Monday, 16 March 2015

Books to Inspire You

If you've been following me a while you'll know I'm a real bibliophile. I absolutely adore books, of all shapes and sizes and subjects! I posted my 'to read' list for 2015 earlier in the year, and have been making steady progress with it, athough I'm currently reading Franny and Zooey by JD Salinger and have to admit I am struggling. I flew through Catcher in the Rye and thought this would be the same, but I've been reading it for three weeks and am only about a third of the way through! Whenever I get bored reading a book I end up buying more books to read as a sort of incentive to finish the boring book, so I bought The Maze Runner series to tempt myself with. Fingers crossed I can get into Franny and Zooey and get it finished soon because I'm really looking forward to starting something new!

But on to the real subject of this post - I have so many books that I love browsing and dipping in and out of for inspiration, and I thought it'd be nice to start sharing a selection of them on here each month. I absolutely love getting recommendations of new books so thought some of you might too!

 I've always been really into Japanese culture, particularly the 'kawaii' aspect, so obviously I had to get this book! It has small sections (small because they aren't whole chapters, some are just two pages, others are up to ten pages) on a huge variety of areas of cute culture in Japan, from brands to artists, to trends. Lots of the areas it covers I knew about already (I read a LOT of books about Japanese culture!) but there were some new ones too. Plus it was great to read more about artists and companies that I'd hear of but didn't really know a lot about.


 Also, it's such a feast for the eyes which I KNOW sounds so cliched, but it's really true here! Every page features colourful photos and illustrations so there is tons to look at, even if you don't fancy reading the whole accompanying text!

 Who would have thought you can buy a book dedicated to vintage American signs? I've always loved novelty signs - hot dog signs shaped like giant hot dogs? Heck yes! With neon lighting? Even better! When we were in Austin, Texas last year I took more photos of amazing signs and typography than I did of anything else.


 I think my absolute favourite has to be the 'Pancake Place' sign - I wish I could just travel around America and photograph old signs. Why don't we have ones like these in the UK?! The book isn't just a cornucopia of vintage artwork and typography though - it's also super interesting reading about the history of this type of sign.

 Pretty sure everyone knows by now that I'm a huge Wes Anderson fan, and The Grand Budapest is possibly my favourite of his movies. So when the accompanying book to the film came out I knew it was going to be incredible, and it doesn't disappoint! Packed full of sketches, interviews, behind the scenes photos, stills, storyboards, and so much more, if you loved the move then this book is for you!

 Like everything Wes Anderson touches the book is visually stunning, and I love just flicking through and looking at the images. But it's also incredibly interesting reading all the background behind creating the movie, the characters, and hearing Wes speak about his artistic process.

 This is the only book I could find on Amazon about Margaret Keane and her work. Although it is primarily an accompaniment to the 'Big Eyes' movie by Tim Burton, it does also contain lots of information about Margaret's life and her artwork, including pages and pages of images of her paintings.

It's so nice to finally have a book about her life and work - I've adored her art for such a long time. If you are also a fan I cannot recommend this book enough - even if you're not specifically a fan of Margaret Keane, the book encapsulates something of the life of an artist in that era which is so interesting in itself. I'm really excited to see the movie now!


  1. I struggled with Franny & Zooey too and gave up in the end, although Catcher was one of my favourite books. I'm currently reading 'My Salinger Year' which is a true story written by a woman who spent a year working for JD Salinger's agents in New York. He sounded like a real character. Am really enjoying it so far! The Grand Budapest book looks beautiful.

  2. *swoon* i'm in LOVE with that wes anderson book!!!! it looks SO pretty!!!! i also REALLY want to watch that big eyes film + this book looks super interesting!!! good luck w/your reading list!!! i read the first book in the maze runner series and it was AMAZING!!!! i can't wait to get my hands on the rest of the series!!! xoxooxox


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