Category: Book Culture

The Library Made of Books

Libraries are some of the best places on earth. The quiet, the smell of old books, the nap corners. Maybe that’s just me. But regardless of why you love them, libraries are great for everybody. I love any branch, but some libraries take it a step further (or like a hundred steps). Take the central branch of the Kansas City Library in Kansas City Missouri, which is, in fact, made of giant books.

Image via Flickr

 

Okay, so it’s not really made of books, they probably don’t open, but the library is open seven days a week. But the library’s beauty doesn’t stop there. Books are featured on the inside too, as they should be. I like a dark, labyrinthine space as much as anyone, but this library goes another direction entirely, as it does on the outside.

Image via Kansas City Public Library

 

Aesthetics on point, books on point, and a lot of services to help the local community. Obviously the decor is enough to lure in any book lover, but not only is this an excellent building and an excellent library, it also offers a long list of additional resources for visitors. Dozens of computers, wifi, video conferencing, study rooms, event spaces, and more.

Image via Architecture Magazine

 

When someone broke this news on Tumblr (this might be generous – the central part of the building is historic), someone actually in Kansas City did us all a solid and went by, taking photos and investigating services. You can read the entire saga here. If you’re in Kansas City, stop by. The rest of us are jealous.

 

 

Featured image via Reader’s Digest

10 of the Most… Interesting Book Covers

First and foremost, my intention with writing this article comes from a place of silliness and not from criticism. Every author here should be proud of the fact that they have written a book that’s available for purchase, that in and of itself is an accomplishment worthy of recognition. Writing isn’t easy, but apparently neither is Photoshop.

I also don’t mean to pick on romance novels specifically, they just seem to have the most eye-catching artwork.

It’s fun to giggle at a goofy picture, so here’s a collection of book covers in no particular order of importance that are sure to make you chuckle (or at the very least say “… huh?”).

You definitely shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, so every book listed will be linked as well. Check them out! Your future favorite novel just might be here!

 

 

10-Country Christmas 

Country ChristmasImage via Amazon

 

Country Christmas is a gentle introduction to the types of things you’ll be seeing on this list. It’s got a lot of fonts, it’s difficult to tell what’s going on, and it appears to be comprised of several stock images stacked on top of one another. A triple threat that might make you scratch your head, but not wholly offensive to the eyes.

 

9-Derek

DerekImage via Goodreads

 

I’m not sure who Derek is, but he seems a little rough around the edges. He must be important, otherwise he wouldn’t be able to pull a Madonna and go first name only.

He probably also wouldn’t have a gun.

 

8-His Reluctant Cowboy

His Reluctant CowboyImage via Amazon

 

The thing I like most about this cover is the way the cowboys appear to be sprouting straight out of the ground. That plus the fact that these cowboys are clearly from two different photo-shoots with two different lighting setups is what really makes His Reluctant Cowboy stand out from the crowd.

 

 

7-The BBW and the Space Lord: A Tale From Alpha Space

The BBW and the Space LordImage via Amazon

 

There’s a lot going on here. Like, a lot. The BBW and the Space Lord: A Tale From Alpha Space is described as a “humorous erotic adventure,” a vibe that I can certainly pick up from it’s cover. I also get a ‘what if X-Files was on public access and also ten times hornier’ sort of vibe, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

 

6-Now That I’m a Ghost I’m Gay

Now That I'm a Ghost I'm GayImage via Wired

 

I won’t lie, this is a good book cover. I’m already very invested.

I want Now That I’m a Ghost I’m Gay written on my tombstone.

 

5-Ghost Raptor Seduction

Ghost Raptor SeductionImage via Amazon

 

Ghost Raptor Seduction is about a love triangle of paleontologists’ visit to a haunted dig site. I think there’s a sex scene between a human woman and a dino ghost. I don’t want to believe it, but the half naked woman and the semi-transparent raptor lying on the same bed sort of make it hard to deny.

 

 

4-Shy Boy

Shy BoyImage via Amazon

 

Does this cover make more or less sense when you know that Shy Boy is about male pregnancy?

