I am a little bit ashamed to admit that I have forgotten the date that my last post was published. I could have easily looked it up, of course, but I’m really scared to see just how long I’ve been neglecting my blog and my followers.
I have deviated from my goal again, which was to have one new post published every Tuesday and Saturday and that is mostly because right now every Tuesday and Saturday I am working. However, my blog and my readers are important to me and, though I do not have much free time, I do not want to lose them. So, this will be my new monthly posting schedule, starting next week:
- 1st Thursday of the month: Free
- 2nd: Mini-Reviews and Update on Reading Progress
- 3rd: Modern Greek Authors (next post will be on Kostas Karyotakis)
- 4th: Book Haul
- 5th (and yes, there can be 5 Thursdays in a month): Free
So, as you can see I am planning to be posting once a week every Thursday. I would have loved posting more often but I don’t have the time to do so.
Anyway, now that I’ve told you about that, let’s move on to the book haul…
1. The Sea by Valeria Manferto De Fabianis
The Atlantic, the Red Sea, the Caribbean, the South Pacific-here are all the oceans in all colors and aspects: clear, tropical waters; turbulent open seas; immense plains of water seen from space; magical icy polar oceans; and delicate and frothy photographs from inside powerful waves.
The Sea’s camera eye emerges from underwater-from the multicolored coral reefs and underwater wrecks and washes on to sandy beaches, coral reefs, cliffs, and volcanic islands to observe the life of coastal villages, ports, and on ships at sea. Another chapter deals with sea creatures: predators and prey, the brightly hued, the powerful, and the delicate life of our oceans.
This is a book full of gorgeous photos of the sea. I am planning to use it a lot as reference while I’m trying to learn how to paint realistically with acrylics.
2. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julián Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax’s books in existence. Soon Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets–an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.
This was a gift from my mother. I have heard of the book before and I’ve definitely heard of the author, but I know nothing about the plot other than that it is a book about books. To be honest I don’t want to know anything more about it before I read it.
3. The Blood Mirror by Brent Weeks
The Blood Mirror is the action-packed new novel in the Lightbringer series by international bestseller Brent Weeks.
Stripped of both magical and political power, the people he once ruled told he’s dead, and now imprisoned in his own magical dungeon, former Emperor Gavin Guile has no prospect of escape.
But the world faces a calamity greater than the Seven Satrapies has ever seen . . . and only he can save it.
As the armies of the White King defeat the Chromeria and old gods are born anew, the fate of worlds will come down to one question: who is the Lightbringer?
I have a problem. I like to marathon my series. The truth is that if I don’t marathon them, I take waaaay too long to finish them. So, I just HAD to buy the 4th book in the Lightbringer series even though I have yet to read the first 3 books. These ones are some of the biggest books in my TBR list right now. Also, I have recently found out there is going to be a 5th book in this series, but I will have to wait to read that one by itself because I’ve already started reading The Black Prism.
4. Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
Destined to destroy empires Mia Covere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death.
Six years later, the child raised in the shadows takes her first steps towards keeping the promise she made on the day that she lost everything.
But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, so if she is to have her revenge, Mia must become a weapon without equal. She must prove herself against the deadliest of friends and enemies, and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and demons at the heart of a murder cult.
The Red Church is no Hogwarts, but Mia is no ordinary student. The shadows love her. And they drink her fear.
I think it is finally time to reveal a big secret to you. You probably would never have guessed but I am kinda addicted to Fantasy books. *gasp!* And Regan at the PeruseProject has been unknowingly but shamelessly feeding that addiction with her awesome Fantasy recommendations. This is just one of the many books that I got because of her. And I’m really looking forward to reading it before the sequel comes out in September.
5. Voice of the Gods by Trudi Canavan
As the promise of peace dies, two peoples are once more drawn inexorably into war.
Despite her hope for peace, Auraya is unable to avoid being caught up in the building conflict, and as the gods’ demands increase, she finds that she must choose between those she loves and those she’s sworn to serve.
Meanwhile, the Pentadrians, determined to take their revenge on the conquering Circlians, plot and scheme to bring down their enemies by means other than direct conflict.
