All posts filed under: Other Book Stuff

The Best of 2015

Image © The New York Times It’s that time of year when all the ‘best of’ lists make their appearances. So we thought we’d share a few of the best books of 2015 as decided by a few trusted sources: NPR has the most comprehensive list of all. They’ve shared 260 titles that both critics and NPR staffers have loved from this past year. And their website offers visitors a great way to sort through their long list… you can select from nearly 30 filters to find just the right type of book (including book club ideas, poetry and kids books). Looking for your next great read? This is a great list to visit. Last week The New York Times debuted their list of the 10 Best Books of 2015 (selected by the editors of The New York Times Book Review). Their list is diverse, short and sweet. It’s definitely worth a look for 10 great book recommendations. Goodreads shares a best of list that’s unique in that it’s decided by the readers. The awards are broken up …

The Bookly Bulletin: Thanksgiving Edition

It’s Friday! So I thought I’d share another Bookly Bulletin (I know, finally!) full of reading- and book-related tidbits for you to enjoy over the long (and delicious) holiday. New here? Take a look at the other Bookly Bulletins. And without further ado… In honor of Thanksgiving, check out 14 novels that inspire 14 gobbles over on one of my new favorite #booknerd sites, Read It Forward. If you’re like me and buy books faster than you can read them, then you probably want to know just how long it will take you to read all those unread books on your shelf. Thanks to another gem from Read It Forward, the TBR (“to be read”) calculator does just that! Memoir is one of my favorite genres. One of the masters, Mary Karr, has a new book out called The Art of Memoir. My dad – a fellow book lover and book hoarder – sent me The New York Times’ review and while it’s not the most favorable, it’s a worth a read. (And I still might …

{The Handmaid’s Tale} Cover Redesign

    The Handmaid’s Tale has a rather recognizable cover… and that’s probably because the old version has been around for such a long time. So, to freshen it up, I wanted to bring it into a new era. The timeline in the book is fairly ambiguous, but if you make it all the way to the end, 1980’s cassette tapes play a significant, and rather mysterious, role. Their appearance in the story is till making me think and wonder. This inspired me to use the 80’s as inspiration for a new cover. I wanted something to show off the cassette tape, have an 80’s feel to the style, and still feel a little eerie (in keeping with the tone of the book). So without further a due, here’s a look at my redesign…    

30 Years in 30 Books

{Image © ELLE Magazine} Of all the magazines cluttering newsstands—all fighting not to get lost in the declining world of print—Elle Magazine is a stand out. Among the options with pretty actress/model cover girls, Elle also offers substance. It’s the only magazine where you can find both an article on the 10 best facial exfoliants AND one father’s brilliant financial solution to the future wage gap faced by his boy/girl twins. We also happen to love Elle because they always give their fair share of attention to books. For example, in the latest September issue they present The Lit List… “There are certain books that change the conversation and the way we see the world. The editors of ELLE dug deep and picked the 30 from the last 30 years that every self-respecting reader should have on her shelf.” It’s definitely a list to take a look at! Here are a few of our favorites from the 30… 1986 The Handmaid’s Tale 1992 The Shipping News 1996 Into the Wild 2000 The Tipping Point 2006 Eat, Pray Love 2012 Gone Girl   For …

{Their Eyes Were Watching God} Cover Redesign

In the years since this book was published, there have been quite a few iterations of the cover design. None of which have been terrible, but I figured it’d be a fun redesign none-the-less. This design was inspired by the reoccurring theme of the pear tree (among others). Early on in the story the young protagonist, Janie, sits beneath a pear tree and ponders life and love. All in one, the tree symbolizes her memories, hopes, and the blossoming of her dreams. And then throughout the story Hurston uses the pear tree, and others, as symbols of Janie’s life… “Janie saw her life like a a great tree.” So, here it is…   Title Font: Hitalica Caption Font: Georgia Pear Illustration: “The Beurre Diel Pear” Augusta Innes Withers, Hand-colored Engraving  

Print Books for the Win!

