Tag Archives: John Green

The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

gatsby

I really enjoyed reading The Great Gatsby, something I was worried wouldn’t happen when I started. I know it’s a famous classic, but that does not mean it is an accessible read, especially to a non-native speaker like me. But I got used to the style quite quickly! The most surprising thing to me was how much I related to the narrator, I really liked him and trusted his point of view.

When it comes to The Great Gatsby a lot has already been written and symbols have been dissected. The library copy I read included a very long introduction which analyses the book. I had started reading it, but decided to stop because I want to read a book and not be stuck in pre-conceived notions about what is important, but rather let things jump out at me and afterwards see if they were the same things.

I had expected there to be a lot more references to the green dock light, because I had seen a vlogbrothers video in which John Green talks about the Great Gatsby and mentions it a lot. But when I was actually reading the book, I got much more attached to Gatsbys car. That is why I drew it on the bookmark, and made it be the only thing that has colour to contrast it with Gatsbys house, which does not actually feel like a house but is just a backdrop.

Gatsby

I had a lot of trouble with this bookmark, I’m not a car-person, so drawing one was not easy for me. I had come up with several sketches that I didn’t like, car- or house-wise. But in the end I found a couple of reference photos of 20’s cars online that gave me an idea of what should go where as far as the car was concerned. I hope you like the result.

The scan of the bookmark looks different than the other bookmarks, because I can’t get my scanner to work on my new computer, so I scanned it at work. The bookmark is winsor & newton ink with a bit of watercolour.

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The travels of a bookmark

Everytime I go back to the library to hand in a book I do a quick check on some of the books I’ve made bookmarks before to see if they’re checked out or if the bookmark has been moved.

I’m currently at a library computer, I’ve just handed in The Shack and I went to look at the first book I ever did for this project, An Abundance of Katherines, which was checked out last time I was here. And I found it without it’s bookmark.

I wonder what the person who found it thought of it, if it resonated with how they felt reading the book or if they just didn’t care at all. I wonder if removing it was a conscious desicion or if carelessness was the culprit. I hope it’s having a grand adventure :).

When I started this project I was curious as to how the people who find the bookmarks would respond to them. I haven’t heard from anyone who found one and came to this blog to let us know. That’s alright. But the fact that someone took the An Abundance of Katherines-bookmark from the book is a response. Something about the bookmark motivated them to take it. I hope it was a positive reason. What they do with it is up to them. :)

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An Abundance of Katherines – John Green

An Abundance of Katherines Feeling like there is a piece of you missing is something everybody will recognize I think. We all at some point in our lives, most likely in adolescence, feel incomplete. That’s just human. It probably happens every time something changes in your life you weren’t prepared for. We often search for our missing piece through our connections with others. (We are herd-animals after all.) Everyone does this, we might call it a different name, but we feel we need others to be complete.
The missing piece and trying to figure oneself out is something that resonated with me in An Abundance of Katherines. I hope this bookmark will give the next reader a sense of recognition.

I made the bookmark with a mechanical pencil, watercolour pencils and a waterbrush. It looks a bit smoother in real life, my scanner always pics up a lot of tiny detail (and scans the image a bit lighter than it is).

An Abundance of Katherines - 19 keer Katherine

My English copy of An Abundance of Katherines next to the Dutch edition from the library (19 keer Katherine, I think it would’ve been better if they’d spelled out 19, Negentien keer Katherine). If a book is written in English I prefer to read it in English, although I am always curious about how good the translation is. Translating seems to me like such an incredibly difficult profession! You have to be fluent in both languages, be a good writer, and keep true to the style and voice of the original. 19 keer Katherine is a good translation, it still feels like An Abundance of Katherines. The only things that are really different are the anagrams and that is by necessity.

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