The key to everything, though, may lie with the Wilds, who embark upon a quest for secrets buried long ago. Secrets that could change the world …
Trudi Canavan is a goddess among authors when it comes to Fantasy. And coming from an agnostic you should know how important that statement is. I have already read The Black Magician and The Traitor Spy trilogies by her and I have loved both of them. I’m really excited about reading another trilogy by her and now that I have Voice of the Gods I can finally do that. My goal is to read every book she has ever written and this and Millenium’s Rule are the only two I have left to achieve that goal right now.
6. Living, Thinking, Looking by Siri Hustvedt
The internationally acclaimed novelist Siri Hustvedt has also produced a growing body of nonfiction. She has published a book of essays on painting Mysteries of the Rectangle as well as an interdisciplinary investigation of a neurological disorder The Shaking Woman or A History of My Nerves. She has given lectures on artists and theories of art at the Prado, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. In 2011, she delivered the thirty-ninth annual Freud Lecture in Vienna. Living, Thinking, Looking brings together thirty-two essays written between 2006 and 2011, in which the author culls insights from philosophy, neuroscience, psychology, psychoanalysis, and literature.The book is divided into three sections the essays in Living draw directly from Hustvedts life those in Thinking explore memory, emotion, and the imagination and the pieces in Looking are about visual art. And yet, the same questions recur throughout the collection. How do we see, remember, and feel How do we interact with other people What does it mean to sleep, dream, and speak What is the self Hustvedts unique synthesis of knowledge from many fields reinvigorates the much-needed dialogue between the humanities and the sciences as it deepens our understanding of an age-old riddle What does it mean to be human.
I’ve had this book on my wishlist for a very long time. So long that I have forgotten what the book is about other than that it is a collection of essays. The only other thing I remember is that when I first heard about it, I immediately thought it was a book I would really enjoy reading. I’ve heard awesome reviews about Siri Hustvedt and I’m hoping to love her writing.
7. Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered by Austin Kleon
In his New York Times bestseller Steal Like an Artist, Austin Kleon showed readers how to unlock their creativity by “stealing” from the community of other movers and shakers. Now, in an even more forward-thinking and necessary book, he shows how to take that critical next step on a creative journey—getting known.
Show Your Work! is about why generosity trumps genius. It’s about getting findable, about using the network instead of wasting time “networking.” It’s not self-promotion, it’s self-discovery—let others into your process, then let them steal from you. Filled with illustrations, quotes, stories, and examples, Show Your Work! offers ten transformative rules for being open, generous, brave, productive.
In chapters such as You Don’t Have to Be a Genius; Share Something Small Every Day; and Stick Around, Kleon creates a user’s manual for embracing the communal nature of creativity— what he calls the “ecology of talent.” From broader life lessons about work (you can’t find your voice if you don’t use it) to the etiquette of sharing—and the dangers of oversharing—to the practicalities of Internet life (build a good domain name; give credit when credit is due), it’s an inspiring manifesto for succeeding as any kind of artist or entrepreneur in the digital age.
I’ve been looking into buying more books about art lately. Both tutorial-style books and informational books; anything I think might prove helpful for my career as an artist. This one has come highly recommended from a lot of different artists. Having bought and read it, I can now honestly say that they were all of them right.
8. The Art of Urban Sketching: Drawing On Location Around The World by Gabriel Campanario
The Art of Urban Sketching is both a comprehensive guide and a showcase of location drawings by artists around the world who draw the cities where they live and travel. Authored by the founder of the nonprofit organization Urban Sketchers (www.urbansketchers.org), this beautiful, 320-page volume explains urban sketching within the context of a long historical tradition and how it is being practiced today. With profiles of leading practitioners and discussions of the benefits of working in this art form, this inspiring book shows how one can participate and experience this creative outlet through modern-day social networks and online activity. You’ll find more than 600 beautiful, contemporary illustrations, as well as artists’ profiles and extended captions where these urban sketchers share their stories, how they work, sketching tips, and the tools behind each drawing. With sketches and observations from more than 50 cities in more than 30 countries, The Art of Urban Sketching offers a visually arresting, storytelling take on urban life from different cultures and artistic styles, as well as insight into various drawing techniques and mediums.
