Tag: surrealism

Here Are Our Book Lovers Day Staff Picks!

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaku and His Years of Pilgrimage – Haruki Murakami

 

 

Surrealism

“The themes of finding closure for unresolved personal negativities really resonated with me.” – Nate

 

The Space Between – Brenna Yovanoff

 

 

Fantasy

“This is a book about being deeply flawed, and how even as you’re trying to be better, it’s honest to let those things stay a part of you.” – Kali

 

 

The Last Unicorn – Peter Beagle

 

 

Fantasy/Children’s

“It Reminds me that there’s magic in the world even if you can’t see it.” – Becky

 

The Prisoner of Azkaban – J. K. Rowling

 

Fantasy

“I enjoyed it.” – Richard

 

 

The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway

 

 

Literary Fiction

“This is one of Hemingway’s most compelling books due to the religious themes and the focus on minority groups, at a time when prejudice in America was prevalent.” – Kyle

 

The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

 

 

Literary Fiction

“A good narrative that gives a view into the minds of the characters.” – Lexi

 

 

Gone – Michael Grant

 

 

Science Fiction

“It’s very entertaining and has a mystery you want to solve.” – Heather

 

Ties of Shooting Stars – Keigo Higashino

 

 

Detective

“The mystery keeps you guessing, and the build-up for the plot twist has a great payoff.” – Derek

 

 

The Thief Lord – Cornelia Funke

 

 

Children’s

“I found it really empowering as a child, with these kids taking care of themselves and fighting for good.” – Amy

 

The Lightning Thief – Rick Riordan

 

 

Fantasy

“I like Greek mythology, and the book’s funny, witty humor.” – Tim

 

 

Images via Amazon 

Featured image via Upslash 

BBC to Make Series of Short Films Based on 27-Year-Old Author’s Stories

Chris McQueer is an interesting author. The twenty-seven-year-old Scottish author was initially reluctant to try and publish his works, until he began sharing his work via Twitter to showcase on the internet. His surreal, strange works that put hilarious, fantasy-like spins on real life, such as Hings and Here We Fucking GoThese collections of stories focus on different casts of characters, from the mundane to the insane, all funny and complete nonsense at the same time. The anthology tales have drawn comparisons to Black Mirror or The Twilight Zone, drawing much fan attention and critical praise. Chris McQueer has an active social media presence, building his stories via interactions on the internet and often has themes revolving around the tenants of modern life.

 

Image Via Amazon

In an exciting development, according to GlasgowLive has revealed that the BBC will be adapting McQueer’s stories into a series of short films. Debuting on May 9th on iPlayer, the short films will include adaptations of numerous stories he’s written for his anthology stories and works he’s created for social media. Wild and quirky, the stories should prove interesting for the BBC’s lineup, considering the BBC itself expressed some trepidation in adapting McQueer’s works due to their surreal nature. But considering the quality of McQueer’s works, they should prove great to watch if nothing else! McQueer is quite excited about the project and has expressed he hopes to continue his career into television and film.

Are you excited?

 

 

Featured Image Via GlasgowTimes 

Midnight Paintings

These ‘Midnight Paintings’ Were Created By Dr. Seuss in Private

The name Dr. Seuss needs no introduction. Famous for his children’s novels that blended his brilliant rhyming schemes with illogical logic, nonsense words, and surrealist worlds into popular works such as The Cat in the Hat, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!and The Lorax. Still, there was more to Dr. Seuss than just these works, despite being his most famous creations. He was also a renowned illustrator, creating artwork for magazines, political cartoons, and most interestingly of all, himself.

 

One of Dr. Seuss's Midnight Paintings, these drawings features a surreal humanoid bird holding a martini glass and looking slyly at the viewer
Image Via The Guardian

 

As discussed in this article by The Guardian, Seuss illustrated hundreds of surreal artworks in the late hours of the night, painting for himself. These paintings were kept private until Seuss’s death, after which they were released to the public in an exhibition in Vancouver in 2016, dubbed The Art of Dr. Seuss and Liss Gallery. As discussed in this article by The Star, Seuss historians believe Dr. Seuss created these artworks to fulfill his imagination, his unshackled creativity inspiring him to put his best work forward for his actual public artwork. The gallery showcased sculptures, paintings, and illustrations released by his Estate, showcasing the private mind of Dr. Seuss.

Below are some of the ‘Midnight Paintings’, allowing us a glimpse into the mind of the author whose works we grew up with.

