artistic one, but the same approach could serve as the beginning of a database. Imagine having a library of scents specific to a particular time or place, from the strangely sweet aroma of a plastic-wrapped CD case to the blend of horse dung and candy that permeates Boston’s Faneuil Hall.”

“An institution called the Osmothèque, headquartered in Versailles, France, operates as a kind of Library of Congress of perfumes – a collection of historically important perfumes, in their original formulas, kept chilled in aluminum flasks.”

Okay, it IS a bit of a stretch, but it’s a really interesting read, either way. And as someone who is particularly sensitive to smells – and is probably the only person in the world to vehemently dislike the smell of lavender, tea tree oil, and patchouli – this article gave me a nice trip down my olfactory memory lane.

AAGH! The New Yorker has an article about a bookstore in Sag Harbor that has a…wait for it…it hurts to say…HIPSTER LIT section. I’m dying inside. Sorry self-identified hipsters, I’m just not that into you. Thank goodness there’s only one book on this list that I love – High Fidelity by Nick Hornby – and so can still hold my head up. If you ARE into “hipster lit”, Flavorwire has the ultimate “hipster lit” round-up.

The Daily Beast asked authors what their most favorite summer read was. Admittedly I only cared because I wanted to know what Sherman Alexie said (The Basketball Diaries by Jim Carroll), but some of you may care about the other books other authors recommended.

Speaking of Sherman Alexie, I signed up for his newsletter and occasionally I get emails with a poem that he wrote in it and it’s the best part of my day when that happens. I highly recommend it.


Thanks to Ms. Emily Crowe over at As the Crowe Flies (and Reads!) for turning me on to these book posters that take the ENTIRE text of a book and put it on one page. Spineless Classics has done just that with several of your favorite books (including one of my favorites, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll). Other posters feature Dickens, Jane Austen, Black Beauty, and even the Bible.

Though Trashionista doesn’t generally review books that are to my particular taste in reading (for those who like specifically women-oriented literary and non-literary fiction, this is the site for you), I would wear this dress they’ve featured.

On a related note, this article also points you to Spoonfulofchocolate’s Etsy site, where “handmade book handbags and book e-reader covers” are sold.


A really exciting “moveable type” project is making its way to a city near you! (If you’re in the States, that is.) Power & Light Press, despite sounding vaguely religious, is actually a letterpress studio based in Oregon. They’ve rigged up a movable type truck and are driving around the country bringing letterpress to the people. Find out all about it by clicking the highlighted links and watching this video.

One thought on “Friday Round-Up

  1. Portable moveable type press? Sounds crazy. Also, love the minimalist cover for the Alice book. Also part deux, why is the Dewey decimal system still even used anywhere? I thought most libraries had shifted over to the Library of Congress system…(Did you know that The Holy Bible is filed under call letters BS in the Library of Congress system? Coincidence or wicked sense of humor? I couldn't say!)

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