I’ve been interested in learning more about urban sketching. I’ve always loved staring at drawings of cityscapes and I would like to learn how to create my own. Also, I want to become less detail-oriented in my drawings. I want to learn how to show more by drawing less.
That’s why I also bought…
9. The Urban Sketching Handbook: Architecture and Cityscapes: Tips and Techniques for Drawing on Location by Gabriel Campanario
Award-winning illustrator Gabriel Campanario first introduced his approach to drawing in The Art of Urban Sketching, a showcase of more than 500 sketches and drawing tips shared by more than 100 urban sketchers around the world. Now, he drills down into specific challenges of making sketches on location, rain or shine, quickly or slowly, and the most suitable techniques for every situation, in The Urban Sketching Handbook series. It’s easy to overlook that ample variety of buildings and spaces and the differences from city to city, country to country. From houses, apartments and shopping malls to public buildings and places of worship, the structures humans have created over the centuries, for shelter, commerce, industry, transportation or recreation, are fascinating subjects to study and sketch.
In The Urban Sketching Handbook: Architecture and Cityscapes, Gabriel lays out keys to help make the experience of drawing architecture and cityscapes fun and rewarding. Using composition, depth, scale, contrast, line and creativity, sketching out buildings and structure has never been more inspirational. This guide will help you to develop your own creative approach, no matter what your skill level may be today. As much as The Urban Sketching Handbook: Architecture and Cityscapes may inspire you to draw more urban spaces, it can also help to increase your appreciation of the built environment. Drawing the places where we live, work and play, is a great way to show appreciation and creativity.
I am planning to use this handbook as a guide to help me practice while I draw inspiration from its companion.
10. The Mistborn Trilogy Boxed Set by Brandon Sanderson
Mistborn is an epic fantasy trilogy and a heist story of political intrigue, surprises and magical martial-arts action. The saga dares to turn a genre on its head by asking a simple question: What if the hero of prophecy fails? What kind of world results when the Dark Lord is in charge?
The Final Empire (1st book) summary: Where ash falls from the sky, and mist dominates the night, evil cloaks the land and stifles all life. Criminal mastermind Kelsier teaches Allomancy, the magic of metals, to another Mistborn, urchin Vin 16. The unlikely heroine is distracted by rich Venture heir Elend. Can Kelsier’s thieving crew take on the tyrant Lord Ruler and bring back colour to their world?
I’ve wanted to get my hands on this specific boxed set of the Mistborn Trilogy and on that specific edition of The Way of Kings, which I talked about in my last haul, ever since since I’d first heard Regan talk about Brandon Sanderson years ago. (And if you’ve been following me long enough, then you must know how seriously I take Regan’s Fantasy recommendations.) Now, I finally have all four of them in my hands, on my bookshelves and out of my wishlist! Ecstatic doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel right now.
11. Το Κελάρι της Ντροπής (The Cellar of Shame) by Chrysiida Dimoulidou
Δεκαετία του ’60. Σ’ ένα μικρό χωριό της Μεσσηνίας, τρεις αδελφές, η Δήμητρα, η Αναστασία και η Μυρτώ, μεγαλώνουν στη σκιά ενός πατέρα αφέντη και μιας μάνας που δεν έχει λόγο. Η μόνη έξοδός τους είναι κάθε Κυριακή για την εκκλησία και στο πανηγύρι του χωριού μία φορά τον χρόνο. Οι καιροί σκληροί, αλλά οι πράξεις σκληρότερες.