 

3-Harvey and His Bunny

Harvey and His BunnyImage via Goodreads

 

Based on both the title and the cover of Harvey and His BunnyI can only assume that there are exactly two characters in this book. I can also only assume that the pair hangout in front of some exposed brick and that romance ensues. And my heart of hearts I want to believe that Harvey is shirtless and tanned throughout the whole thing.

 

2-Two Fathers One Secret

Two Fathers One SecretImage via Amazon

 

Once again, there’s a lot going on here. In the universe of Two Fathers One Secretthe sun must be so bright that no one can look up from the ground.

Also, I’ve never seen Game of Thrones but this is pretty much it, right?

 

1-Werebear vs. Werecow

Werebear vs WerecowImage via Amazon

 

Werebear vs. Werecow is by the same author who wrote Ghost Raptor Seduction, and its cover is every bit as… surprising. The most surprising part? Werebear appears to be a normal bear, while werecow is a sexy lady in a cow bikini. How is a human woman meant to fight a bear, and why didn’t she put on something a little more protective in preparation? This story is also listed on Amazon as being intended for audiences 18 years or older. Please tell me no one has sex with a bear.

Please.

 

 

Featured Image Via Goodreads

6 of the Absolute Worst Wordsworth Classics Book Covers

Wordsworth Classics is familiar name to many book lovers but maybe not for the best reason. They print high-quality paperback versions of beloved literary classics at a low price. After your local library, Wordsworth is one of the best places to look for these titles on the cheap. However, Wordsworth Classics is also infamous for printing some absolutely horrendous covers. So, we at Bookstr have taken it upon ourselves to create a definitive list of the absolute worst Wordsworth Classics Book Covers.

 

1- Frankenstein

 

Frankenstein

Image Via Amazon.COm

 

Ok, all things considered, this isn’t the worst. You’ve got the monster, you’ve got all the spooky steam, but still…You can do better, Wordsworth.

 

2- Age of Innocence

 

The age of Innocence

Image Via Amazon.COm

 

Why do all the faces look so hastily photoshopped on??? Wordsworth Classics, I need answers.

 

 

3- Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

 

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Image Via Amazon.COm

 

Ok, I kinda get what they were going for here. But I just can’t ignore how comically tiny this dude’s hand looks. Plus, that face gives me serious The Mask vibes.

 

Image Via IMDB

 

4- Crime and Punishment

 

Crime and Punishment

Image Via Amazon.COm

 

Y’know what screams “brooding reflection on ethics and free will”??? A knockoff Jim Morrison with pupils the size of golf balls.

 

 

5- The Idiot

 

The Idiot

Image Via Amazon.COm

 

Maybe Wordsworth is just not good at Dostoevsky covers, I don’t know. But I’d rather not look at this emo kid’s mug after putting down this harrowing saga about young Myshkin.

 

6- Dracula

This is a two-for-one.

 

DraculaDracula

Images Via Amazon.COm

Yikers. Again, that second one falls just on the wrong the side of the uncanny valley.

 

 

Look, we’re not saying we don’t respect the Wordsworth Classics hustle. And thankfully they’ve printed editions with better covers, so you don’t have to tolerate these crimes against graphic design if you want get your hands on these classic stories…

….though often the new ones aren’t even that much of an improvement.

 

 

Featured Image Via Amazon

The Rock Got Married! 6 Books About Rocks!

From CNN to the Tennessean, the news that Dwayne ‘The Rock Johnson’ has gotten married with Lauren Hashian is all over the place. The two songbirds announced via Instagram their sudden marriage, which they’ve managed to keep (mostly) secret from the press.

 

 

Johnson and Hashian met on the set of the 2007 film The Game Plan and since then everyone from their mother to their number-neighbor has been wondering when they would tie the knot. Already they have two daughters together, Jasmine Lia, three years old, and Tiana Gia, who’s only one!

But you might be wondering how we’re going to tie this story into books. Well, since you clearly didn’t read the title, let’s walk you through it.

