just before our book party at Makeshift Society on December 19th

Betsy R. won the signed copy of My Ideal Bookshelf by random draw, on Day 4 of our Holiday Advent Calendar! Sorry if that is not you and you were hoping it was, but since it was so popular maybe we will revisit it later in the week….

Ideal Bookshelf: John Maeda
© Jane Mount 
2012 / 10”x14” / gouache & ink on paper

John Maeda's ideal bookshelf, from our book!

People magazine! we’ve hit the big time ;)

The book is out!! We are SO EXCITED!!

The launch party is tonight at powerHouse Arena in Dumbo, Brooklyn!

And we’ve received an insane amount of awesome press this week, some of which is below. Thanks to everyone who has shown us such love!



W online


Ideal Bookshelf: James Franco
© Jane Mount 

I painted James Franco’s ideal books for our new book My Ideal Bookshelf, which is in stores today! And a print of it is available on 20x200, starting now!


“I think your books always tell a story about you … They’re a way to touch on ideas and thoughts that aren’t your own but are essential to you. A lot of people would put books on shelves they hadn’t read or were by someone who had touched their lives.”

Our former online editor, Thessaly La Force, on the growing business of reader recommendations. Thessaly’s book, My Ideal Bookshelf, a collaboration with artist Jane Mount, is out in November.



Cool! We’re mentioned in the LA Times:

“My Ideal Bookshelf” (coming in November from Little, Brown, $24.99), a visually entrancing collection of illustrations, explores how we use books to represent us. It’s an expansion of the work of artist Jane Mount, who has been doing a series of…

(via thessaly-deactivated20141011)

it’s real! we have a copy! ;D


omg omg!!! @thessaly !! (Taken with Instagram)

Our First Reviews!

We’re delighted to share with you the first two reviews of our book! Publishers Weekly says

The beautiful and brightly colored images of book spines that accompany each interview evoke the whimsy of a personal library on a quiet, rainy Saturday with a couch and blanket nearby. The brevity of the interviews and dynamic illustrations make this a perfect coffee table book: easily skimmed and a happy and inspiring conversation starter.

And here’s Kirkus

The pieces are as unique as the people they represent and reveal the particular relationships participants have with the texts they mention. Lethem calls his choices “eccentric,” a reflection of a “decrepit attraction” to old books and the “literary history that lie[s]…waiting to be discovered” in early editions. Chef and restaurateur Alice Waters identifies her bookshelf as commemorating the texts that started her on her epicurean journey. Nair spotlights choices that not only introduced her to English, Urdu and Hindu poetry, but also to the writer who later became her husband. La Force and Mount’s joint efforts do “sentimentaliz[e] the book as object,” but what they achieve clearly demonstrates that, despite the encroachments of computers and the Internet, books still matter.

When I see my bookshelf expanding, it gives me the illusion that my brain is expanding.

Malcolm Gladwell (from our interview with him for the book). 

our book in the Little, Brown catalog!


November 2012 Hardcover

Art by Jane Mount and Edited by Thessaly La Force, My Ideal Bookshelf

978-0-316-20090-5, $24.99


The books that we choose to keep—let alone read—can say a lot about who we are and how we see ourselves. In MY IDEAL BOOKSHELF, dozens of…

Hemingway’s Ideal Bookshelf

Every so often, we come across someone’s list of books that would so clearly belong on their ideal bookshelf if we had been able to hop into a time machine and ask them ourselves! In this 1935 piece for Esquire magazine, Ernest Hemingway names 18 books that he would rather read over and over again for the rest of his life than to receive an annual income of a million dollars a year. They are as follows:

Anna Karenina

Far Away and Long Ago


Wuthering Heights

Madame Bovary

War and Peace

A Sportsman’s Sketches

The Brothers Karamazov

Hail and Farewell

Huckleberry Finn

Winesburg, Ohio

La Reine Margot

La Maison Tellier

Le Rouge et le Noire

La Chartreuse de Parme


Yeats’s Autobiographies

plus “a few others” and maybe Andre Malraux’s Man’s Fate

via Kottke.org

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