Book Art: folding sculptures

I love this and had to post it. Isaac Salazar creates works of art by folding pages of old books:

“I see my work as a way to display a meaningful piece of art onto a book that would otherwise sit on a shelf and collect dust; it’s also my way of recycling a book that might otherwise end up in a landfill. The words or symbols I use are drawn from anything that invokes inspiration or encouragement, such as “Read”, “Dream” and the Recycle symbol. If my work also makes people look at a book and even art in a new light then the piece has done its job“

For more pictures, check out bookofart on flickr, or you can purchase his work on etsy.

(Via recyclart.org)

Favorite Reads of 2010 and plans for 2011

First, the stats:

  • 2006 – 103 books
  • 2007 – 99 books
  • 2008 – 77 books
  • 2009 – 79 books
  • 2010 – 82 books

As you can see, I still haven’t made my yearly goal to read 100 books, but the number is climbing upwards! The problem is that reviewing books (2006 and 2007 I didn’t review as I do now), cuts into reading time. Oh well, I won’t stop reviewing!

Out of those 82 books, these were my favorites (click on the book to see my review):

Blew me out of the water – Two books this year just had the perfect mix that made me feel like I was in utter love from start to finish. Unless I don’t feel consumed to a semi-obsession, a book won’t get on this list.

 

These books I loved and came close perfect (and wow, I had 9 of these this year. Up from 5 last year)

(Note: The Man Who Loved Pride and Prejudice is the repackaged mass market version of Pemberley by the Sea and Cordelia’s Honor is actually 2-books-in-one – I linked to the first book)

Goals for 2011:

1) Keep working on the TBR but don’t worry so much about how many books I buy. Last year I held back on buying books when I wanted to because I was concerned about the size of my TBR (it was 190, now it’s over 250). I’ve decided not to do that – if the TBR grows, it grows. Instead I think I’ll focus on trying to read more often than I have been (this year I often had rows of days where I read nothing. I’d like to read even a few pages a day as long as I read something)

2) Try to read 100 books – this is a long standing goal, just for a number to aim for. I don’t think it will ever not be a goal!

3) Be better about reading challenges – I sign up for online book clubs and challenges and I pretty much NEVER complete them. I suck at it. I’m going to try to read books for book clubs and challenges early this time. And oh man, I’d love to complete the Everything Austen challenge for once. Both times I joined, I got 4 out of 6 Austen related books/movies read and watched, then ran out of time. In 2011.. oh, I will get 6 out of 6. I WILLLLL!!

4) Stay easy going in this blogging thing. I think that will all the book blogs out there, it’s easy to put pressure on yourself and lose perspective. I want to make sure to remember that I do this because it makes me happy.

The Christmas Haul

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! I hope everyone is having a good day and get to spend some time with people they love.

And I hope (if you celebrate Christmas), that you got what you wanted! Of course, I got books. This is what my husband got me (which technically I got a week ago, before we went to visit family):

I also got a 8GB micro SD card as external memory for my nook. 🙂

My brother is taking me on a shopping spree to Bookman’s as his present.

What about you guys?

Book Blogger Holiday Swap

This weekend I received my gift from the Book Blogger Holiday Swap from Page from As the Page Turns. She did very well in what she sent –  Beastly by Alex Flinn and Dreams Underfoot by Charles de Lint. I’ve been meaning to read Beastly “one day”, but it didn’t seem to be happening, and although I downloaded the audiobook, the volume hasn’t been loud enough for me to hear it in the car (using just the nook’s speakers at least). So I’m very happy to have the book! And Charles de Lint – I need to read more de Lint. I usually enjoy his stuff (The Blue Girl and Moonheart were two I liked), but haven’t read his stuff in a while. That needs to be remedied.

Thank you, Page!

Mind melt

image is from London Particulars

In case anyone is wondering what is up with the more spotty than usual posting over here lately, I have a project at work and that’s been consuming all my brain cells for the past 3 weeks. Usually I can move my focus from work to the blog but in this case the combination of a deadline (next week), weekend hours and the steep learning curve, by the time I sit down and think about writing a review, I got no juice. It’s fun, I like it, but my mind is taken over with a wee dash of OCD about it all and doesn’t want to do anything else. Anyway, I believe by the end of next week I may be back to normal. I pray. 🙂 I AM trying to write reviews though so maybe that will still happen, it’s just not happening with the same regularity for the next week.

In the meantime, I shall post links. Check out this fashion shoot that is very halloween-y. Or feast your eyes on some Deanna Raybourne fan art: Lady Julia Grey, her brother Valerius,  and of course, Brisbane (I have Angie to thank for first pointing out the lovely art on this site so I’ve been following it ever since, waiting for more pretties). And a post about internet piracy and how it affects authors.