  1. Dwayne Johnson is called “The Rock”
  2.  Dwayne Johnson is okay with being called “The Rock”. Proof below

 

3) Since The Rock likes to be called The Rock, we’re going to celebrate. Now The Rock might have written a book (The Rock Says), but this list is less about the best of the best, but more of instructive guide on the best books to learn about rocks, how to find rocks, how to befriend our rock, how to stick with our rock, how to eat our rock, and, finally, how to tie it all back into Harry Potter.

So let’s get started!

 

 

6-The Pebble in My Pocket: A History of Our Earth by Meredith Hooper

The Pebble in My Pocket: A History of Our Earth

Image Via Amazon

 

Are rocks pebbles? Are pebbles rocks? It seems out first step in uncovering all you need to knows about rocks is to learn about rocks. Thus, Meredith Hooper’s The Pebble in My Pocket: A History of Our Earth is our pick for how to learn about rocks.

 

A Page from "The Pebble in My Pocket: A History of Our Earth"

Image Via brownsbfs.co.uk

 

You can’t get a more epic beginning on earth than one that starts off with a fiery volcano! To show its massive scale we follow the story of a rock.

 

Another Page from "The Pebble in My Pocket: A History of Our Earth"

Image Via offamilylearningtogether.com

 

From there spectacular paintings give texture, weight, and movement with a stroke of a brush, we enter the mind of a rock as it goes through time. We learn about the processes of rock formation and erosion, learning that, ultimately, while the rock does come before the pebble, the rock is most certainly pebble (well, a million of them but you get the gist).

Want to learn about the rocks? Well, this book is one you should definitely carve up some time for.

 

5-Let’s Go Rock Collecting by Roma Gans

But now that we know a general history of rocks and pebbles, how can we find The Rock above all rocks? Well…

 

Go Outside!

Image Via Treehugger.com

 

Picture this: Mom tells you to go outside and so you go out the door, but there’s nothing outside but the blazing sun, grass, and dirt.

It’s a good thing you can read outside (unless it’s raining, but in that case why is Mom throwing you outside?) because this book has been helping kids of all ages since 1984!

 

Let's Go Rock Collecting

Image Via Amazon

 

Targeted at a five to ten year old demographic, this simple geology book will show you the wonders just hiding above and below the dirt.

It’s a guide on how to start a rock collection, educating children on the formation of rocks and how to categorize and recognize igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks, but it also teaches the history of how rocks shaped culture. Did you know the Romans built roads out of rocks? Great information, stunning watercolors, and gorgeous line drawings, this book will keep anyone engaged.

 

A Page from 'Let's Go Rock Collecting'

Image Via RainbowResource

 

Want to dig below the dirt and see you can find that The Rock above all rocks? Well, this book will help you out! Check out its rockin’ ad below.

 

 

4-Charlotte and the Rock by stephen W Martin

Now that we know about rocks and know how to find them, how do we care for our rock? Well…

 

Charlotte and the Rock

Image Via Amazon

 

A twist on Dr. Seuss’ What Pet Should I Get, this children’s book introduces us to Charlotte, a lovely little girl who wants one thing in this world: a pet. Her parent thus bestow her with a rock on her birthday.

While rocks can’t cuddle, fetch, or help her eat her vegetables, Carlotte loves her rock anyway. Sadly, no matter how much Charlotte loves her rock she will never be sure that her Rock loves her back, unless…

 

Wow!

Image Via Youtube

 

Beautiful on every page, this children’s book can warm those even with a heart of stone. Still, if you’re not sure you want to embark on this rocky road to friendship, then check out this awesome video below!

 

 

 

 

3-Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry

Now that we have a rock friend, how do we stick with our rock down this not-so-delicious rocky road of life? Well, given that stones are rocks, we present to you: Stick and Stone, a story of a friendship that will last the ages.

 

Stick and Stone

Image Via Amazon

 

A little backstory: We have a sentient stone named Stone who is all on his own. Sad, lonely, life is going too well for Stone. Then it all comes crashing down when a Pine Cone starts to harass, torment, and bully our dear Stone. Luckily, Stick comes to the rescue and the two strike up a close friendship. But how will Stone repay Stick?

