This volume brims with bookish treasures, all delightfully illustrated by avowed bibliophile, Jane Mount.
• Find your next great read in lovingly curated stacks of books! • Test your knowledge of the written word with quizzes! • Sample the most famous fictional meals! • Peek inside the workspaces of their favorite authors! • Tour the world's most beautiful bookstores! • And meet an adorable array of bookstore cats!
Dive into this enchanting collection to fall in love with books over and over again.
Jane Mount is an illustrator/designer/writer/thingmaker, and particularly makes things for people who love books. She is the founder of Ideal Bookshelf, and the author and illustrator of Bibliophile: An Illustrated Miscellany (Chronicle Books, 2018), and the illustrator and co-author (with Jamise Harper) of Bibliophile: Diverse Spines (Chronicle Books, 2021) and My Ideal Bookshelf (Little, Brown, 2012). She lives in a log cabin on Maui with her husband, three weird cats, and a speckled dog.
Another absolutely wonderful book about all things bookish. Lists of course, classified into subjects, classics, sports, fantasy etc. I did pretty well on many of the lists, except for the genres I read little of, fantasy, scyfy. This is so much more than just lists though, it also highlights some wonderful bookstores, gorgeous libraries around the world, and the rooms some well known authors used to write their books. There are short bios or paragraphs of interest of somebody the authors preceeding the lists of the different genres.
Beautifully designed, the pages are thicker than usual, some gorgeous illustrations, the book itself is navy blue with gold accents, a red ribbon for a book mark. A book to take out again and again. What can I say? I bought a copy.
.....This is the book that keeps on giving... .....It’s a book for book and artwork lovers... .....The physical hardcopy is gorgeous....with a ribbon bookmark... .....Wonderful gift for book lovers...can be read cover to cover or jump around...read in any order. .....Beautifully crafted, charming illustrations, entertaining, and informative...
Author Jane Mount lives in Maui with her husband and two “weird cats”. Jane says: “Making this book has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I often jump into projects and then figure out how exactly to do them, because, well, I like a challenge. The whole idea seemed huge and scary and I knew I would feel ridiculously great after I finished it. If you’re not challenging yourself, and not pushing to make the very best possible thing, then what’s the point, really?”
Jane tells us: “The goal of this book is to triple the size of your To Be Read pile. It’s a literary WUNDERKAMMER, connecting you with books you might love for all kinds of reasons— because the subject speaks to you, because you found it through a great local library, or because there is a cute cat on the cover. Like a portable, beloved book store with aisles full of passionate shelftakers, this volume contains something for everyone who enters. Each time you open it, you’ll find another jewel you didn’t know you needed to find until that moment”.
Jewels I found inside: .....Many books I’ve read and cherished.......I found myself eyeing over and over Jane’s bookshelf’s drawings. Beautiful artwork that brings back memories of stories inside. For example ...her ‘classic’ -colorful bookshelf included: To kill a Mockingbird, The Great Gatsby, The Catcher in the Rye, Pride and Prejudice, Charlotte Bronte, Harry Potter, Lord of The Rings, East of Eden, Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, The Little Prince. Other book shelves: from fiction, non-fiction, children’s, food writing, ( separate from the shelf baking and desserts), bookloved bookstores, “A Sense of Place”, Mysteries, Book Club Darlings, “Unhappy Families Each In Their Own Way”, sports, travel, to every genre & variety grouping in between..... [ADORABLE PAINTED BOOKSHELVES].... note the bookshelves are painted BOOKS....(in stacks). I loved the way Jane picked and organized her bookshelves. Her drawings are fabulous ....must have been hours of work. A great book to share....and leave out for others to flip through. This book desires to be touched. A kindle download would never be the same...( and a review can never fully describe this lovely gem).....It’s really a MUST SEE & READ YOURSELF.....type of experience if there ever was such an individual experience.
Jane has painted literally over 1000 *Ideal Bookshelves* since the year of 2008. She has painted the favorite books of writers, teachers, biologist, chefs, architects, musicians, kindergartners, retirees, atheists, buddhists, tattoo artists, grandfathers, and lawyers. Jane has painted literary fiction, and popular fiction from all genres plus poetry, essays, memoirs, comics, short stories, travel guide, history books, science books, self-help books, cookbooks, art books, and children’s and young adult book ....
