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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Spring Travel to Japan

Cherry blossoms have fallen to the ground like confetti, and the orchards are now turning full and green with leaves, but our hearts are still full of the annual festival feeling the flowering orchards bring to the Leelanau countryside. In Japan, of course, cherry blossoms are the occasion for many festivals and pilgrimages, so it’s natural my thoughts should take an eastern turn in springtime, especially when I also have these beautiful books to feature. Please forgive the lamplight's glare. 

How to Wrap 5 More Eggs: Traditional Japanese Packaging, by Hideyuki Oka, is a sequel to his How to Wrap Five Eggs, a surprising and delightful journey in words and images. Whether or not you’ll be using any of the traditional Japanese methods for wrapping eggs, you’ll be charmed by this book, with its lesson that “our inner, spiritual satisfaction cannot be found merely in material abundance.”

How to Wrap 5 More Eggs: Traditional Japanese Packaging, by Hideyuki Oka

With photographs by Michikazu Sakai
NY & Tokyo: Weatherhill, 1975; 4th printing, 1978
(now out of print)
Hardcover with protected dust jacket, VG/VG

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Autumn Grasses and Water: Motifs in Japanese Art, from the Suntory Museum of Art (founded in 1961) is a journey into traditional Japanese aesthetics, featuring objects from teapots to clothing, as well as paintings. Four important essays (by Shuji Takashina, Masakazu Yamazaki, Shigenobu Kimura, and Toyomune Minamoto) introduce the subject, and full-color illustrations include breathtaking detail.

Autumn Grasses and Water: Motifs in Japanese Art
NY: Japan Society, 1983
Paper with dust jacket, VG/G+

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Katsura: A Princely Retreat I have described elsewhere on my blog “Books in Northport.” My photographs there are better than the ones here, so follow this link for a fuller introduction to this gem.

Katsura: A Princely Retreat
Text by Akira Naito
Photographs by Takeshi Nishikawa
Tokyo, NY & San Francisco: Kodansha International, 1977, 1st ed.
Hardcover/dust jacket/ slipcase, VG/VG

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And finally, here is a lovely budget item that can be put to practical home use. A Japanese Touch for Your Garden describes various traditional Japanese garden elements, illustrates them with lovely color photographs, and includes invaluable lists of garden plans and plant names.

A Japanese Touch for Your Garden
by Kiyoshi Seike, Masanobu Kudo, and David H. Engel
with photographs by Haruzo Ohashi
Tokyo, NY & San Francisco: Kodansha International, 1980; 10th printing, 1987
Hardcover with dust jacket (lightly sunned), VG/VG-

Thursday, May 18, 2017

About Undocumented Child Immigrants

This is a very small, very important book. The author works as a translator for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and her title comes from her young daughter’s question when hearing some of the stories of undocumented child immigrants.

Do you know what “voluntary return” means to children crossing into the U.S. from Mexico? Do you know about the Juvenile Priority Docket? Whatever you think about immigration in general, this book will give you food for thought.

Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty  Questions
by Valeria Luiselli
Coffee House Press, paper, 199pp

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Tuesday is the BIG DAY!

Northport author Sarah Shoemaker’s debut novel, Mr. Rochester, inspired by Charlotte Bronte's classic Jane Eyre, will be officially released, simultaneously in the U.S., England, and Australia, by Grand Central Publishing in New York on May 9, 2017, and offered for sale by Dog Ears Books beginning at 7 p.m. that Tuesday at a world premiere book launch. The launch will take place Spice World Cafe in Northport, across Waukazoo Street from the bookstore, and Shoemaker will be on hand for the celebration and to sign books for purchasers. Dessert and punch will be served.

(Book price is $27 + sales tax, for a total of $28.62. Payment by cash or check only, please. For your convenience, I am accepting prepaid orders now.)

To whet your appetite for the book, read this review/interview by Mary Sharratt of the Historical Novel Society. Sharratt calls the novel a "tour de force." That's what I've been saying all along!

Author Sarah Shoemaker