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Jul 30

Titles and Covers by Charlotte Helgeson

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on July 30, 2021 at 1:21 PM by Genesis Gaule

How important is the title and cover of a book? The title is first seen as part of the cover. How much does that cover influence the reader? Who makes the decision about how that will look. Is it the author or publisher?

Remember, the old adage of not judging a book by its cover? In the explanation of that English idiom, the word ‘alone’ is often added. So go ahead and take a good look at the cover and let that help decide if a deeper look will follow. It won’t be the only factor, but it does influence our choices.

That sounds so easy, but there is a huge amount of time, talent and thought that goes into a cover design. The author has lived inside the book for months, maybe years and knows the story inside and out and upside down. Publishers take a different approach by wanting a cover that will attract potential readers. An illustrator will add a creative talent that takes the words and puts flesh on them or creates an abstract concept of the story line. Publishers often win out though the more bestsellers an author creates, the more influence she’ll apply to the design.

Sometimes covers will change if books are reproduced. Publishers will want them to be more timely or if a movie has been produced then a still picture might be placed on the cover. Books considered classics may see many covers as different publishers take turns at reviving them, such as The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

Cookbooks with colorful covers of food catch my attention every time such as The Elder Scrolls by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel. There are also books that I can’t take home because I find the covers too scary. 

Yes, I’m easily influenced by covers but what about titles?

Titles are influential also. Authors with their publishers will decide on a title. I have an author friend who agreed to change the title of her book when the publisher thought her choice wasn’t mysterious enough.

Too many titles are the same or so similar that readers get confused. I prefer titles that are more distinct like The Poppy War by R.F. Kuan (great cover) and Ancestor Approved edited by Cynthia Leitch Smith.

The individual words in a title can catch a reader’s attention. For me some favorites are tree, sand, herbs or seeds which is why I picked up The Seed Keeper by Diane Wilson. The cover is a picture of beading which is beautiful. The book is about seeds and plants. After picking it up and looking at it, I found that it takes place close to home--a good find for me based on a cover and title!


Jul 07

The Different Styles, Simple Projects, and Creative Ideas of Architecture by Acacia James

Posted to Campbell Unclassified on July 7, 2021 at 2:21 PM by Genesis Gaule

Architecture is a field that is constantly changing and evolving. From Romanesque style architecture to Gothic to the Renaissance, then more modern styles like Neoclassicism, Art Deco, Neo-Modernism and so much more. Architecture is everywhere and can be changed and influenced by anyone.

photographs of the Neuschwanstein Castle, Chateau De Fontainebleau, and Horyu Temple

When thinking about architecture, it is common to think about large buildings or houses that look extravagant and fancy, but in reality, architecture is much broader than that. Architecture is any structure that a human being designs and constructs to fill a space. That means that anyone can be an architect. Projects including designing and building a dog house, a chicken coop, or even a shed for the back yard make you an architect.

photographs of a stylish wicker dog house, a shabby chic white hen house, and a blue she-shed

When the sky is the limit, the human brain can create all kinds of ideas. With architecture, the only limit is your imagination...and of course physics, a budget, and manual labor but that’s beside the point. There are buildings that show such creativity and ingenuity that they show what can really be done when the human mind goes toward something. Buildings have been built upside down, to look like musical instruments, and to incorporate nature.

Photographs of WonderWorks upside-down, a giant piano and violin building, and Bosco Verticale

Architecture is an amazing tool that we can use to innovate our world and make it a better place to live in. For more information on architecture, here are a few books that can be checked out at the library:

The Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright

Understanding the Concepts of Parallel and Perpendicular
by Janey Levy

720.9 LEVY // A foundational and concise history of architecture focusing on the style of Frank Lloyd Wright for middle grade students.

ND State Capital

The North Dakota State Capitol

Architecture and History
by Larry Remele

978.403 REMELE // An architectural gem, the building is unique among capitol buildings with a story that entertains and educates.

Drawing and Designing with Confidence

A Step-by-Step Guide
by Mike W. Lin, ASLA

720.284 LIN // Quickly learn drawing techniques to render architectural designs, room interiors, and landscapes.

Immigrant Architect

Rafael Guastavino and the American Dream
by Berta Miguel

Easy 720.92 MIGUEL // Spanish architects, Rafael Guastavino and his son, designed more than one thousand iconic spaces across New York City and the US.