This modern Bibliophile....also includes interesting bookstores, songs about books, unique libraries, quizzes and trivia games, (miscellany), bookstore cats, and more... Sprinkled with love on every page.
I love books (obviously). I love art. I love humor. I love trivia, quizzes and all around cleverness.
This book delivers on every one of these and so much more. It’s too late to gift for the holidays, but this should be on your list to gift yourself or another book lover in your life at any time of year.
The author and artist calls it a literary Wunderkammer, and after looking the word up to read ‘a place where a collection of curiosities and rarities is exhibited,’ I have to agree it’s the perfect description (and I’ve learned a new word!). It is filled with profiles of bookish folks, tours of bookstores around the world and stacks of books organized by topic all stunningly, colorfully illustrated. And the quizzes will baffle the brightest of us. My favorite, a five-word synopsis quiz, stumped even the most literary of our Christmas guests, and I’m challenging myself to boil down books to their essence (see bold print above).
It’s a joyful book to pick up again and again and one which I highly recommend!
Bibliophile is a top-notch gift for bookworms and would make a splendid addition to any waiting room or coffee table.
Author and illustrator Jane Mount opens by saying, "The goal of this book is to triple the size of your To Be Read pile," but, if I'm being honest, that really didn't happen for me (which is shocking given how exceptionally talented I am at making Mount TBR grow).
For me, Bibliophile stirred a longing to travel to more bookstores around the world, to examine public libraries next time I'm in a different city, and to snuggle my kitties because there are a lot of darling kittens mentioned in this book but none are as adorable as my own. :D
Perfect book for those of us who respond to visual inspiration. This is a book to be savored over time, possibly not read from front to end in chronological order. Or maybe a quick turn of all the pages, with the idea to go back to focus on those areas of interest. What I'm getting at here is this is a book I'd like to own, one to enjoy or refer to when the mood or need strikes.
One thing I really loved was the nod to many of the best Independent Book Stores in the World. Certainly makes me want to take a trip.
My sincere thanks to all my GR friends who recommended this. This was the first review read that really encouraged me to pick this book up:
I think I’m in love! When I spotted this tome displayed on my library’s shelf, I was immediately drawn to it. Since then, my feelings have moved quickly from infatuation to true love as I began to examine the pages of this astonishing … well … miscellany of treats for bibliophiles. More than a book, I would call this a treasure trove for book-lovers, its pages a cornucopia of book-related information. The author, Jane Mount, is an award-winning illustrator and designer, and her delightful illustrations appear on just about every page. Those familiar with the company she founded – Ideal Bookshelf – which creates things for people who love books will instantly recognize her paintings. There is so much here to surprise and enchant. Of particular joy to me are the random chapters scattered throughout called “Beloved Bookstores”, wherein she illustrates and describes iconic bookstores from around the world. -Jess O.
This is the ultimate book-album to have on a book table in a lounge to flip through. Looks wonderful, illustrated with wild abandon and incredibly pleasant to hold! Of course, I'm not gonna skip pointing out that this is basically a glorified booklist interspersed with lots of fun miscellania. It's more than compensated for, though. And it's exactly as stated on the cover: illustrated miscellany. Love it.
Q: I know that any book, when read at the right moment, might make my life better, might give me a greater understanding of the universe and all the other people in it. (c)
The author of this gorgeously-illustrated book starts off by saying, “The goal of this book is to triple the size of your To Be Read pile.” Since my to-read list is already way out of control, I am grateful that this didn’t happen! I ended up adding only three books to my wish list.
WHAT I LOVED Beautiful illustrations – I simply loved browsing through this book – especially favorite bookstores, libraries, pets in bookstores, and so on. This book is engaging and fun!
WHAT I DID NOT PARTICULARLY CARE FOR I noticed that many of the titles lean heavily towards books that are strong on one side of politics and all the usual reactions to the 2016 presidential election, political correctness and all that. Had it not been so noticeable, I would likely have given it a higher rating. At times, I felt that I was browsing in the Strand bookstore in Manhattan, or in Powell’s in Portland. There’s nothing wrong with either, but I would have preferred more neutral titles, or at least, fewer book suggestions that are geared towards only one side of politics, being progressive, and all that.
Talking about bookstores – I was recently in New York and visited three bookstores. Of the three, the Strand was my least favorite, Rizzoli was second, Three Lives and Company was my all-time favorite.