The argument goes on and on, and on… e-book vs. print book, which will come out on top? Well, it seems the easiest answer is: to each their own. But according to the New York Times the competition has taken an unexpected turn. As they say in a recent article The Plot Twist, “… the digital apocalypse never arrived, or at least not on schedule. While analysts once predicted that e-books would overtake print by 2015, digital sales have instead slowed sharply.” Readers are becoming hybrids, purchasing both print books and e-books. And this is creating a resurgence of brick-and-mortar bookstores and more competition for Amazon and e-readers. It’s probably too soon to tell, but print books are putting up a bigger fight than most predicted (not us, we knew books weren’t going anywhere). So only time will tell, but our prediction is that the unique charm and magic of hardcovers and paperbacks will keep them around for future generations (it’s not like you can read a children’s book to a 2-year-old on a kindle or …

Happy Force Friday!

No idea what we’re talking about? Let us explain: Force Friday is “the highly-anticipated midnight release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens toys, collectibles, gadgets, and more — is almost here. It will be the world’s first chance to own official product celebrating the next installment of the Star Wars saga.’” Technically it’s a made-up nerd holiday. But exciting nonetheless! We think it’s safe to assume you’ve heard (one, twice, or dozens of times) that the new Star Wars movie is coming out this December… Star Wars: The Force Awakens? (Don’t worry, we’re getting to how this relates to books) Since this new movie takes place a few decades after Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (the one with the Ewoks) there’s a large gap in time to fill. So, books to the rescue! Force Friday also marks the launch of the new novel Star Wars: Aftermath. It’s a new Star Wars book that takes place in the many years between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. So after the good guys win (and the Ewoks have their dance party), this book follows their …

Bookly Recommends {The Patriot}

We know that We Should All Be Feminists is a fast read – that’s one of the reasons we were so excited to read it this month! But if the essay has you hungering for more non-fiction, here are some recommendations from us to read during the month of {The Patriot}: Under the Banner of Heaven by John Krakauer: One of the best non-fiction books you will ever read. Krakauer takes a deep look into the fascinating and disturbing world of Mormon fundamentalism. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote: This is an American classic. It’s the true story of a series of cold-blooded murders in a sleepy farm town. Capote’s telling of the murders, the capture and prosecution of the murderers, and the aftermath of this horrific incident is chilling (read it with all the lights on). Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer: A deeply moving story of a young man who journeyed to the Alaskan wilderness, Into the Wild tells of the last days of Christopher McCandless. The story is simultaneously sad and frustrating, …

{Ender’s Game} Cover Redesign

I thought the hyper-scifi, ultra-nerd Ender’s Game cover could use an update. No offense to those scifi covers, they definitely serve their purpose. But I thought it’d be fun to rethink the look for Ender’s Game (it’s been a long time coming). Since the book was first published in early eighties, I thought something colorful and slightly retro was fitting. And if you’re a fan, you’ll notice I used the colors of the Dragon Army color code… it seemed appropriate 🙂 Ultimately, as I was reading Ender’s Game I just had this image in my head of a young boy overwhelmed and surrounded by different pressures, looking so child-like and alone…        

The Bookly Bulletin: June 2015

A few months ago, I announced a new post titled “The Bookly Bulletin” where I’d be sharing book-related tidbits from around the web… And then I didn’t do anything. Life, as it does, had me a bit distracted. BUT, I’m back and with the very first Bookly Bulletin installment. So let’s not wait any longer and get right to it! If you’re like me (ahem, a book hoarder), you might be running out of shelf space. Thankfully, The Everygirl provided some ideas to use them as home decor. Zadie Smith, author of White Teeth and On Beauty, wrote a piece on Oprah.com about what it means to be addicted to reading. I can’t get enough of these two Instagram accounts. Did you know All the Light We Cannot See won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction? Have you read it? It can be hit or miss (depending on your taste in pop culture), but The New York Times’ “By the Book” column is one of my favorites. As an Aziz Ansari fan, I’m intrigued by his new book …