Is this the best bookshop in the Baltic States?

???????????????????????????????It isn’t a ‘Hannah’ holiday if I don’t return half an inch shorter with all the walking.  It isn’t a ‘Hannah’ holiday if I didn’t take over 200 photos.  It isn’t a ‘Hannah’ holiday if there are no magnificent buildings, awe inspiring churches, historic castles and a sense of rich culture and uniqueness.  And of course, it isn’t a ‘Hannah’ holiday if I didn’t get to see the libraries and bookshops.

The most impressive book shop in Vilnius has to be the university book shop “Littera” situated in the M. K. Sarbievijus courtyard in the Old campus.  Books for pleasure and study are available in Lithuanian and English, and the book shop even sells university  souvenirs.  The colorful frescoes of the shop’s ceiling caricature students and professors, and were painted by Antanas Kmieliauskas in 1978.

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Photos by Hannah Meiklejohn 2013.  Want to see more photos of this bookshop?  Click here

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Happy Birthday Roald Dahl

Today is Roald Dahl day – birthday of the famous storyteller!

Roald Dahl, famous author of The Witches, Twits, James and the Giant Peach, Revolting Rhymes and less known adult ghost stories, worshiped with his family at this church in Cardiff.

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Roald Dahl and the Little Norwegian Church

With its attractive white painted clapboard structure and stubby spire the Norwegian Church provides a striking counterpoint to the modern buildings in the glitzy Cardiff Bay Development. The oldest surviving church in Britain founded by the Norwegian Seamens’ mission, these days it’s an arts centre and café. Its wooden decked terrace is a perfect spot for munching Norwegian-style snacks whilst you admire views across the bay.

So, what’s a Norwegian church doing in Cardiff?

Dahl Gallery inside the Norwegian Church, Cardiff BayDuring the late 19th century tens of thousands of Norwegian sailors visited the city aboard merchant ships bringing strong, straight Scandinavian timber to Wales to be used as pit props in the mines. The ships then exported the Welsh coal all around the world. Churches like this one, which dates back to 1867, were built to provide religious and social care to the Norwegian sailors who founded themselves far from home for weeks on end.

Some of them never went home.

One of the most famous members of the church’s congregation was best-selling children’s author Roald Dahl who was born to Norwegian parents in Fairwater Road in Llandaff, Cardiff. His father Harald, from Oslo, co-founded a ship-broking company in Cardiff around 1880. Roald spent his childhood and school days in Cardiff. His family worshipped at the Norwegian Church when it was in its original location in the Cardiff Docks. He and his siblings were all baptised here.

The Norwegian Church with flag flyingWhen the church fell into disrepair in the 1970s, Roald was at the forefront of a campaign to raise money to save it. Money was raised locally and from Norway to dismantle and repair the church, relocating it to its new site in 1992. Unfortunately Roald himself didn’t live to see the project completed, dying several years earlier.

The church was extensively renovated in 2011 and reopened on 17th May – Norwegian Constitution Day. A gallery upstairs at the church hosts temporary exhibitions of photography and art by local artists. Naturally it’s been named the Dahl gallery. Look out for the silver christening bowl which belonged to the family and is now on show here today.

This blog post was taken from Visit Wales website.

Judging a Book by its Cover

Megan Louise showcases some pretty interesting book cover designs here. I love them all, but the bottom three are just stunning.

my name is megan louise

judging a book by its cover / interest spark / www.mynameismeganlouise.wordpress.com

Something I’m just recently realizing I’m becoming interested in, or I should say is catching my eye, is book design. I must say this is a difficult design feat to conquer, as books are often judged by their covers (despite our best efforts and very clear warnings). It is the first thing we see, and often draws in customers. Imagine walking into a book store (say Barnes&Noble perhaps?) and there’s tons + tons of books that you’re just browsing through. What catches your eye? How do you decide which book to stop and look at?

Here’s some of the most eye catching ones I’ve stumbled across recently. Gorgeous, wouldn’t you agree?

double shot / faceout books / www.mynameismeganlouise.wordpress.com

 

 

little bee / chris cleave / www.mynameismeganlouise.wordpress.com

 

 

 

extremely loud & incredibly close / www.mynameismeganlouise.wordpress.com

 

 

 

Fitzgerald Covers / Lydia Nichols / www.mynameismeganlouise.wordpress.com

 

 

 

puffin chalk / tanamachi studio / www.mynameismeganlouise.wordpress.com

*note: some self-lead projects, not available for sale

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The World’s Strongest Librarian

Josh Hanagarne is a strong, courageous and inspirational character. He is a proud dad, a public speaker, a Mormon, a librarian, a weightlifter and a published writer. He does all that whilst battling with an extreme case of Tourette’s Syndrome.  His memoir; The World’s Strongest Librarian was published by Gotham Books on May 2, 2013.

The book takes a look at some of the challenges he has had to deal with facing Tourette’s syndrome, and how he has coped.  More than that; he tries to encourage, inspire and support others.  He is heavily involved in helping people with special needs and regularly speaks publicly to groups of people with disabilities.  He is dedicated to helping other people like him to discover their full potential.   In his book, Josh talks openly about his own neurological disorder and how writing and weight training have aided him.  Before undertaking these two very different activities, his ticks and uncontrollable movements caused him physical damage such as broken teeth, a dislocated thumb, and even caused a hernia.

As a librarian, Josh admits that literature is an obsession with him.  He did not start writing his own books until his Tourette’s hurt him so much that he couldn’t leave the house.  His screaming became irrepressible.  He needed botox injections to paralyze his vocal chords leaving him unable to talk.  As a social person, Josh turned instead to writing to continue communicating with people in the absence of voice.  Writing became a way to keep up with social discussions.  He wrote his first novel The Knot during this time.

For Josh, literature and writing is not only something he enjoys, but something he needs.  Writing is a way for him to have control.  Tourette’s often takes control of his body.  Writing and literature allows him to be in control of his mind, to see progress that he can measure and demonstrate.    It is in literature where he finds some stability.  And as an author, a creative person, he finds a larger purpose.  As with writing, weightlifting gives Josh a sense of accomplishment and control.  Extreme physical exertion began as a way to suppress the pain often caused by Tourette’s, but he continued to lift to be strong, to be healthy, and to take control of his body.

Josh also discusses his religion in his book.  He is satisfyingly neither fervent nor reproving.  His church is simply part of his heritage.  What he takes from the Mormon church is a way of life which he learned from his father; that is, the Mormon Church is the church of “don’t be a dick”.

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