Book Covers That Remind Me of World Famous Paintings πŸŽ¨

This post is brought to you in part by My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russel, which I loved. Not to spoil anything major but there is a part in the book where they are comparing books to paintings, and I thought it’d be interesting to do the same, especially because I really am fascinated by art and would love to learn more about famous paintings myself!

The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh

The Starry Night
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This oil on canvas painting, which currently resides in the MoMA, was created by Van Gogh in 1889 while he was staying at the mental hospital of Saint-Paul-de-Mausole. Considering that the surrounding area of the hospital does not look anything like the one in the painting, it can be concluded that he painted The Starry Night completely from imagination. This painting really reminds me of the book cover for Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer – the book is about a meteor knocking the moon closer to earth, and as a result causes tidal waves, tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanoes, among other natural disasters that harm the planet. The stars and moon really stand out to me in both works; everything seems calm and peaceful, and I find it interesting that the illusion of calmness is present in both, despite reality being so different.

Creazione di Adamo by Michelangelo

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The Creation of Adam – or Creazione di Adamo – was painted in 1511 by Michelangelo on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican. This fresco, which only took SIXTEEN DAYS to finish, represents the birth of humanity from the Book of Genesis in the Bible. This painting reminds me of the cover of Ashen Winter by Mike Mullin. This book is the second in a series about a Supervulcano eruption and how the two main characters, Alex and Darla, are surviving it. The hands in both represent new life, and are even positioned in a similar way!

I’d love to continue doing this with more book and painting pairs! Let me know if there are any you want to see. πŸ™‚

-Catherine


3 Specialty Indie Bookstores You Need to Visit πŸ€©πŸ™Œ

I’ve been curious lately as to whether or not there are any specialty, or niche bookstores in the world. After a bit of research, it turns out there are! Here are 3 specialty indie bookstores you just need to visit, and if you can’t visit, you can still support!

Grolier Poetry Bookshop – Cambridge, Massachusetts

CambridgeRealEstate.com, Grolier Poetry Book Shop in Harvard... | Bookshop,  Poetry books, Book cafe

This bookshop sells exclusively poetry books, with 15,000 poetry works in their collection. It is the oldest poetry-specific bookshop in the United States, around since 1927. Many poets and writers throughout the years have frequented Grolier, especially because Harvard University, where most of them had studied, is in Cambridge as well.

https://bookshop.org/shop/grolier

The Ripped Bodice – Culver City, California

Fall in Love With The Ripped Bodice, The Only All-Romance Bookstore |  Observer

The Ripped Bodice is a Romance-specific bookstore, and the only one in the United States. It was started by sisters Leah and Bea Koch who raised $91,000 on Kickstarter to open the store. Their tagline is β€œSmart girls read romance,” so that people don’t feel ashamed of their love for the genre, and they have a wide array of gifts one can purchase to support independent, female owned businesses.

https://www.therippedbodicela.com/

Atomic Books – Baltimore, Maryland

Stockist Spotlight: Atomic Books // Baltimore, Maryland β€” Got a Girl Crush

Atomic Books has been around since 1992 and specializes in non-super hero comic books and graphic novels. Bonus: there is a bar inside called Eightbar which sells craft beer, wine, ciders, and meads! Atomic Books is doing it right; I think all bookshops should have a bar at the back. πŸ’β€β™€οΈ

https://atomicbooks.com/

If you know about any other specialty Indie bookshops that I can check out, let me know. I’d love to hear about them.

-Catherine


Dark Academia Book Aesthetics πŸ’€β˜•οΈ | Read and TBR

As described by Wikipedia, dark academia is an aesthetic centered on higher education, writing, the arts, and classic Greek and Gothic architecture, as well as romantic longing and death — think 19th and early 20th century at private schools in England; bitter black coffee; blazers; vintage jewelry; and dark colours.

Today I will be talking about some books I’ve read with this theme, as well as books I want to read.

If We Were Villans by M.L. Rio

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If this cover does not scream dark academia, I don’t know what does; that skull is making me think that this book will be eerie and mysterious. I haven’t read this one yet, but it has a really good rating on Goodreads and the plot sounds intriguing. The protagonist, Oliver, is an actor studying Shakespeare at an elite arts college. One of the actors in the play ends up dying, an the other actors have to convince the police that they didn’t do it. However, Oliver had gone to jail for 10 years for the crime, so it sounds like we as the reader have to figure out if he actually did it or not.

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

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Whoa, skulls on the cover again. I guess skulls are a thing for dark academia, which would make sense if death is part of it. I have read this book, and I feel like this might be a controversial opinion, but personally, I wasn’t a fan. However, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that it exudes allll the dark academia vibes. This is the story of college roommates, Victor and Eli, who in their senior year start conducting experiments surrounding near death experiences. Victor goes to jail, and when he gets out, tries to find Eli, who is now his enemy. I guess jail is another dark academia thing, because both this book and If We Were Villans seem to have that going for them. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

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So this book is one I started ~ a year ago, haven’t finished, but plan to start over and complete. From what I’d read, it was really good! I think the intimidating part is that I own an e-copy but don’t own a kindle, so I had to read it on my phone, and given the fact that it is 771 pages in paperback, it was a little daunting to read on such a tiny screen 😬 but anyway, that’s besides the point! This book is about a boy named Theo who survives a tragedy that kills his mother. Theo clings to a small painting that reminds him of his mother, and that draws him in to the world of art. Ultimately, this book is about love, identity, and art – all at the forefront of dark academia.

