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Community Bookstore

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The Venetian's Wife
by Nick Bantock
This is another treat for fans of Griffin and Sabine. Sara Wolfe is a museum conservator hired to find scattered pieces from a 15th century explorer's collection. She had become bored touching up paintings and jumps at the job offer even though her boss only wants to communicate by e-mail. Their messages act as a catalyst for her transformation from someone quite timid to a much more outgoing person. The engravings, old photographs, and Bantock's collages will have you studying the book time and again, finding something new every time.
Review by Mary Kindred

Collage Discovery Workshop
by Claudine Hellmuth
Learn the style of collage popular with altered book artists. Hellmuth also explores some basic assemblage with shadow boxes and Altoid tins. Learn how to create interesting backgrounds, do image transfers, adhere items, work with beeswax and "antique" finish objects. If you're a newbie to the altered book look the step-by-step methods and the professional layout will inspire you!
Review by Mary Kindred

The Griffin & Sabine Trilogy Boxed Set
by Nick Batnk
A set of three books by Nick Bantok, the king of the illustrated novel. This boxed set includes the entire Griffin and Sabine trilogy (Griffin & Sabine, Sabine's Notebook, The Golden Mean). I think readers can be divided into two groups - those who know and love Griffin and Sabine, and those who've never heard of them. If you don't know these books, you are in for a very rapturous surprise. This dreamy trilogy tells the story of a mysterious relationship that defies the reality that we are used to. Each book is a beautiful, surprising journey. Years after the trilogy was complete, Bantok published two additions that continue Griffin & Sabine's story. Somehow the images are just as stunning and the language just as magical as the original set. They are: The Gryphon: In Which the Extraordinary Correspondence of Griffin & Sabine Is Rediscovered and Alexandria: In Which the Extraordinary Correspondence of Griffin & Sabine Unfolds
Review by Marney Makridakis

The Book of Embraces
by Eduardo Galaeno
This book honestly changed my life. I really think it made me better at living. I picked it up at a used book store in San Francisco about 4 years ago because I liked the surreal art on its cover. I have never experienced anything like this book. The Uruguayan author takes you all over the world in this book, changing his form from essay to poetry to abstract fiction to mini-vignette so swiftly that your mind somersaults to keep up. Some of the pieces are whimsical and fruity, some are grand rhapsodies, some scathingly satirical, some raw political protest. And interspersed through it all are his quirky fantastic ink sketches and hand-carved woodcut prints. I bet it will make you better at living, too.
Review by Marney Makridakis

The Secrets of Pistoulet: An Enchanted Fable of Food, Magic, and Love
by Jana Kolpen (Illustrator), Mary Tiegreen (Photographer).
If you're a Like Water for Chocolate fan, I recommend this book. It's part fiction, part cookbook, part art book. It's a delightful, light experience.
Review by Marney Makridakis

The Tatooed Map
by Barbara Hodgson
Barbara Hodgson is a invigorating writer and multi-dimensional artist who is known for her illustrated novels. This book is a fiction about a woman's exotic, mysterious journey through Morocco. The illustrations are lovely, the plot is wild and fantastic. It's my favorite of her books.
Review by Marney Makridakis

Hippolyte's Island
by Barbara Hodgson
This book is an adventure/love story with maps, collages, and all kinds of art that folds out from the novel. A great way to escape to another world.
Review by Marney Makridakis

The Sensualist: An Illustrated Novel
by Barbara Hodgson
Darker and more bizarre than the rest of Hodgson's books, but definitely worth a look if you are fascinated by the use of anatomy/medical/ scientific/machine paraphernalia in art. She does some interesting collages with unusual objects, and I love the way she describes Vienna throughout the text.
Review by Marney Makridakis

Paris Out of Hand
by Karen Elizabeth Gordon
This is an amazing read with lavish artwork and quirky hand-drawn images. The premise? An imaginary guide to Paris, mimicking a 19th-century tour guide book...guiding you through a Paris that exists in a parallel universe. Tons of fun!
Review by Marney Makridakis

The Dictionary of Imaginary Places : The Newly Updated and Expanded Classic
by Alberto Manguel
If you are in the mood for imaginary travel, this is a resource of all the imaginary places you know and love - plus lots more. Beautiful imaginary maps invite your visual senses to join the playdate.
Review by Marney Makridakis

The Secret Language of Dreams: A Visual Key to Dreams and Their Meanings
by David Fontana
This is a non-fiction reference book about the psychology of dreams, but I included it in this list because the images are to die forÂ…or should I say, to DREAM for? Looking through this book really feels like strolling through someone else's dreams. I find myself wandering through this book quite often just to get lost in the artwork. (Oh, yeah, and there's some great info about dreams and archetypes in there, too.)
Review by Marney Makridakis

The Illustrated Rumi: A Treasury of Wisdom from the Poet of the Soul
translated by Philip and Manuela Dunn
This collection of Rumi is very Artella~esque, as the beautiful translations are woven with so many breathtaking images that reading a passage from the book becomes a meditation for the senses. In addition to Rumi's poetry, the book also contains many of his fables and parables, which were new to me.
Review by Marney Makridakis

The Republic of Dreams: A Reverie
by G. Garfield Crimmins
This is a strange, seductive tale about irrational life on a fictional island. The story would stand well on its own without the art - it's that rich in detail and plot. The art is an added bonus.
Review by Marney Makridakis

Everyday Matters
by Danny Gregory
I just found this book about 2 weeks ago and it has already grabbed a special place in my heart, forever. Gregory discovered drawing as a way to truly see life and find reason in intense personal crisis, and he shares his journey in this book, through his words and art. I cannot properly explain the sensibility of this book. It is dramatically powerful and delightfully whimsical all at the same time. It made me look beyond the symbols around us, to really take what is.
Review by Marney Makridakis

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