Dog-gone Cute Bookshelves!

Unattributed Image Via Pinterest
Unattributed Image Via Pinterest

 

It seems there are a plethora of cat/book/bookcase images online, but doggy reading buddies are frequently left out. Never fear, here are some bookcases made to please four-footed friends and their less furry family members. In honor of National Dog Day, let’s create a special space for books and dogs.

How did Maddie get on that shelf? Image Via http://maddieonthings.com/
How did Maddie get on that shelf? Image Via http://maddieonthings.com/

 

 Let’s start off with this fun series of bookshelves designed by NEL, “a collective of designers who join forces to explore, through concept and form, the interaction in design between traditional materials and techniques, and new processes or unusual applications.”

Image Courtesy of Nel
Image Courtesy of Nel

The pieces are made out of different materials using a variety of techniques.

Image Courtesy of Sakura Adachi
Image Courtesy of Sakura Adachi

 Japanese designer Sakura Adachi, created the Pet Cave bookcase to provide space for books, as well as a private nook for pets. It even comes with a comfy cushion!

Image Courtesy of Feebi's Woodworking
Image Courtesy of Feebi’s Woodworking

 Can’t leave Snoopy out of any doggy décor option. This custom bookcase by Feebi’s Woodworking was based on a drawing by an expectant mother who was doing the child’s room in a Snoopy theme. It mimics the famous Charles Shultz doghouse.

Unattributed Image Via Pinterest
Unattributed Image Via Pinterest

Several designers have incorporated dog crates into larger bookcases, which might be a great option for book collectors with big dogs.

Unattributed Image Via Pinterest
Unattributed Image Via Pinterest

If you decide to go with this option, remember to account for the growth of your puppy.

Unattributed Image Via Pinterest
Unattributed Image Via LOLSNAPS.com

Lit Bit: Mayhem by Sarah Pinborough

la-la-ca-0127-sarah-pinborough-174-jpg-20140129 

 

You may think you have read everything that could be said about the Ripper killings, but Sarah Pinborough presents a chilling tale of murder that stalks the streets of Victorian Era London simultaneously and with greater brutality. London police are baffled, is there one murderer responsible for all of the Whitechapel killings? Or is there a more horrifying possibility; are there two killers?

Image Courtesy of London Horror Tours
Image Courtesy of London Horror Tours

Scotland Yard detectives notice an appalling number of torsos are stacking up, and though they are in no way similar to the more widely known Ripper murders, they dare not believe they have more than one monster on their hands. Little do they know that the term monster may be apt, and many mutilated corpses will stack up before they solve the mystery.

Whitechapel London 1888
Whitechapel London 1888

Highly regarded police surgeon Dr. Thomas Bond is called in to help solve the mystery of the carefully wrapped victim’s remains. Bond is fighting his own demons, however, and fallen deeply into opium addiction. Can he trust his own eyes, and follow the clues he uncovers, or is he only chasing visions inspired by his drug befuddled; sleep deprived mind?

Opium den during the Late Victorian Era. Wikispaces.
Opium den during the Late Victorian Era. Wikispaces.

Pinborough has created a compulsive page turner featuring one of the most famous crimes in Western history, while morphing the traditional historic account into a paranormal thriller.  

See an author interview here:

Micro-Fiction: Tiny Worlds by Tatsuya Tanaka

Image Courtesy of Tatsuya Tanaka. Cliff
Image Courtesy of Tatsuya Tanaka. Cliff

 

Since I’m a writer, I’m hardly going to agree with that popular saw, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” I’m also a photographer, though, and I’m aware that carefully crafted images can reveal stories much more quickly than words.

Image Courtesy of Tatsuya Tanaka. Rainy Days Never Stay Away.
Image Courtesy of Tatsuya Tanaka. Rainy Days Never Stay Away.

Artist Tatsuya Tanaka skillfully creates micro worlds out of everyday objects. Familiar items like books, magazines and desk accessories become fantastic backgrounds for dramatic quests by tiny figures.

