It would certainly expand the minds of students who see poems as a strictly pen to paper or finger to keyboard endeavor. Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan.
He writes reviews and the occasional article or two for School Library Journal and is a member of the Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes gmail. Thank you. Thanks for this very kind review! I wanted to point out that the sorted books project in Swedish has transcriptions of all the titles in English right next to the photographs, so you CAN read them.
Hi Nina — thank you for taking the time to comment! I updated the review to reflect the fact that the Swedish titles are translated. Thanks again for stopping by and thanks for sorted books! Review copy from the publisher. Comments Irene Latham says:. April 21, at am. Nina Katchadourian says:. May 1, at pm. Travis Jonker says:. May 2, at am. Many of the books in the public areas were art catalogs and publications related to the artists in her collection, whereas the books in the private quarters were very personal in nature, dealing with dreams, grieving, and myth, to name a few examples.
When complete, the book clusters were installed upstairs in a private room that had a small library.
While on a residency in Stockholm in , the Strindberg Museum generously gave me permission to work with August Strindberg's books. Strindberg lived in a 4th-floor apartment, and a room on the 6th floor housed his research library with the majority of his books. Because many of Strindberg's books were extremely fragile, I spent three days taking digital pictures and writing down book titles on notecards.
Then I worked at home, shuffling around the hundreds of notecards to create the clusters and then crosschecking against the digital pictures to make sure the physical properties of the books would work in these combinations. Although I grew up speaking Swedish, this was the first time I sorted books in a language other than English.
Working posthumously with a famous writer raised new questions: was the goal to write in Strindberg's voice, to somehow channel him through his books? Was I obligated to express his opinions, or was there space for my own? Did the clusters need to reflect topics from his era, or mine?
The breadth of Strindberg's interests was immense. If nothing else, I wanted my book clusters to do justice to Strindberg's omnivorous intellectual appetite, and I felt happiest when this diversity could be reflected within just a single photograph. See the complete series from Sorting Strindberg. In , the Delaware Art Museum invited me to work with the books in the M.
Sawyer Collection of Decorative Bindings. The collection comprises over 2, books, acquired on the basis of their cover design. It was an opportunity to take a close look at the culture and history of the United States betweeen approximately and Fiction was dominated by themes of travel, romance, science, the automobile, rural American farm life, and the West. The Old World also hovers around the popular imagination in the many books about knights, kings, and European history.
A visual and linguistic shift takes place between prim Victorian bindings and the racy dustjackets of books thirty years later. Spectacularly gilded covers reflect the wealth of the United States during certain periods, and austere designs take over during times of belt-tightening. I noticed a curious surge in late 19th-century fiction romanticizing Native Americans and despaired when I realized how this coincided with their violent displacement and decimation.
I came to know the books in this collection intimately through several visits to the museum but also by working remotely with their online database of the book covers.
I printed out about small-scale copies and spent months arranging them in my studio before coming to the museum to finalize the groupings. This sorting yielded more book clusters than any other, but it was an agonizing last day, and it felt impossible to stop when there was always one more book that begged for inclusion. For the first time I worked with the book covers up, in part because the titles didn't always appear on the spines, but also because the covers were rich with information and so beautiful that I couldn't imagine otherwise.
I was invited to work with the books in a family home in Austin, TX in spring of Two adults and their three kids aged 14, 17 and 20 lived in a large home with more books than perhaps any other family home I have been in. The adults' bedside tables were piled high with books, with more books under the tables. There were books in the kitchen, the bathrooms and hallways. There was even a large book closet, the contents of which would have been enough for a book sorting project all of its own.
This is a vegetarian book like nothing you've seen before. Bring out an ingredient's character and celebrate its individuality through a mixture of indulgent and. The Sorted Books project began in , and it has has taken place on many different sites over the years, ranging form private homes to specialized book.
It took a long time to look at all the books in the house and I spent two days making an eighteen-page hand-written list, noting all potentially useful book titles, in advance of starting any book sorting at all. Moving through the house was like moving through zones of shifting subject matter and personalities. The adults' home offices had serious books on politics, history, health, care for aging parents, self-help, and a lot of contemporary fiction.
In the most public areas I found thick books about design and art history, and art catalogs often related to the art collection hanging in the house. The cookbooks on the kitchen shelves lived in proximity to the books on the flora and fauna of Texas, with some occasional crossover. I spent a great deal of time upstairs, in the kids' rooms. The oldest boy had a lot of outdoor adventure literature, a genre I'm personally very fond of. The book spines in the teenage girl's room were predominantly blue, pink, or pastel yellow with language that took a distinctly wordy, chatty, mildly provocative tone.
My favorite shelves were the ones with hundreds of picture books that had been read to the kids when they were very young. These books had tall, skinny spines and humorous or poignant titles that I often took out of context and merged with the adults' books. Spending many days in the house also attuned me to the pattern of this family's daily life.
Kids and adults came and went throughout the days while I was working, and my conversations with them also helped shape the compositions of the book clusters that resulted. See the complete series from Family Gathering. The writer William S. Burroughs lived the last sixteen years of his life in Lawrence, Kansas, and in May I spent the better part of week there, looking through his personal book collection and eventually constructing a Sorted Books piece.
Burroughs's reputation and mythology—not just as writer, but as traveler, drug-user, artist, shaman, muse and friend to many of the Beats—precedes him.
I came to his book collection having read some of his work, but by no means comprehensively, nor was I particularly well-informed about the details of his life. Perhaps precisely because of all myth and hearsay, I thought it might be useful to arrive a little under-informed so as to be able to take the books at face value, and to let the books themselves serve as the medium through which I'd come to understand more about Burroughs's life and work. There were about fifty boxes of books in addition to five or six bookshelves. Some were free-standing cases with glass doors that had been kept more or less in the order Burroughs had lived with them.
In the cases, books shared space with various small figurines, relics and gifts. Surprises lurked behind many book covers. In a paperback medical thriller called Nerve with a blazing green skull on the cover, I followed a hole all the way through the book until I arrived at the bullet. His books also reflected a profound interest in animals and wildlife.