Posts Tagged books

Book Art

Long have I prefered DeviantArt to Flickr, as I like the more ecclectic collection of ‘deviations’ (or text/art/photo/whatever-you-submissions) to the focus on photography at Flickr.

One of the best thinigs that I have found through my ramblings through DA are the other (seemingly increasing amount of?) ‘deviants’ and groups working on pieces of BOOK ART.

Take for example this whole group dedicated to making book arts:

http://book-arts.deviantart.com/

Or this group, where altered books are featured (I think the difference is a focus on assemblege?)

http://alteredbookgallery.deviantart.com/

Here are some examples of two excellent pieces by the deviant hogret:

the books never tell you. by hogret

the books never tell you. by hogret

autobiography (work in progress). by hogret

autobiography (work in progress). by hogret

The other genre of visual/written blending featured heavily in the DeviantArt groups is visual poetry.  From what I can see it’s a more established genre, but please tell me more if you know.

Some of my favourite pieces come from deviants carrieola and giantshadow, who often contribute their work to the Daily Poetics group.

Here are a couple to help you get the idea:

cosmic cradle on canvas. by carrieola

cosmic cradle on canvas. by carrieola

universed. by giantshadows

universed. by giantshadows

Enjoy :)

 

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Banned books

From a recent article at guardian.co.uk by Alison Flood:

From Suzanne Collins’s post-apocalyptic hit The Hunger Games to Stephenie Meyer’s vampire bestseller Twilight, American parents have been making it their mission to complain about some of the most popular books published in recent years.

So…how many of these have you read?

1. “And Tango Makes Three” by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson

2. “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie

3. “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley

4. “Crank” by Ellen Hopkins

5. “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins

6. “Lush” by Natasha Friend

7. “What My Mother Doesn’t Know” by Sonya Sones

8. “Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By In America” by Barbara Ehrenreich

9. “Revolutionary Voices” edited by Amy Sonnie

10. “Twilight” by  Stephenie Meyer

For more information on book challenges and censorship, please visit the Office for Intellectual Freedom’s Banned Books Week Web site at www.ala.org/bbooks.

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On books and moving

Alas, Mr. K’s promotion up to Brisbane is in full swing, and now my HSC class is all wrapped up, it’s time for me to start my leave and follow suit.  Term 4 I’ll be finishing my PhD (yes, “finally”), and next year I’ll find a casual or temporary teaching job in Brisbane.  These are exciting times!

I know I have mentioned around the place that I am moving, but up until now I’ve been too busy to really think about it, or talk about it much.  The last couple of days of school were quite teary, and a lot of students came out of the woodwork to say goodbyes and thank yous.  It was sad, but lovely.  I had some great class parties – thanks for the cards and presents :)  I will miss my colleagues and students (not to mention family and friends!).

On Thursday, two comments that I found full of symbolism, and so very typical of an English teacher and her humanities-loving students ;) were these:

  1. I was talking with two very awesome students from year 10 about maybe going to their formal, and about some books I was supposed to lend them.  I said that I would leave the books at school for them to read next term – that way we also could be sure that we’d see each other again before the end of the year, because I’d neeed to get my books back even if I didn’t go to the formal.  And one of them started crying :(
  2. Later, another year 10 student brought me a present – a book where you write down all the books you want to read, books you love, and books you have leant out to other people (because she had had my copy of Eclipse for about 6 months, and I had forgotten!)  We started talking about how the move was finally seeming real, and I mentioned that it had felt real to me once I found boxes to pack up my bookshelf.  I reckon moving never seems really real until you acknowledge you’ll have to pack up your books.  Then I started crying! Then we both were crying :(

Geeze, I had done so well all week! Ah well…I think most of you who have read this far will know how hard it can be to leave a school.  But bright things are on the horizon!

I’ll be keeping up my blog, hopefully even improving it.  One thing that is making the idea of moving easier is the strength and quality of my PLN…so thank you!

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Twilight backflip

Well, it didn’t happen overnight, but it did happen.  Actually, when it happened, it did happen overnight…there I was, (un)happily hating Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight, when the book finally picked up.  And yes, I stand by every ounce of my frustration that any writer would wait until halfway into a book to get interesting – if I were a less patient reader there is no way I even would have made it to the middle of the book.  And yes, I also stand by my view that the writing is bland, and that Bella is one of the most two-dimensional protagonists this side of Neighbours.