Image Courtesy of Tatsuya Tanaka. Slanting Rain.
Image Courtesy of Tatsuya Tanaka. Slanting Rain.

 

Since 2011, Tatsuya Tanaka has worked on his miniature calendar, and shared his startling visions of a Lilliputian world daily.

Bookshelf

 

He recently gave an interview with designboom magazine.

Image Courtesy of Tatsuya Tanaka. Dive.
Image Courtesy of Tatsuya Tanaka. Dive.

 

 

DB: Are there particular themes or concepts that you are looking to express through this project?

TT: The theme is ‘the interest of likening one thing to another’. In doing so, you can see how everyday things can become more fun when imagined in a different way. It is important that the ‘miniature calendar’ is understandable in its intention for everyone – young and old, of any nationality. So, I try to use familiar things and address familiar matters.

Image Courtesy of Tatsuya Tanaka. Escalator.
Image Courtesy of Tatsuya Tanaka. Escalator.

 

DB: How do you go about generating ideas 365 days of the year for the calendar? Including titles for each piece?

TT: I often conceive ideas while working and carrying on with everyday life, so even though they are trivial matters when I conceive them, I am sure to make a note. I use the iPhone application ‘omnifocus’ which lets me quickly store my concepts. I sort these under categories like ‘practicable now’, ’necessary materials to put an idea into a practice’, ‘hints for ideas’ etc… and I decide what I will create next and what materials I will use by checking these memos.

Image Courtesy of Tatsuya Tanaka. Mountain Fold.
Image Courtesy of Tatsuya Tanaka. Mountain Fold.

 

DB: What is the most challenging aspect of creating your calendar dioramas?

TT: Posting works every single day, in itself is my challenge. I have been doing this since April 20th, 2011 so the project is now in its fifth year. Those who have seen my works all the way through to this point have a good eye, so creating ideas that exceed their expectations is also a challenge. After certain ideas are exhausted, I think there will always be more interesting ones.

Image Courtesy of Tatsuya Tanaka. Paper Sea.
Image Courtesy of Tatsuya Tanaka. Paper Sea.

 

DB: Could you speak a little bit about the material choices you make when crafting each diorama?

TT: I make a conscious effort to choose universal materials whose scale can be understood. For example, we can see the scale of vegetables or stationary; as opposed to unique toys or electric appliances whose dimensions are more difficult to understand. Without understanding the scope of the motif, the interest and intention of the idea decreases – so I pay attention to these matters. In collecting my materials, I make a conscious effort to keep things even though they might seem useless, such as clips for closing bread packaging, clothes tags, toilet paper rolls, ice lolly sticks and so on… because I don’t always know right away how they will be useful.

Image Courtesy of Tatsuya Tanaka. Ski.
Image Courtesy of Tatsuya Tanaka. Ski.

The Legendary Café Pushkin in Moscow

Image Courtesy of Café Pushkin
Image Courtesy of Café Pushkin

I love discovering new bookish travel destinations, and the Cafe Pushkin has raced to the top of my “must-see” list the next time I visit Moscow. The Café Pushkin is one of the most famous and highly regarded restaurants in Moscow. Its library floor is the place to see and be seen. If you plan to dine there, make reservations early, dress accordingly and bring your charge card.

Image Courtesy of Café Pushkin
Image Courtesy of Café Pushkin

The building housing the Café Pushkin has a long and storied history, but the restaurant opened on June 4, 1999.

In the 1780s, a St. Petersburg nobleman in the service of Empress Catherine the Great retired from the Royal Household and moved to Moscow. Once there, he decided to build a house and hired the best Italian architects to create a fabulous baronial Baroque mansion a la russe.

Image Courtesy of Café Pushkin
Image Courtesy of Café Pushkin

The house passed to a German aristocrat in the middle of the 19th century as part of his future wife’s dowry. Financial ruin forced the new owner to open a pharmacy in the building. As a result, the building was redesigned to inlcude :

  • A pharmacy situated on the ground floor. The pharmacy counter was lined with various phials containing medicines and potions.
Image Courtesy of Café Pushkin
Image Courtesy of Café Pushkin
  • A library full of reference books installed on the upper and mezzanine floors.