 

A deer drinks from a twisted water spout while surrounded by a strange, surreal world of light and shadow in this painting by Dr. Seuss
Image Via The Guardian
A painting featuring surreal images of animals prancing across a starlit grassland, with fish jumping happily in a nearby pond
Image Via The Guardian

 

A bird-like creature gazes into a mirror sadly while surrounded by a splendor of color
Image Via The Huffington Post
A fish-like creatures swims through a surreal underwater landscape, surrounded by weird plants and coral
Image Via The Milwaukee Independent

The paintings were collected into a book called The Secret Art of Dr. Seuss. Featuring sixty-five color illustrations, the book allows one to see Dr. Seuss in a whole new light. Pick up a copy today and bask for yourself in the beautiful illustrations of Dr. Seuss’s private world.

 

 

 

Featured Image Via The Milwaukee Independent

An image of John Lennon with the covers of his books.

Did You Know John Lennon Wrote Weird Hilarious Books?!

I’ll go out on a thin limb here and say we are all familiar with John Lennon. If you don’t know him from his star-making career as one of the core members of The Beatles— most of whose songs were written by the Lennon-McCartney (as in Paul McCartney) songwriting duo— you might know him from his stellar post-Beatles career, or from his work with his partner, Yoko Ono. However, there is another creative medium in John Lennon’s repertoire that has not received quite as much attention as his music. 

 

Gif of Lennon smiling

Image Via Gifer

 

In honor of what would have been Lennon’s 78th birthday, we here at Bookstr would like to draw some attention to his less-regarded creative output: his writing— not songwriting, but creative writing, in the form of his books, In His Own WriteA Spaniard in the Works, and Skywriting by Word of Mouth.

 

 

In His Own Write

 

The cover of In His Own Write

Image Via Ultimate Classic Rock

 

In His Own Write was Lennon’s first book, published in 1964 by Simon & Schuster. The book is made up of short stories and Lennon’s drawings. It is written in a nonsensical style that is characterized by intentional misspellings, surrealism, free association, and abrupt shifts in thought. The book also happened to be the first solo project by any of The Beatles. 

 

Pages 62-63 of In His Own Write, displaying Lennon's drawings and prose style.

Image Via 13th Dimension

 

An example of the book’s unique style can be found in the “About the Author” page:

 

About The Awful 
I was bored on the 9th of Octover 1940 when, I believe, the Nasties were still booming us led by Madolf Heatlump (who only had one). Anyway they didn’t get me. I attended to varicous schools in Liddypol. And still didn’t pass — much to my Aunties supplies. As a member of the most publified Beatles my (P, G, and R’s) records might seem funnier to some of you than this book, but as far as I’m conceived this correction of short writty is the most wonderfoul larf I’ve every ready. 
God help and breed you all.

 

 

A Spaniard in the Works

 

Cover of A Spaniard in the Works

Image Via The Saleroom

 

A Spaniard in the Works was Lennon’s second book, published only a year after In His Own Write. The style is very similar to In His Own Write, featuring the same intentional misspellings, short stories accompanied by drawings, and absurdism.

 

 

A still from the movie 'Help' in which John Lennon holds up a copy of A Spaniard in the Works

Image Via The Hand of Count Petofi

 

The book’s table of contents offers a clue as to what you can expect from a read-through of it:

 

A Spaniard in the Works
The Fat Budgie
Snore Wife and some Several Dwarts
The Singularge Experience of Miss Anne Duffield
The Faulty Bagnose
We must not forget the General Erection
Benjaman Distasteful
The Wumberlog (or The Magic Dog)
Araminta Ditch
Cassandle
The National Health Cow
Readers Lettuce
Silly Norman
Mr. Boris Morris
Bernice’s Sheep
Last Will and Testicle
Our Dad
I Believe, Boot . . .

 

 

Skywriting by Word of Mouth

 

Cover of Skywriting by Word of Mouth

Image Via AbeBooks

 

This was Lennon’s final book, posthumously published in 1986, a whole twenty-one years after his last book, and six years after his death. This book is rather different from his others; for one thing, it abides by typical spelling convention. The book is also a sort of autobiography, rather than a collection of surrealist stories.

 

An excerpt from 'Skywriting by Word of Mouth'

Image Via Beatles Blog

 

Written in its author’s much-imitated, never-duplicated voice, populated with his own illustrations, full of the wit and honesty that helped make him one of the most iconic, polarizing figures of the 20th Century, Skywriting by Word of Mouth is the lost and recovered, posthumously published autobiography of John Lennon.

 

A still from the movie 'Help': Lennon laying on a bed surrounded by copies of his own book, the captions read: "Stop trying to drag things down to your own level."

Image Via The Hand of Count Petofi

 

 

Featured Image Via Billboard, Saleroom, AbeBooks, and Ultimate Classic Rock. Excerpts and Synopses Via Amazon