Monday, January 4, 2010

Books I got for Christmas and my birthday

I was spoiled this Christmas and birthday. I received so many wonderful books from my mom and Stuart; I am so excited that I'm reading them all at the same time. Some of them are used, some are new, all are awesome.

Here they are:

First one on my wish list was The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. I'm only on page 98 or so and it's already a fantastic read. Stuart laughs at me because as I read it I keep on chuckling to myself each time Dawkins brings up another great point. It just makes so much sense! More on this once I finish reading it.

One of my favourite artists is Alphonse Mucha. The gorgeous book Alphonse Mucha; Master Works by Rosalind Ormiston was a lovely Christmas surprise. It's huge, full of pictures of his stylistic fin de si├Ęcle art, and also includes interesting biographical information on Mucha.

Another Mucha book, Art Nouveau Figurative Designs by Ed Sibbett, Jr. is sort of like a colouring book of Mucha art. Wicked book, but I'm not totally sure what I'm going to do with it yet. Perhaps try using them as patterns for water colour and ink projects.

Continuing with the Art Nouveau theme, I got a book called Art Nouveau; Stained Glass Pattern Book by Ed Sibbett, Jr (included with this gift, I got a stained glass window kit. Never done stained glass before, but it's a pretty neat gift and I'm pumped to give it a go).

Gotta love Michael J Fox, or as he's better known, Marty McFly. His book, Always Looking Up, seems like quite the feel-gooder. Can't go wrong with a good kick of optimism every once and a while. Especially when delivered by a time traveler. That's heavy.

This book, which I think is just called Gnomes by Poortvliet / Huygen wasn't actually a gift specifically for me for Christmas. It used to be my grandma's (grandma is obsessed with Gnomes as all good old ladies should be) but she left it at my mom's place before she moved out west. So I adopted it. The drawings in it are so lovely and detailed. It's almost like a text book on all things one would need to know about Gnomes. My copy doesn't have the dust jacket, but I actually prefer the cover sans jacket.

This copy of R.L. Stevenson's Treasure Island was actually a gift I gave to Stuart. I love Penguin's new line of cloth-bound editions of classic books. They are all so pretty. It is a fantastic idea and so visually appealing to take one iconic image from the book and repeat it like that. So simple, yet far from boring. I hope they come out with a Frankenstein edition.

Another favourite artist of mine is Nelle Brinkley. Here is Trina Robbins' book called Nell Brinkley and the New Woman in the Early 20th Century. I already have Robbin's other beautiful book with Brinkley's colourful art but this one is more information based rather than a visual read. One of its focuses is how Brinkley's art reveals a post-Victorian sense of feminism. I love reading about the cultural influence of art. Ah, I can't wait to read this book!

How fantastic is the cover of this vintage Penguin book on The Science Fiction of Edgar Allan Poe?!

I love Eddy.

Ohhhh jeez. Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita is something else. I saw the film years and years ago and really dug it. I've always wanted to read the book, and it's always on "top 50 books to read" lists. I started reading it last night and this morning. I was almost embarrassed reading it on the street car, nervous someone was reading over my shoulder. Yikes, quite the content. It's odd though, because the subject matter is perverse and disturbing yet it is some of the most beautifully written prose I've ever read. It creates quite a conflicting feeling when I read this book.

Another great vintage book; In Search of Frankenstein by Radu Florescu is right up my ally. It has loads of pictures and great gothic fonts inside.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. What can I say? You can never have too many of these lying around.

A Tale of Two Cities and Christmas Stories
by good ole Dickens. Have you ever actually read "A Christmas Carol"? I hadn't until this Christmas, and I don't know what I've been waiting for all these years. Sure I've seen the Muppet's version, and yeah, I was in some crappy community theatre version years ago, but now I know what all the hype is about. It is a good friggin read. Funny, touching, heartfelt, creepy and all that good stuff you come to expect from your yuletide classics.

Jack Kramer's Miniature Plants Indoors and Out. I'm into houseplants for some reason now. I guess it's all those plants Janet has in Three's Company... it just looks so 70s.

Stuart made this for me. He's repurposed it by removing all of the old pages and inserting water colour pages to make a beautiful sketch book. I love it.

Fact: Doing blogs is ridiculously time consuming.

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