Books and Ballerinas | Pointe of View

Every Monday, I feature an image and backstory from my Pointe of View series.

I’ve been reading a lot in the last couple days and of course thinking a lot about this Pointe of View book that I’m in the midst of designing. So with books on my mind today, I present a mini series: Books & Ballerinas. There’s something unexpected about finding a ballerina in a bookstore or a library… and yet it blends so beautifully.

Top: Ballet dancer: Ashley Smith | Hair & Makeup: Aimee J’Adore | Location: Powell’s Books, Portland, Oregon
Middle: Ballet dancer: Caroline Dennis | Hair: Justina, Intertwine Hair | Makeup: PrettybyJulianne | Location: Berkeley City Club, Berkeley, California
Bottom: Ballet dancer: Melissa Regalia | Hair & Makeup: Denise Hutter | Location: Duke University, Durham, North Carolina

And in case you are a book lover like me, here are a couple of my favorite reads from the past week:

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

Murakami is such an interesting novelist with the surreal worlds he paints and his fantastical imagination. It was interesting to read something non-fiction from him. The book reads like a simple memoir with beautiful thoughts about running blended with musings on writing. I am definitely not a runner but still found the observations and the insight really interesting. It made for a quick read.

“On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning” from The Elephant Vanishes by Haruki Murakami

The Elephant Vanishes is a collection of short stories, most of which are sketches of seemingly mundane situations with very unusual twists– a newlywed couple somehow finds themselves compelled to go and hold up a McDonald’s in the middle of the night; a little green monster emerges from the ground to tell a housewife that it is completely in love with her. Many of the short stories go completely over my head. But “On seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning” is just so well-crafted and perfectly captures the feeling of an intuitive romantic crush, adding such depth through storytelling to a chance encounter of two people who simply pass each other on the street.

The Third Son by Julie Wu

This book is so very close to my heart, as it is historical fiction set in Taiwan and America in the latter half of the twentieth century– a time period and setting very close to the experience of my own parents who grew up in post-WWII Taiwan and later immigrated to America. While I embarked on reading the book for those obvious personal reasons, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the book wasn’t completely mired in the messy history and politics of Taiwan, but instead, it strikes a great balance between history and human drama. The novel reads as a beautiful bildungsroman that follows the story of a boy named Saburo Tong as he navigates family, hope, and aspiration amidst circumstances that are constantly poised to strike him down. I read the whole 300+ page book in one sitting. The only thing is, the book doesn’t come out until later this spring (I was given an advance copy), but you can preorder your copy on Amazon now.

Thanks for indulging my side trek into book reviews!

Pointe of View is a ballerina series by Anna Wu Photography. The Kickstarter project raised over $12,000 in a month. If you didn’t get to order your copy of the book yet, sign up here to be notified when more copies are available for purchase.

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