But I digress. All the political stuff is tiresome and divisive.
Some parts of the book had very small font, which made it difficult to read.
My favorite quote: “I know that any book, when read at the right moment, might make my life better, might give me a greater understanding of the universe and all the other people in it.”
I love this gorgeous book! The introduction compares it to a portable bookstore and I agree. Turning the pages is like browsing the aisles of a well-curated bookshop. Mount's wonderful drawings of book stacks fill the pages and I have been studying the spines of each of them - touching them, admiring them, noting those that I've read and want to read.
This is a book that I will keep referring to. It makes me happy just to hold. I bought this for myself but if it had been a gift, I would have felt deeply understood by the gift giver.
This is one of those books for leafing through when you have a few spare minutes, or at bedtime when you're too tired and sleepy to pay attention to a plot line. The watercolor artwork by Jane Mount is a delight, and we are treated to book recommendations from librarians, teachers, booksellers, etc., bookstores around the world, drawings of the workspaces of writers, lists of book genres, and little tidbits of arcane information about books and publishers and authors. I loved picking it up at random times for a little inspiration. If you know a booklover who needs a gift, look no further. This one is perfect!
This ended up being so much more than I thought it would be. Illustrated Miscellany really is an apt way of describing this ambitious work, which tackles everything from illustrations of bookstacks, to book recommendations from book lovers, to illustrators of cover designs for famous books, to lists of famous bookstores all over the world, to examples of books by genre in everything from fantasy to romance to food writing.
For the most part, I really liked this book. There's a lot of amazing trivia packed in here. Like I didn't know William S. Burroughs subscribed to Cat Fancy magazine or that Shel Silverstein was an illustrator for Playboy. There was also a solid attempt at inclusion with many books written by authors of color.
It was a lengthy and entertaining read and I learned a lot about books (and added a couple new ones to my TBR). It's always nice when an impulsive purchase pays off. (Also, unlike some illustrated books that are formatted for Kindle, this one reads quite nicely in e-format.)
Positives - I found the drawings of book covers to be charming. I did find some titles which were previously unfamiliar to me. I'm thinking especially of the short story and international sections.
Negatives - Beloved Bookstores - too many were well known (at least I'd heard of many of them). I'd have been happier if more smaller and lesser known bookstores were included. Striking Libraries - The bigger, the better seems to have been the criterion for inclusion. The exteriors of the buildings are shown. I'd rather have seen the insides, so I could judge how comfortable the libraries were for their patrons. Bookish People Recommend - I found many of the recommendations mundane and boring. I find many, many better recommendations by reading reviews on Goodreads. There are books which seem to be mentioned a number of times in : Bibliophile. There are enough interesting books in the world that one mention per book should have been enough. And, in general, too many well known books are included in this collection, but I suppose the author and the publisher felt that they had to be included because they were recognizable and would help to sell the book. Beautiful Contemporary Covers - I didn't find most of them that striking.
A couple of personal qualms: For me, there's something lacking when there's a listing of thirty or so mystery novels with no mention of Ross Macdonald.
Songs About Books - I'd add a couple that I think were worth including and, perhaps, better than the ones mentioned in Bibliophile: John Cale - "Graham Greene " - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_g_n... The Insect Trust - "The Eyes of a New York Woman" - lyrics from Thomas Pynchon's V - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f33o3... Incidentally, it's been written that Pynchon was angry that the Insect Trust had recorded the tune and threatened legal action if the band didn't withdraw the album, Hoboken Saturday Night. After some negotiations the band agreed to stop performing it live and Pynchon stopped legal actions. I don't think that this story can be verified (very little concerning Pynchon can be) but, if it is true, I'm glad that Pynchon didn't follow through because the Insect Trust's : Hoboken Saturday Night is a long time favorite of mine and I would have never heard the song and album had he done so.
My qualms are merely my opinions and can be taken with a grain (or perhaps an entire shaker) of salt.
I'd suggest that if you think this book might interest you, get a copy from your library system and take a look at it. I did just that and found that, while it's entertaining in passing, it's not a book that I'd want on my shelves.
May 12, 2022 Update I recently learned that there is a followup to Bibliophile (2018) with Bibliophile: Diverse Spines (2021) thanks to Lisa of Troy's enthusiastic review. The sequel sounds like it will have more of a variety of selections rather than the conventional popular books in the original.