Has anyone read any other good books with a dark academia vibe? Have you read any of the ones I mentioned? I’d love to know your thoughts πŸ™‚

-Catherine


Library Series | 3 of the Most Beautiful Libraries Around the World

2020. What a year. Despite everything that’s changed in the last 9 months, at least one thing has remained the same: I am a sucker for aesthetically pleasing libraries and I will continue this series posting about different libraries around the globe. I’m not sure when it will be safe to travel to all of the beautiful places I’ve found these libraries in again, but at least daydreaming isn’t cancelled!

Admont Abbey Library – Admont, Austria

The first library that I’ve had my eye on is the Adamont Abbey Library in Austria. When I look at this photograph, I almost can’t believe that it’s real. This library was built on Adamont Abbey monastery, designed by architect Joseph Hueber in 1776 and has over 200,000 volumes today. In April 1865, there was a fire that caused considerable damage to the monastery, but the library remained unharmed.

Stift Admont Library //πŸ“#Admont #Austria // ?
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Vennesla Library and Culture House – Vennesla, Norway

This library is very aesthetically pleasing to me, but in an entirely different way than Adamont Abbey’s is. I love how symmetrical the shelves here are; everything looks really clean and orderly, and as someone who appreciates order, this is very satisfying. It serves not only as a library, but as a cultural center where people are encouraged to gather. This library has a more modern feel, which is no surprise as it was built in 2011, and has won several architectural awards.

ARCHITECTURE TODAY: Norway Vennesla Library and Culture House

Klementinum National Library – Prague, Czech Republic

This library was built in 1772 for the Jesuit University; they have 20,000 volumes and some books are still there from that time. The ceiling frescoes depict Jesuit saints and allegorical motifs of education. According to Tripadvisor reviews, if you do visit this one, in order to preserve it, guests are not permitted to enter the library or take pictures of it, but there is a bell tower with a 360 degree aerial view of Prague that you are permitted to climb.

Is This the Most Beautiful Library in Europe?

If anyone knows of any other beautiful libraries around the world, or counties they would be interested in seeing featured in this series, please let me know!

-Catherine πŸ™‚

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Who’s Dewey? | How Books Are Arranged in the Library

Does anyone remember the episode of Arthur when he and Francine were locked in the library? I probably watched that episode hundreds of times as a kid, so it’s no surprise that it’s one of the ones that sticks out the most in my head now. I mean, I don’t see why anyone would try to escape being locked in the library over night. They’re quiet, quaint, have comfortable couches, and I don’t know what the deal was in the libraries of 1996 when this episode first aired (maybe exploring libraries of the 90s will be a post for another day), but they definitely have Internet now – so, what’s the issue, Arthur?

Locked in the Library! | TVOKids Arthur Wiki | Fandom
This is the Stairway to Heaven Led Zepplin sings about, right?!

Another thing I remember about Arthur was that beloved ‘Library Card’ song. You know, the one that goes, “Having fun isn’t hard, When you’ve got a library card.” It’s so deeply engrained into my memory that I can’t even look at that sentence without singing it in my head. Well, anyway, a more unpopular line in that song is, “And don’t forget, The Dewey Decimal System is your friend.” If you’re like D.W., this is the point in the song, or post, where you ask yourself who Dewey is.

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Melville Louis Kossuth “Melvil” Dewey was an American librarian born in 1851 whose published work in 1876, A Classification and Subject Index for Cataloguing and Arranging the Books and Pamphlets of a Library, became what we know today as the Dewey Decimal System – aka the classification system by which libraries classify their books.

Each book at the library has numbers on its spine and is arranged by subject in numerical order:

The above represents the first set of numbers on the spine – the general subject area of the book. It is then broken down further by adding a decimal, followed by more sections of numbers that are representative of the book’s sub-section. Each sub-section then has ten more divisions of increasing specificity. Subsequently, more letters are added at the end to represent the author or editor of the book.

For example:

Term - Call Numbers
Fun Fact: the 4 in 43 represents that the book is about a planet; the 3 in 43 represents that the book is about the planet Mars.

Maybe this is why no one answered D.W. when she asked who Dewey was over and over at the end of the song – because there are so many sections upon sections of number and letter combinations, that if they explained every single one to her, they would be at the library all night, and considering the librarian didn’t even bother to check if Francine and Arthur were still around before closing up, I doubt she’d have been too pleased to do so.

One thing is for sure though, almost 25 years ago when the episode emphasized that having fun isn’t hard when you’ve got a library card, they were right – they were right then, they’d be right now, and thanks to our friend, Dewey, it’s a little easier to organize it.

nice Arthur Library Card Coloring Page | Coloring pages, Library card,  Coloring sheets for kids

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