Literary Tattoos

I don’t have any tattoos. My sister has something like 10. I would have to think about it for a long before I got one. Maybe I’d go with a literary tattoo? I’ve been surfing and running into them lately. Last week I saw geeky tattoos being highlighted on the tor.com blog. This week I got an email that pointed a blog, The Word Made Flesh which focuses on literary tattoos. I spent a good hour there and following tumblr links!

Do you have any tattoos? Are they inspired by books? I’m curious.

(click for book referenced)

via The Word Made Flesh – blog associated with The Word Made Flesh: Literary Tattoos from Bookworms Worldwide

via Geeky Tattoos

both of the above via Fuck Yeah Tattoos

Why, yes.. this blog is empty but it’s temporary

The blog is backed up and I’m in the process of bringing in ALL the posts from Vox over (even the ones before I started the wordpress), plus the wordpress ones (with comments intact). I hit a snafu though and need the wordpress admins to fix something first.. in the meantime, the livejournal is still up.

ETA – Wait, livejournal in general seems to be slow or down today. Fine. I give up. Vox is still there I guess. Is it? I check.. yes, vox is still there till the end of the month when it is closing it’s doors.

Maintenance

Originally when I started my book blog it was on vox. After a little while I started cross-posting to Livejournal because that was a place with a better community and I’d had a personal blog there and was used to the interface. Then I found out that people had issues commenting on Livejournal when they didn’t have one, and I started a wordpress.com blog and cross posted to THERE too.

Well, vox is closing at the end of this month. I am keeping Livejournal and WordPress as usual and nothing will change there (I hope), but most of my images for my book reviews are hosted on vox so there will be a little bit of hair-pulling and whatnot as I back up my images elsewhere and update all the posts so that the image links aren’t broken.. oh only over 490 posts.. I’ll figure it out, but in the meantime if you see weirdness on the feed or friend’s page, please excuse it.

On Childhood Summers Spent Reading

from about.comI listen to NPR a lot now as I drive to and from work. This week I was listening to All Things Considered and there was a segment which I thought was such a lovely personal tale of how Ralph Eubanks, now an author and Director of Publishing at the Library of Congress began his love of reading:

“The bookmobile began stopping at my house in the summer of 1965, one year after the passage of the Civil Rights Act. As a boy, I took it for granted. A library on wheels was just part of the rural landscape. Isolated on a farm and oblivious to much of the turmoil of the civil rights movement, most Wednesdays I was finishing a book on the front steps when I heard the bookmobile’s tires rush over the gravel in my driveway. The civil rights movement remained distant, even though I knew that because I was black, I could not go to our local public library.

Even after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, Mississippi resisted enforcing it. But when my mother, a school teacher, asked for the bookmobile to stop at our house in the summer of 1965, the librarian did not hesitate even though schools were still segregated. By simply following the law rather than ignoring it, the bookmobile transformed me into a lifelong reader and eventually a writer.”

Listen to his commentary here, or read it online.

It was wonderful listening to this. It reminded me of my own childhood introduction to reading and how much libraries and librarians helped cultivate my love of books. There weren’t many English books where I grew up. We had a small school library which I loved but was only open when school was open. There was a British Council Library which needed a membership (and most of those were reference books so I rarely went). And then there was the row of used booksellers that sold tattered old mass market paperbacks in what was essentially a bunch of tiny shacks on the side of the road with books packed in so high that there was no room for more than a tiny gap to walk between them.  You could buy books there with a discount if you worked out a deal to return them. My mom would buy us stacks of series books – lots of Carolyn Keene mysteries which she bought along with a her Harlequin Presents. Those trips in a trishaw to get more books and then lying in bed reading them are a lovely part of my early memories of summer.

(Pictured here is a bookstore in India, but it’s not exactly the same thing).

What are your memories of learning to love reading?

Upcoming bookshelf review

I was contacted by a representative at the online furniture store CSN to do a review on one of their products about a month ago and I was mulling on the offer for a while. An informal poll on twitter had positive votes on the idea so decided to take them up on it.

We have about a million to-dos in the house and we’d love to redo the bathroom. CSN has a bathroom vanity website, and it would be nice to replace our outdated one with something more modern.

But that’s not very book related. The other thing we’ve been meaning to do is put up shelves over the desk in our office, and that IS book related. So this is what I’m going to review – a Contemporary Hutch/Bookshelf in Espresso. Full disclosure – CSN is giving me a gift certificate and I’m paying the remainder.  I’ll take lots of pictures!