Και μια μέρα ο πατέρας τις εγκαταλείπει και εξαφανίζεται. Το κοινωνικό στίγμα είναι βαρύ για την οικογένεια που άφησε πίσω του, όμως μαζί έρχεται και η λύτρωση από τους αυστηρούς κανόνες που έχει επιβάλει. Σταδιακά τα κορίτσια ξενιτεύονται σε τρεις διαφορετικές ηπείρους και με τον καιρό οι οικογενειακοί δεσμοί κόβονται. Σχεδόν τριάντα χρόνια αργότερα ένα τηλεφώνημα από την πατρίδα θα ταράξει τη μέχρι τότε ήρεμη ζωή τους. Η επιστροφή στο χωριό τους γίνεται επιτακτική και ο επικείμενος θάνατος της μάνας που άφησαν ολομόναχη χωρίς να ενδιαφερθούν γι’ αυτήν θα τις φέρει αντιμέτωπες με μυστικά και αλήθειες που απέκρυψαν. Το παρελθόν γυρίζει στο παρόν ζητώντας απαντήσεις.
Τι συνέβη και τις παράτησε ο πατέρας τους; Γιατί εγκατέλειψαν τη μάνα τους στην τύχη της; Γιατί το πατρικό τους δεν πρέπει να φύγει από τα χέρια τους; Ποιο μυστικό κρύβει το κελάρι στο υπόγειο του σπιτιού; Οι τρεις αδελφές πάνω από την ετοιμοθάνατη μάνα κάνουν μόνο μια ερώτηση: «Μάνα, όλα αυτά τα χρόνια γιατί δεν καθάρισες την ντροπή;»
It’s been almost a year since I last read and reviewed Chrysiida Dimoulidou’s books (The Tears of God, Guess Who’s Leaving Tonight, Demons Don’t Have Names) and I’d had my eye on this one long before that. Last week I saw it lying around in my aunt’s house and I asked her about it. She told me that she hadn’t liked it and that she was going to donate it to the library. So, I grabbed the opportunity and asked her to give it to me. Lucky me! I got a book for free.
By the way, I know that you probably don’t read Greek, but I will translate the synopsis for you in my review after I’ve read the book.
12. The Abhorsen Chronicles by Garth Nix
This paperback collection contains the complete text of the first three beloved bestselling books in Garth’s Nix’s Old Kingdom series: Sabriel, Lirael, and Abhorsen.
Every step brings Sabriel closer to a battle that will pit her against the true forces of life and death—and bring her face-to-face with her own destiny
With only her faithful companion, the Disreputable Dog, Lirael must undertake a desperate mission under the growing shadow of an ancient evil, which threatens the fate of the Old Kingdom.
The Abhorsen Sabriel and King Touchstone are missing, and Lirael must search in both Life and Death for some means to defeat the evil Destroyer—before it is too late.
Another Fantasy series I’ve wanted to buy for years and just hadn’t. I think it was also one of Regan’s videos that finally convinced me to buy it. It is a lot bigger than I had thought it would be, which shouldn’t surprise me if you consider that it is a bind-up of three books, but it did.
13. The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
It is 1866, and young Walter Moody has come to make his fortune upon the New Zealand goldfields. On the stormy night of his arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of twelve local men who have met in secret to discuss a series of unexplained events: A wealthy man has vanished, a prostitute has tried to end her life, and an enormous fortune has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into the mystery: a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely ornate as the night sky.
Richly evoking a mid-nineteenth-century world of shipping, banking, and gold rush boom and bus, The Luminaries is a brilliantly constructed, fiendishly clever ghost story and a gripping page-turner.
At first, I was drawn by the name (the author’s name) while perusing the books in my favorite bookstore-we have almost the same name. Then, I was drawn by the title, which I thought until recently that it was a made up word. Then, I was interested in the cover (not this off-white one, the blue one). And lastly, I read the synopsis.
I was hooked.
But it was soooo expensive! And I was a “starving” student at the time. I didn’t buy it. And as the time went by, I forgot about it. Until Sunday evening, when my awesome father came home with this specific book in hand saying it was for me. OMG! I’m in book heaven this week!
14. Sketching from the Imagination: Fantasy by Sean Andrew Murray
Drawings are the foundations of great fantasy art where concepts, thoughts, and inspirations first become an image. In Sketching from the Imagination: Fantasy, fifty talented traditional and digital artists have been chosen to share their sketchbook works and describe their artistic practices when forging new ideas as beautiful sketches. Ranging from Hollywood film concept designers to talented students, each artist is handpicked from a vibrant international art community and from a wide spectrum of styles and mediums.
