News from the Book World / Opinion & Featured Articles

Quentin Tarantino Movies as Penguin Classics


Hey folks, here is another great example of concept art. This time Quentin Tarantino movies have been presented as vintage paperbacks. The credit goes to artist Sharm Murugiah for creating cover art based on these movies. Consider a tie-up with this artist Mr. Tarantino.

Visit Sharm Murugiah’s website to buy the prints. Continue reading

News from the Book World / Opinion & Featured Articles

PCLD Uses Penguin Style Covers to Promote Libraries

vintage penguin cover

As you know, we here are The Book Haven simply worship creative retro covers. We have made many posts on how websites, movies, or new books would look as vintage paperbacks. Here is another instance, which comes with a noble purpose.

To make people aware of the benefits of using a library card, Ann Leonard, the librarian at Pinal County Library District (PCLD), has designed 30 elegant graphic images. Check a few of them below. You can see the complete set on Pinterest.

Do the images remind you of something? Yes, of course they do. They have been inspired by the iconic Penguin/Pelican covers, which were designed by Italian art director Germano Facetti. We hope that Ann’s covers will be a success and revive interest in libraries.

To know more about the project visit Pinal County Reads.

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Opinion & Featured Articles

The OMG Project: Major Websites as Paperbacks

web services covers therapyRight from the time I discovered Deviantart, I knew that the World Wide Web was inhabited by some insanely creative people. Over the years, my belief was reinforced by many other discoveries. Today I stumbled upon yet another crazy project.

What if the top websites were old-fashioned paperbacks? How cool would Facebook look as an old Penguin classic? How about MySpace as a vintage science-fiction book? Have a look at the images below fellas. Last.FM, Twitter, Tumblr, Linkedin, Flickr all are there.

Hats off to grade A lunatic Stéphane Massa-Bidal (Rétrofuturs). You can catch this French illustrator on flickr.

It would’ve been a crime if I didn’t share this with others. Which one do you like the most?

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Classics & Cult Books / Reviews

Book Review: The Arabian Nights — New Translation by Malcolm & Ursula Lyons (Deluxe Edition, Penguin)

The All New Penguin Deluxe Box Set Edition of The Arabian Nights

The profoundly epic and delightfully whimsical Arabian Nights is not merely a book to be read; it’s a world to be experienced. There is simply no emotion that it doesn’t express; there is hardly any subject that it doesn’t touch. Love, lust, politics, art, war and peace… virtually everything is narrated in the pages of 1001 nights.

Now it’s time to say a few words about the translation issue.

Burton’s translation of Arabian Nights was written in bizarre English. Critics also accused it of being imperialistic and racist in flavor. To these you need to add odd Victorian slangs. The result was archaic text, which made reading a nightmarish experience and eventually lead to the decline in popularity of Arabian Nights in the West.

Mardrus-Mathers translation — Joseph Charles Mardrus, an Egyptian-French Doctor, took extreme liberties while translating 1001 Nights into French. He added a great deal of “naughty” elements to the stories and even invented new stories on numerous occasions. Mardrus managed to deliver a charming book, which critics still called pure “hoax”. E.P Mathers translated the French text into English with surprising dexterity. His clean, crisp prose and command on the language made this edition popular and has kept it in print even after eighty years. That’s quite something considering the fact that a large part of the book is not true Arabian Nights and is dangerously close to porn.

Malcolm & Ursula Lyons’ (both first rate academics) version of Arabian Nights is probably the best translation of the stories till date. It’s beautifully simple, clear and idiomatic. This Penguin edition is neither too prudish nor sleazy. It’s based on Calcutta II — the Arabian edition printed in India in early 19th century. This has to be the most beautiful 1001 Nights book — hardcover, elegantly designed with fine paper quality. It weighs on your wallet, but it’s worth every penny.

Reading the entire book (3 volumes) is quite a feat, but that shouldn’t be an issue. If a Sidney Sheldon novel is a 4 minute pop, then 1001 Nights is a half an hour symphony. Hey bookworms, just close your eyes and imagine Ali Baba, Sinbad, Aladdin and the sultry oriental women of medieval ages. Honestly, aren’t you getting excited? Continue reading