Popular Literature: Tattoo Tuesdays

The Popular Literature Committee – responsible for the Popular Literature section in Strozier Library – is bringing book recommendations from our shelves to your screens every Tuesday. Although we’re marketing it as a “Tattoo Tuesday,” if you yourself are lacking in the tattoo area, you can always feel free to submit your favorite: movie, song, activity, Starbucks order, et cetera. The way it works is: You email your tattoo (or other submission) to Lib-PopLit@fsu.edu and we choose a book out of our curated Popular Literature collection we think you might enjoy based on our interpretation of your submission.

Below are our tattoo submissions and recommendations to date.

This tattoo has beautiful watercolor detail, which alongside the fungi featured in the foreground, feels somewhat reminiscent of “Alice in Wonderland.” We have an amazing book in our Popular Literature collection: “A Blade So Black,” which plays upon many of the themes in “Alice in Wonderland.” This book is provocative and challenges the genre of fantasy fiction by focusing on a Black protagonist who during the waking day is grounded in real world Atlanta, but roams a fantastical, dark, Wonderland-like world in her dreams, or rather “nightmares.” If you would like to check out “A Blade So Black,” take a peek at FSU Libraries’ Catalog: https://fsu.catalog.fcla.edu/permalink.jsp?23FS037980425

This week’s Tattoo Tuesday highlight was submitted by Rachel Duke, FSU Libraries’ Rare Books Librarian. This unique linguistic tattoo is written in the “lingua ignota” (unknown language) of St. Hildegard von Bingen in the 12th Century CE and Rachel’s tattoo reads “I Am Enough”… There is speculation among historians for the reason this language was created and how Hildegard von Bingen used it. Based off of this curiosity around language, how it is formed, and how those who use it influence it we have a Pop Lit recommendation for you! Through the language glass : why the world looks different in other languages by Guy Deutscher. Challenging the consensus that the fundaments of language are hard-wired in our genes and thus universal, Deutscher argues that language is influenced by the cultures who develope them. In thrilling fashion, he takes us from Homer to Darwin, from Yale to the Amazon, from how to name the rainbow to why Russian water —a “she”— becomes a “he” once you dip a tea bag into her, demonstrating that language does in fact reflect culture in ways that are anything but trivial: https://fsu.catalog.fcla.edu/permalink.jsp?23FS036855446

Our recommendation for Katie McCormick, based on a tattoo she got when she was a teenager, celebrates the fire of youth and the allure of the unknown with a bit of YA from our Pop Lit section. Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon dives into the demonic underbelly of New Orleans, and features a smart-mouthed teen set to save the world – or at least himself – from vampires, zombies, and werewolves. It’s the first of a series, so if you like this one you can check out the rest of the Chronicles of Nick books, too. Check it out on the FSU catalog here: https://fsu.catalog.fcla.edu/permalink.jsp?23FS033201915.

To kick off June, we will feature another recommendation for Katie McCormick. Just like last week, this tattoo was inked by a jack-of-all-trades when Katie was a youth. The Magical Language of Others : A Memoir was first picked because the cover art resembled the tattoo but the true-life tale talks about how her life changed as a teen when her parents moved back to Korea for work and left her and her brother alone in California. Later she discovers letters written by her mother which reveal more about her family than she imagined. Appropriately, the tattoo itself captures how life blossoms yet the roots below the surface make an indeliable mark. To learn more about this title, check it out on the FSU catalog here: https://bit.ly/3fgFxoz

Adam Beauchamp, Humanities Librarian, submitted this week’s tattoo selection and as you can see with the pelican image we are keeping with the southern marsh theme and recommending “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens. The story takes place in the marshes of North Carolina and focus on the “Marsh Girl” Kya Clark. Kya has been on her own since she was 10 years old and learned to live off the land while finding friendships with the seagulls. As Kya grows into a young woman she yearns for human touch and befriends two young men when the unthinkable happens. Kya is not the person the neighboring village said she is. This story will transport you to the beautiful landscape of the marshes, the strength and resilience of Kya, and the tale of tragic events. If you would like to check out “Where the Crawdads Sing,” take a peak at FSU Libraries’ Catalog: https://fsu.catalog.fcla.edu/permalink.jsp?23FS036751886. Tattoo artist is “Flex” at Idle Hands Tattoo Parlour in New Orleans. @idlehandsnola

This week’s tattoo was submitted by Dave Rodriguez, Resident Repository Librarian. The hands tattoo is inspired from the novel “Tres Tristes Tigres” by Gabriel Cabrera Infante which is about three young men who are enjoying a night on the town in pre-revolutionary Cuba. Based on the image we are recommending “Take Off Your Shoes” by Ben Feder. This story takes us on a journey of self-discovery when a fast paced, hard hitting CEO realizes he is starting to lose the very things that supported him on his path to success. He makes the decision to quit his job and with his family in tow, takes a year off and travel to a faraway island where they all learn about themselves and he rediscovers his priorities. If you would like to check out “Take Off Your Shoes,” take a peek at FSU Libraries’ Catalog: https://fsu.catalog.fcla.edu/permalink.jsp?23FS036209671.

Your tattoo, with the size and design of the turtle, sings of an appetite for adventure! For you, we’re recommending The Island of the Day Before by Umberto Eco, translated from the Italian by William Weaver. We’re keeping with the nautical theme with a shipwrecked knight, who’s pursuing the wonder of mystery, life, love, and meaning. After a tumultuous South Pacific storm in the year 1643, the knight, Roberto della Griva, finds himself aboard the Daphne, a fully provisioned ship with no crew. It is anchored in the bay of a beautiful island through which, he is convinced, runs the international date line. The shore is so close, but untouchable – the knight cannot swim. Climb aboard for a mystical tale of not quite sea-faring adventure, a dizzying and lyrical story of memory and how its stories find their way even from the deepest depths of the ocean. Check it out on FSU’s Pop Lit catalog here: https://fsu.catalog.fcla.edu/permalink.jsp?23FS021529496.

To finish off June our Tattoo Tuesday this week highlights our Sunshine State Digital Network Coordinator, Keila Zayas-Ruiz @keilazayasruiz and her tattoo by @miguelcomintattooer She received this tattoo in Spain while traveling and the tattoo’s lovely depiction of a compass calls to the idea of wanderlust and getting a little lost in the world but still being able to find your way home.

For Keila’s tattoo we are recommending the book, “In Europe’s shadow : two cold wars and a thirty-year journey through Romania and beyond”. This memoir follows the journey of Robert Kaplan from his first visit to Romania in the 1970s, when he was a young journalist and the country was a bleak Communist backwater. It was one of the darkest corners of Europe, but few Westerners were paying attention. What ensued was a lifelong obsession with a critical, often overlooked country–a country that, today, is key to understanding the current threat that Russia poses to Europe. In Europe’s Shadow is a vivid blend of memoir, travelogue, journalism, and history, a masterly work thirty years in the making–the story of a journalist coming of age, and a country struggling to do the same. Through the lens of one country, Kaplan examines larger questions of geography, imperialism, the role of fate in international relations, the Cold War, the Holocaust, and more”. Just as traveling around the world does, this book reminds us that a huge part of travel is to see the world through the eyes of another people. You can check this book recommendation out here: https://fsu.catalog.fcla.edu/permalink.jsp?23FS034926390

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