But, when you put it that way, my sudden fandom makes a bit more sense…as an avid Neighbours watcher, I am more than comfortable in the role of loving texts for reasons other than their literary merit.  And so I am now, as my Year 9 friends would say, a ‘Twi-hard’.  Yes, I love Twilight.

So much so that although I should have written a blog post well before now about my reflections on the National Curriculum Forum in Melbourne (I’ve tried to write a post three times now, never quite finishing…), here I am instead, updating you all on Twilight!  What this says about my subconscious priorities…?

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Twilight: update

After some good reading time on the plane, am now up to chapter 14 of Twilight and can see why all the year 9 girls are passing this book around!

The writing is still seriously killing me.  There is a great part about half way through the book (so don’t read on if you don’t want to know anything about the book), where Edward is talking about having to read Jessica’s mind and he laments: “her mind isn’t very original, and it was annoying to have to stoop to that…it was all extremely irritating.”  I wondered if this is a little joke on the writers behalf, because she knows how boring it can be, reading Bella’s thoughts…

But I have to admit I am definitely caught up in the story, and although I still suspect it is trashy, I’m loving the trashiness!  Not teenage Mills and Boon after all, but perhaps teenage Jackie Collins, or Virginia Andrews…that I can live with ;)

(I also do agree with Leah’s point that one of the good things about the story is the way magic exists in the real, everyday world.  This is one of the reasons that I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and I am now enjoying comparing the character of Bella to Buffy in the back of my mind!)

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Twilight

I wanted to like Twilight.  I really did.  But seven chapters in (about one third of the book) and I’m still waiting for it to give me something to like.  Anything.

I don’t know about any of you reading this blog, but at my school you can’t pry the students away from their Twilight books.  The girls especially!  Some have been banned from reading it by their parents, so are reading their contraband at school, keeping it in their friend’s lockers.  The school librarians are even making students in years 7 & 8 bring in a note before they are allowed to borrow Twilight, such is the hype around this book.

I volunteered to read Twilight, if for no other reason than to see if we really need to be getting permission notes for lending it, but also because I love a good YA fiction series.  But so far the writing is so dreadfully bland, and the plot has barely moved.  Here is a rough idea of what is covered in the first 7 chapters of the book, told through they eyes of female protagonist Isabella (Bella) Swan:

  • She has moved to live with her Dad – the town is small, boring and cold
  • There is a boy at school called Edward Cullen. He is mysterious, and very good looking
  • Many other boys like Bella. she doesn’t see why, but is happy to use them
  • Sometimes Edward talks to her, and sometimes he doesn’t…boy, he is mysterious!
  • Sometimes Edward’s eyes are black, sometimes they are ‘honey coloured’…this is a mystery
  • Sometimes Edward is at school, and sometimes he is away. This is agonising. And mysterious.
  • …did I mention that Edward is good looking, and the town is cold?

Paragraph after paragraph of this.  ARGH!  And because it’s told in first-person (and because Bella is so boring and such a bad storyteller), we aren’t finding much out about any character other than her.

It is excruciatingly like being trapped in the mind of a love crazed 16 year old girl.

It’s like Mills and Boon for teenagers.

IT IS TRASH!

(seriously…have ANY adults read and liked Twilight?  Can ANYTHING redeem seven straight chapters of tripe?)

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Jeannie Baker: Belonging exhibition

The work of Jeannie Baker, a British-Australian children’s author and artist, is well known by Australian children. In a special exhibition at Casula Powerhouse this summer, collages from her award winning picture book, Belonging, will be on display for people of all ages to enjoy. Rsvp for the opening or for more info on public programs, click here.

I just love the book Belonging by Jeannie Baker, and am really keen to go along to this exhibition of her collages – I might even try and get to a collage workshop!

Belonging

Belonging

I think this picture book, and its companion book Window would make excellent pieces of related material for the HSC Area of Study ‘Belonging’.  Has anyone else seen this book?  What do you think?  Here is a brief description of the book from Jeannie Baker’s website:

An alienating city street gradually becomes a place to call home.  Little by little, baby Tracy grows.  She and her neighbours begin to rescue their street.  Together, children and adults plant grass and trees and bushes in the empty spaces.  They paint murals over old graffiti.  They stop the cars.  Everything begins to blossom.

‘Belonging’ explores the re-greening of the city: the role of community, the empowerment of people and the significance of children, family and neighbourhood in changing their urban environment.  The streets gradually become places for safe children’s play, and community activity and places for nature and wonder.

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