Monday, June 30, 2014

Land of Nod Library-Themed Storage

I've always wanted my very own card catalog to hold my bits and bobs, but this one, the Circulation Chest, would be more practical, since the drawers are actually a variety of sizes.  

The Local Branch Library Cart is for storing (and moving) books and other nursery practicals as well.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Cover Envy: Sweetness #9 by Stephan Clark

I love the simplicity and ironic, well, sweetness, of the cover of Stephan Clark's novel Sweetness #9, which is being published by Hachette in August.  The design is clearly based on the iconic Sweet 'n Low packaging, with the famous Pepto pink of the wrapper and the white of the sugar switched to adorable/disturbing effect.  The novel's protagonist is David Levereaux, a flavor chemist, who in 1973 invented an artificial sweetener, which he realized in testing caused all kinds of health and psychological problems in the monkeys who it's tested on.  In the present day, Sweetness #9 (yup, that's the name of the artificial sweetener he created) is a huge success, but it might be to blame for David's myriad family problems.  Despite this plot summary, it's apparently quite funny. 

Irma Spies by Mitsuo Okamoto for Spur August 2014

This is a gorgeous bookish photo shoot from the Japanese fashion magazine Spur.  

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Brilliant Bookstores: The Book Barge

The Book Barge is a floating bookshop in the UK.  It is so delightfully cluttered, eclectic, Penguin-y, and picturesque.  The Book Barge was started by Sarah Henshaw, a writer, in 2009.  Read more about her project here.  Henshaw has also written a book about the Book Barge and her six-month tour of the UK called The Bookshop That Floated Away, which you can purchase here.
(1, 2, 3, 4)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

"The British Library" by Yinka Shonibare MBE at the Brighton Festival

The British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare was commissioned by the Brighton Festival (an annual arts festival in the English town of Brighton) and HOUSE 2014 to create this sculptural installation, entitled The British Library.  The installation replaced all of the books in the Brighton Museum's Old Reference Library with books wrapped in African wax cloth, which is an Indonesian-Dutch hybrid.  The spines of the books were printed with the names of famous immigrants and descendants of immigrants to Britain, including T.S. Eliot, Kazuo Ishiguro, Hans Holbein, Emma Watson, Mick Jagger, and Queen Elizabeth II herself.  Shonibare's installation, like much of his other work, is a comment on the centrality of immigrants to British culture and history.

Penguin Books Underground Lines Boxset

My two favorite icons of British design, the London Tube map and Penguin Books, came together in this beautiful set to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the London Underground in 2013.  Penguin commissioned twelve authors to write short stories, each inspired by  one of the Tube lines.  The authors were Fantastic Man, Kids Company, Danny Dorling, John Lanchester, William Leith, Richard Maybe, Paul Morley, John O'Farrell, Philippe Parreno, Leanne Shapton, Lucy Wadham, and Peter York.  You can buy the set online at the Transport for London shop here.

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Young Adult Novels of Moonrise Kingdom

Ever attentive to every design detail, film director Wes Anderson created a set of six fictional young adult novels, each with its own distinctive style, for Moonrise Kingdom.  They belonged to the main character Suzy Bishop, a 12-year old girl who loves reading.  When she runs away from home, she packs her suitcase with a bunch of library books.  I think most people who were once bookish kids can relate to this impractical but unavoidable choice!  In fact, I still can't help myself from over-packing books when I travel.  These books are super reminiscent of the tatty, plastic-covered books with cheesy/creepy illustrated covers that I would get from my local public library as a child.  I can still hear the crinkle of the cellophane covers and feel the intense excitement about reading a new or favorite book from the library.  Also check out the wonderful video at the bottom of this post, which gives summaries and even animated scenes for each of these fictional novels.  Wes Anderson did an extraordinary job of capturing the content, style, and design of the young adult novels of the 60s, 70s, and 80s.  These books really remind me of real books that I read as a kid.  

The Old Public Library of Cincinnati

This amazing building looks like a fantasy dreamt up by Jorge Luis Borges.  But this was the actual Cincinnati Public Library.  Sadly it was torn down in 1955.