The extensive library, with more than three thousand volumes, is the biggest draw for guests. Most of the books in the collection range from the 18th Century to the 20th Century.

Image Courtesy of Café Pushkin
Image Courtesy of Café Pushkin

Multinational authors are represented in the collection. Pushkin, Gogol, Belinsky, Turgenev, Saltykov-Shchedrin, Leskov, Tolstoy, Fet, Derzhavin, Zhukovsky, Chekhov, and Dostoevsky are some of the Russian authors featured.

Image Courtesy of Café Pushkin
Image Courtesy of Café Pushkin

There are many English books (Shakespeare, Dickens, Scott, Moore, Burns), works in French ((Rousseau, Diderot, Maupassant, Voltaire, Montesquieu, Abat Prevost) and Italian (Dante, Petrarch) and German (Goethe, Heine Schiller, Hegel).

Café Pushkin, Moscow | © EChaya/Flickr
Café Pushkin, Moscow | © EChaya/Flickr

The Holy Bible is represented in many languages, as is the Holy Koran. There is a huge collection of reference works, including historical works, the Brockhaus and Efron encyclopaedias, and works on military history, medicine, mineralogy. The major literary, scientific and political periodicals are well represented.

Image Courtesy of Café Pushkin
Image Courtesy of Café Pushkin

Update: I wrote to the Café Pushkin, and they’ve kindly responded to my questions.

Image Courtesy of Café Pushkin
Image Courtesy of Café Pushkin

Can guests browse the library or read any of the books when they dine at the Café Pushkin?

Of course, our guests can browse the Library and choose any of the books for reading.

Image Courtesy of Café Pushkin
Image Courtesy of Café Pushkin

With regard to the Café Pushkin images, did you hold a ballet special event, and what was the story of the ballet?

These photos were inspired by the story about Alexander Pushkin and Natalya Goncharova.

Image Courtesy of Café Pushkin
Image Courtesy of Café Pushkin

The famous dancing master Jogel, who taught dance to the children of Moscow and St Petersburg’s nobility for many years, hosted children’s balls at the house of the Kologrivov family, which stood where the Moscow Gorky Arts Theatre now stands. It was at one such ball that Pushkin met his future wife, Natalya Goncharova.

Image Courtesy of Café Pushkin
Image Courtesy of Café Pushkin

The dancer on these photos is the Bolshoi theatre’s first soloist Maria Semenyachenko.

And Now for a Little Light Reading

Image Courtesy of Kent Wallisch
Image Courtesy of Kent Wallisch

Painted book bricks are a fun accessory to add to your library/shelves. You can use them as book ends, door stops, or garden art.

Image Courtesy of Kent Wallisch
Image Courtesy of Kent Wallisch

 

Pittsburgh, PA artist Kent Wallisch creates incredible custom-made Book Bricks. Wallisch’s Trompe l’oeil style both fools and delights the eye, and gives the illusion of a well-loved, and worn book. Each brick is chosen for its flaws and shape, which he uses to artistic advantage when designing the product.

Image Courtesy of Painted Kent Wallisch
Image Courtesy of Kent Wallisch

Book Bricks are not collages. They are hand painted and then covered with a weatherproof finish. The custom ideas are endless from all-time favorite classic books to – “the history of…”or very specific subjects: music or musicians, poetry, cooking, dance, art, science, sports, college yearbooks, law books, medical books, and children’s classics. Wallisch will even create an imaginary book for you; consider “The Amazing Adventures of….insert the name of your child, friend or even a loved inquisitive pet.” Or have him paint a Book Brick with the name of your yet-to-be-published best seller. Check out his Etsy store  for more examples.

Photograph of books on steps by Steve Puppe,  copyright www.stevepuppe.com
Photograph of books on steps by Steve Puppe,  www.stevepuppe.com

If you want to try to DIY this project, here’s a tutorial  .