Perhaps a Bit Too Fluffy and Comfy Review of the Chronicle Books 2018 hardcover edition
I enjoyed the front half of this miscellany tremendously and was even considering a 4 or 5-star rating at that stage. In the back half though, which is dominated by non-fiction, I was starting to get somewhat tired of the umpteenth page of cookbook/foodbook related lists and illustrations. So it was a mixed experience overall.
The paintings of books spines and covers are generally well done, some of the author ones perhaps less so (I laughed at another reviewer's comment: "the portraits of the authors started to scare me after awhile"). A few of the book spines looked all out of proportion e.g. pg. 40's Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha (usually about 130-150 pages) does not strike me as a larger book than D.H. Lawrence's Sons and Lovers (usually about 600-700 pages) and pg. 77's Elena Ferrante's My Brilliant Friend does not strike me as a tinier book than Gail Honeyman's Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine (both about 300+ pages). It is more noticeable when the books are placed right next to each other in those paintings. Those may be minor quibbles, but they are exactly the type of thing that a book obsessive will notice.
Overall, my sense was that this sticks to the popular 20th-21st century top-sellers (with a splash of 19th C) and doesn't feature anything very much that is off the beaten path or transgressive or challenging. I didn't really spot all that much to add to my To Be Read list although admittedly I am rather set in my own quirky paths for that. I was impressed that Niviaq Korneliusen's Crimson aka Homo Sapienne aka Last Night in Nuuk, was singled out as the example for Greenlandic literature. That at least was off the beaten path.
I was sent a copy of Bibliophile by my bookish buddy Katrina because I've been working with the publisher for my day job. This really is my sort of miscellany. Jane Mount is super talented – I have been coveting a bookstack print myself – and Bibliophile is full of literary facts, book recommendations, and bookshop spotlights, and it kept me entertained during my lunch breaks.
Delightful! Simply delightful book about books. This book contains everything you would ever want to know about different genres of books, authors, book stores worldwide, music about books, and even the bookkeepers themselves. The illustrations are very bright and colorful. A perfect book for any bibliophile to add to their library shelves. I highly recommend it!
If you love reading, enjoy the feel of a good book in your hands, have ever lovingly caressed the cover of a favorite book, you need to get this book. Every page is a goldmine of beautiful illustrations of books, bookstores and libraries, famous authors’ writing rooms, and book recommendations. I probably added 30 books to my TBR and could have included dozens more.
I rarely buy books but I’m tempted to go buy this one tomorrow because I’ll have to return this copy to the library 😆
This book was awesome! Normally for these types of books it’s hard to give a 5⭐️ rating because it’s either based on all classics that -lets.be.serious- no one liked nor wants to really read during this time in age. This book broke down every single genre (even cooking) and gave us great recs and there’s bookstore recs in the world too sprinkled throughout along with libraries all over the world. The illustrations are amazing. I devoured this book. I did skip some sections that wasn’t really my favorite genres but overall learning about the different bookstores and libraries around the world was the best for me. Also didn’t know that An Unlikely Story bookstore here in my home state of Massachusetts is owned by the author of Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Jeff Kinney) so cool!
This book would be great as a coffee table book because it’s great to flip through and reference back time and time again and guests would love to browse!
A pretty book that is perfect for readers of primarily literary fiction. There are whimsical illustrations at the start of each chapter or section, and great lists of books to try (and add to that already massive TBR.)
I couldn’t help but think of a couple of less pleasant things as I was slowly reading this book: -Many of the suggested books lists are filled by men, and by primarily white authors, regardless of gender. It reinforced the fact that publishing companies have a lot of work to do to improve their BIPoC offerings. -I kept wondering how many of the independent bookstores featured within this book are going to still be in business by the end of 2020 thanks to COVID-19.
I heart Jane Mount. Her intricately drawn book spines cause smiles. Beware. Each page in this beautifully bound book feels like a piece of art. I have both puzzles (by Galison) with her illustrations, have the note cards on wishlist, and impatiently await more products to be released that recognizes her distinctive handiwork so that I can continue my praises!
This delightful book is full of lovely illustrations, and would make a lovely gift for all the readers in your life, including yourself.