This exquisite new title explores how fifty artists develop their ideas, drawing on diverse sources and their own imaginations to create incredible images. In each article, artists share their love for fantasy drawing, exploring the inspirations and processes behind their practices. Packed with tips, tricks, and creative insights, the artists reveal how they developed their skills, exercise their talents, and explore new fantasy ideas through the forum of drawing. From doodles and sketches of creative creatures to fully rendered drawings of invented worlds, each collection is a compendium of concepts to intrigue and inspire the creatively minded.
Following the runaway success of Sketching from the Imagination: An Insight into Creative Drawing, 3DTotal Publishing’s new title Sketching from the Imagination: Fantasy focuses on designing concepts for one of the most popular genres for artists and audiences alike. A visually stunning collection packed with useful advice, Sketching from the Imagination: Fantasy is an excellent value resource for concept design that will inspire artists of all abilities, as well as those that simply admire beautiful art.
Another drawing book. My collection has grown quite a lot now. That’s okay, though. I want to have a selection of books to draw knowledge from and to be able to recommend to my future students. I have recently realized that, even though I am knowledgeable enough in the part of art that I do and that I am going to teach soon enough, I am pretty lacking in knowledge in other artistic parts. I would like to expand my “artistic horizons” and one of the best ways to do it is by reading books and practicing what you learn.
15. Perspective Drawing Handbook by Joseph D’Amelio & Sanford Hohauser (Illustrator)
This handy guide provides numerous insights and shortcuts to drawing and sketching effectively. Describing mandatory skills for beginning and advanced students, the text covers such subjects as diminution, foreshortening, convergence, shade and shadow, and other visual principles of perspective drawing.
Accompanying a concise and thoughtfully written text are more than 150 simply drawn illustrations that depict a sense of space and depth, demonstrate vanishing points and eye level, and explain such concepts as appearance versus reality; perspective distortion; determining heights, depths, and widths; and the use of circles, cylinders, and cones.
Artists, architects, designers, and engineers will find this book invaluable in creating works with convincing perspective.
So, why perspective? Am I going to learn about all of these things at the same time? Of course not. I’ve been looking for a good book on perspective to have as a teaching help. Mostly to help me put into words what time and practice have taught me.
To anyone who is considering buying it, I’m going to warn you that it is a very short book. About 100 pages long. But from a first glance, it is exactly what I’ve been looking for. Short text, lots of illustrations to see with your own eyes what the author is trying to explain and it has everything I need and more.
16. Sketching People: An Urban Sketcher’s Guide to Drawing Figures and Faces by Lynne Chapman
Drawing people out in the world is exciting; there is an immediacy and honesty to the art you create, and each sketch contains a host of memories, not just of the individuals captured on the paper, but of the place and the moment in time that the sketch occupied. But it can also be a challenge: how do you spot people who are likely to stay still for you and how do you drawmovement, for those occasions when they don’t! This book provides straight-forward, practical help to give beginner sketchers the confidence and ability to draw all sorts of people in a variety of situations. With detailed advice on how to put together an Urban Sketching toolkit and the best media to choose for particular situations, it will teach you new ways of looking at your subject, and different techniques to help you draw more quickly and explore new styles. Clearly written and fun to read, this book is bursting with inspirational artwork and candid advice, which will improve your drawing skills and change the way you sketch forever.
Sketching people is something I’ve always wanted to be able to do but have never been able to do it. I’ve never been loose enough with my drawings to allow myself to improve in people sketching. However, I am determined. This is something I want to learn and I will. Hopefully this book will help me.
These are all the books I bought this spring. I am really looking forward to reading all of them. My next post will be on Thursday and it will be mini-reviews. I have been putting off my reviews for way too long.
Now it’s your turn…
What books did you get recently? Are there any more fantasy books that you would think I would enjoy? Would you like me to do a post about all of my art books or maybe about all of my non-fiction books?