 

Page from "Stick and Stone"

Image Via Thepicturebookparty

 

A story that teaches us that friendships can last through stick and thin, we, as well as Stone, will learn that sometimes just being there for our friend, be he a Stick or a Rock, is sometimes just enough.

 

2-Stone Soup by Jon J Muth

 

How do we eat our rock? The answer is quite simple, and this lovely little folk tale retold in this glorious picture book will help show us.

 

Jon J Muth's "Stone Soup"

Image Via Amazon

 

In war-torn village suspicions run high. Both windows and doors are locked shut, so these three hungry strangers have to get clever. They make a feast for a King, and it all starts with some stones.

 

Page from Jon J Muth's "Stone Soup"

The Village comes together thanks to the power of rocks/Image Via Pinterest

 

Stones are rocks, and thus Muth gives this old tale a fresh twist for anyone who wants to learn about the the strength of working together and, more importantly, how to eat rocks.

 

The Biggest batch of Stone Soup Eva

The Biggest batch of Stone Soup Eva/Image Via Redeemermorristown.org

 

 

Can you smell what the rock is cooking? Well, the rock says…

 

1-Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J K Rowling

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Image Via Amazon

 

Whether you call it the philosopher’s the sorcerer’s, either way a rock set off our first Harry Potter adventure. He-Who-Must-Not-Have-A-Nose is back! and he’s looking for that precious rock to keep him alive. But Harry doesn’t know, and he’s got his own plate full.

 

Harry's scar

Who do you know with this tattoo?/Image Via Pinterest

 

He just found out he’s a wizard, he just met this big dude named Hagrid, he just met kid named Ron, he just met this girl named Hermione, he just met Draco, and now he’s the youngest Quddich Seeker in many-a-year in Hoggwarts long, very long, history. Despite all this, that stone will bring Harry and Lord Voldemort back on the track of destiny.

 

Harry and the stone

See?! Harry’s got a rock in his hand!/Image Via Pinterest

 

See, I tied Dwayne Johnson into Harry Potter? Now, before we leave, let me give you one bit of information.

 

TV Resolutions Explained

Image Via 9gag.com

 

That is all.

 

 

Featured Image Via Twitter User @theobach97

LGBTQ Books Are Being Censored and Authors Are Fighting Back

According to Entertainment Weekly Middle Schools across the country are resisting teaching LGBTQ material in the classroom. One incident occurred with an author called Jen-Petro Roy, who had booked a trip to Texas in order to talk with students about her book, P.S. I Miss You.

 

P.S. I Miss You

Image Via Goodreads

 

The novel follows an eleven year old girl who begins questioning her faith and sexuality, discovering she may not be straight and what that means for her identity. But, out of the blue, the school cancelled the scheduled visit.

According to Roy, the school had decided that by featuring her work, they’d be promoting an LGBT ‘agenda’ and she didn’t end up going to Texas after all. This is only the latest in a long string of controversies in children’s literature. Despite children’s books pushing forward with progressive attitudes, many LGBTQ voices are being silenced.

 

Image via Entertainment Weekly

Authors all over the country have noted they are suffering from being banned from even discuss LGBTQ material and many feel like they’re being gaslit. Schools often give excuses for teachers writing this material to not appear, making excuses that include scheduling conflicts or students study time. She describes this practice as ‘soft censorship’ and notes its really quite troubling, essentially enacting a ban on what literature young people are exposed to. She discovered parents had become upset at her for featuring pride flags on social media and they complained to the school, which likely helped make the decision.

 

Renegades

Image Via Amazon

 

The author further noted that bans might get more attention for the schools, making it extra motivation to allow them to get media attention they wouldn’t otherwise receive. Anonymous employees for schools revealed they had pulled books they did not ‘line up’ with school values, with nearly one third being tossed out or banned. For example: Renegades was banned because the main character has two dads.

The authors noted that kids are suffering the most for this and that this banning of content will ultimately hurt kids in the future. What do you think of these schools and their policies? Tell us in the comments.

 

 

 

Featured Image Via Barnes And Noble