There's lots of bookish information to delight readers including curated lists, book recommendations, beloved bookstores, and bookstore pets. Every two page spread has bookish tidbits with accompanying illustrations. The beautiful illustrations and book design are what make this book in my opinion. It's a lovely ode to all things book related. While I did not agree with all the of the items on the curated lists, this was such a fun book to dip in and out of.
This would be a perfect book to bring along on a multi-generational gathering as it would spark interesting discussions among the readers in the group. This beautifully designed physical book is a pleasure to peruse, and my TBR is groaning under the additional weight.
P.S. I initially started the ebook, and while the images can be enlarged, you lose much of the beauty of this one in electronic form.
Beautiful and informative. I spent days with this book and I don't want to stop looking at it and reading it. Each two page spread has both illustrations and information. Two page spreads include topical and/or genre based lists, beloved bookstores, bookish people recommend, striking libraries, editions, writing rooms, etc. This is such fun. I checked this out from the library but I want my own copy. This is a book to treasure and open and reread any time of day, week, month, or year.
I loved everything about this book. The content, the illustrations, the layout, all the choices. A book about books for bookish people! Celebrate the awesomeness of books! From where they are kept (bookstores and libraries) to how they're presented (illustration and different editions) to what they can do (inform and change lives)!
The subtitle of this book is "an illustrated miscellany." But I would subtitle it "the Joy of Books, Illustrated." Jane Mount is a very talented illustrator who came up with the idea of painting the books sitting in front of her in her kitchen. Then people began to notice what she was doing. She created a company, called Ideal Bookshelf. Her first book, My Ideal Bookshelf, contains paintings of writers' and designers' bookshelves. My TBR certainly expanded when I read that book.
In her introduction to this book, Jane wrote "The goal of this book is to triple the size of your To Be Read pile." Well, that's a dangerous proposition for me because my TBR is already three times too big. But I did add books to my TBR while I was reading this book. I tried to hold back and not add every book that grabbed my attention in this compilation. I probably have at least one TBR book from almost every list in this book: coming of age books, cult classics, novels of the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st century, southern lit, dystopia, essays, sports, memoirs, food writing, regional cooking and more. Book stores, libraries, and authors' writing rooms are also lovingly highlighted to entice readers to appreciate the book world around them.
Jane's book is beautifully illustrated with not just books and authors and libraries. She adds her own whimsical highlights here and there as little treasures to find. My favorite example is on the section for Nature & Animals. One of the books in her illustrated collection is Jonathan Weiner's The Beak of the Finch (which I think I added to my TBR). Six little finch heads (and beaks) illustrate the spine of his book. On the text-side of this section, Jane drew three little finches, each with an opinion about his or her own little beak. So adorable!
I recommend this book to anyone who loves Jane Mount's work and loves looking at painting of books and imagining what his or her ideal bookshelf would be. There are plenty of inspirational ideas in this book to increase your TBR pile.
How come I didn't know about this book??? I recently discovered what a delight this is for anyone who wants a fabulous overview of various books and categories (mainly literary, not much in the way of genres such as suspense, mysteries, romance, and anything else one might think of as "leisure reading"). The illustrations are gorgeously drawn and the book descriptions are enticing. This is a perfect purchase to keep on a shelf for future reference and it would be a fabulous resource for book groups.
Also featured are book suggestions by esteemed book lovers and tantalizing descriptions of unique bookstores and libraries from all over the world.
Really though librarians are probably the after thought and the forethought for a book of "illustrated miscellany" about books. What I love is that the hodgepodge for as hodgepodge-y as it is is not at all. There is a real flow to how the book unfolds in created curated lists in likely most kinds of bookish readers-- from those that read cookbooks to those that read sci fi, interspersed with the most beautiful libraries, writing dens, and the most celebrated bookstores using Mount's awesome illustrated style (from the Ideal Bookshelf). It's a narrative about book life with trivia added-- what food appeared in what book, name the book title with a five-word description, author pets plus PLENTY of bookstacks.
It is a walk down memory lane and an invitation to read harder (thank you Book Riot) and is very current referencing at least several books published in 2018.
A lovely coffee table-type book and for every book lover to read at least once.
A little conflicted. I've already found some good recommendations from this book. I plan on going through it more thoroughly over the weekend in the search for more, which I'm sure I'll find many. What gets me about this book is the clutter. There's simply too much information. It makes a nice gift, but I think some editing would have helped. Also, not a huge fan of the illustrations, but that's very subjective.