Literature List June to Mid November

Look, my book in “500 handmade books”.
Image by Studio Ernst

This used to be a monthly feature. I hope it will be again in the not so far future. I hardly bought any books in almost half a year. Well, you can guess the reasons: While packing books into cardboard boxes, shifting cardboard boxes around, unpacking cardboard boxes, throwing out a lot of books to make sure all fit into shelves, I just didn’t feel like buying more paper glued between cardboard. And therefore a new “list” was not exactly pressing.

Also I have still not established a certain enough routine to know when I have time for blogging or time to spent in the studio. Still so much needs to be organized. – Immigrating is easier than anticipated, but at the same time slower and tougher than expected. (Some people – sadly including doctors – seem to hope I will have left the country before I realize they never did what they promised to do. Well, enough of that.) Right now I find myself with some time at hand, while I listen to my sick children (5th disease) not sleeping. So here it goes. As always, I am writing a list with a brief review in the language of the book:

  • Limp bindings from the Vatican Library by Monica Langwe. I find it fits in well with Langwe’s first book Limp Binding from Tallinn, if you have and liked the first volume, you will like the second, too. The Forword is longer this time, giving more insight than before into how and where she worked. The rest of the book follows the same idea: She describes various limp bindings she found, and there is an appendix for which several bookbinders and book artist made new interpretations of these historic forms.
  • Squeegee! Die Siebdruck Bewegung von Bernd Hofmann. Zeigt eine Menge Gig-Poster, jeweils mit ein wenig Text über die Künstler. Als Bildband über dieses Genre gut, glaube ich. Da kenne ich mich aber nicht so aus, und ich hatte gehofft, etwas mehr über Siebdruck-Techniken zu lernen. Da es sich aber nur um Gig-Poster handelt, ist nicht so ganz das dabei, was ich mir erhofft hatte.
  • Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told Me About the Creative Life by Kleon, Austin. Nice one. Nothing especially exciting, but a short, entertaining book. Maybe a good gift?
  • 500 handmade books. Volume 2 edited by Julie Chen (Juror). My work is featured, too, so I am heavily biased. I love this book which again has many photos of stunning books. Again I wish there was more information about the books included beside the used materials and techniques. When applying we all wrote a brief description of the work. I would have loved to see these descriptions included with the photos.
  • Innovation Bookbinding: Secret Compartments & Hidden Messages by Shareen LaPlatz. How come I didn’t have it already? I cannot tell. Luckily I stumbled over an old entry on the Book Arts List over at Philobiblion and then found the book on Lulu. Unfortunately I didn’t make it past the first chapter yet. But it looks great, and I am sure I am going to love this book!
  • S. by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst. This is absolutely stunning! I followed a link by Esther K. Smith on Facebook and found this review. I immediately ordered the book and it reached me a couple of days ago. It looks absolutely amazing, a must have! It is the text of one book and then with a discussion of two people in the margins. Plus a whole lot of extras tugged between the pages, like maps, post cards, and cafe paper towels. Whether it is a must read I cannot tell yet. From what I read on the internet there are people who actually read the story (or the three stories). I am just through the introduction, and I find it quite hard to read it all. (Also I find it a little boring, since I am not a huge fan of word by word text critique. I learned to do it during my theological studies and am rather happy now to enjoy a text as a whole rather than looking meticulously at every single word. But don’t let this aside keep you from buying it. )

4 replies on “Literature List June to Mid November”

  1. Hi Hilke,
    How nice to read this post. Congrats on being in 500 Handmade Books! I’m with you on missing some text, it would be so nice to know more about the books in it. I’m still not sure if I wil ‘need’ this one, is it a true addition to part 1?
    Limp bindings from the Vatican and Shereen LaPlantz’ book were ordered by me as soon as they were published, I like both a lot, but have yet to start using one of them as a guideline for making books. S is totally new for me, reading your description it’s worth to see where I can order it. Thanks for the heads up.

    Hope to see some art work here from you soon .
    kind regards, Dymphie

    1. Hi Dymphie,

      how nice to see you come by again! The 500 handmade books Vol. II is more of the same of what you saw in 500 handmade book Vol. I. It is new in so far as new books and other artists are featured. You will have to decide whether this constitutes a “true addition”. I think you get your moneys worth: It is not very expensive and it is a pleasure browsing the nice pictures of many stunning books. But the concept is just the same as before.

      Finding “S.” shouldn’t be too hard. – Have fun with it! I love my copy 🙂


  2. Thanks for sharing your reading list–I didn’t know there was a second 500 handmade books. I loved the first and I’m excited for the eye candy sure to be in this one, too, especially if you’re featured! And I just ordered S. Can’t wait!

    1. Hi Sarah,

      I hope you’ll the new 500 handmade books, and I am pretty sure you’ll like S.! – It is good to hear that my list is of interest to you 🙂


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