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All Coloring Coverage

The holidays are famously stressful. Arm yourself ahead of time with one of these relaxing reads.


The world is a tad intense these days. While books can’t make everything better—well, actually, who says they can’t? This holiday season, don’t hesitate to give your loved ones (or yourself) a helping hand in the form of these surefire finds.

The Poetry Remedy by William Sieghart
Some years ago, poetry enthusiast William Sieghart developed a project in which passersby could share a topic of concern and be “prescribed” a poem in response. The Poetry Pharmacy, as it was known, was a huge hit. “Suffering is the access point to poetry for a lot of people: that’s when they open their ears, hearts, and minds,” Sieghart writes in The Poetry Remedy: Prescriptions for the Heart, Mind, and Soul, which brings the pharmacy home. In it, he gathers poems for numerous struggles of the human spirit, from loneliness and glumness to social overload, one-sided love and everything in between, each with a brief introduction. With this book on your shelf, you’ll never be at a loss for comforting words. Pair with herbal tea and a comfy blanket.

When You Kant Figure It Out, Ask a Philosopher by Marie Robert
Is there any consolation quite like finding your modern-day woes reflected in the writings of ancient minds? We can’t help but feel less isolated when the ancient teachings of Spinoza, Plato and others seem to speak directly to our innermost questions. In Marie Robert’s slim, digestible When You Kant Figure It Out, Ask a Philosopher: Timeless Wisdom for Modern Dilemmas, she presents typical bummers and sticky situations, then reveals how philosophy can help you reframe and move on. Got a super-surly teen? Squandering your life on social media? Had to part with a beloved pet? The words of Levinas, Epicurus and Heidegger may not solve these problems per se, but they can give you refreshing insight, and sometimes that’s all you need. “Philosophy should make our lives more meaningful,” Robert says, and this down-to-earth book paves the way. Pair with a gift card to a favorite coffee shop and a new journal.

Good Mornings by Linnea Dunne
For some, mornings are best when started with a bang—a three-mile run or a vigorous yoga class. Others wake happily with quiet time among plants and furry friends. No matter your personal preference, thinking carefully about small daily rituals and fine-tuning them can be a step toward a healthier self. Linnea Dunne helps us see the potential for ritual everywhere (Face-washing? Yep. Journaling? Of course) and shares ideas for creating a valuable sense of ritual in your mornings, whether you’re “time-rich” or “time-poor,” in Good Mornings: Morning Rituals for Wellness, Peace and Purpose. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to rituals. The trick—and pleasure, particularly with this pretty book as your guide—is in discovering which rituals are meant for you. Pair with a basket of fresh fruit and granola, facial cleanser and a Turkish towel. 

The Official Bob Ross Coloring Book by Bob Ross
From the department of “Why Is This Just Now a Thing?” comes the coloring book to end all coloring books—The Official Bob Ross Coloring Book: The Colors of the Four Seasons. The coloring book trend may be on the down slope, but there will never not be room in our hearts and on our coffee tables for Bob Ross and his happy little trees and clouds. With this book, you can forgo painting technique, if that sort of thing stresses you out, and simply create green trees, blue skies and brown cabins to your heart’s content. Best of all are the Ross quotes on every other page. To wit: “Anything we don’t like, we’ll turn it into a happy little tree or something, because as you know, we don’t make mistakes, we just have happy accidents.” Or: “Let’s put a few little highlights in here to make them little rascals just sparkle in the sun.” Or: “Let’s just dance in a happy little sky today.” Don’t you feel better just reading those words? Pair with colored pencils, CBD oil and a forest-scented candle. 

The world is a tad intense these days. While books can’t make everything better—well, actually, who says they can’t? This holiday season, don’t hesitate to give your loved ones (or yourself) a helping hand in the form of these surefire finds.

As executive editor of Penguin Books, Meg Leder serves as the U.S. editor for acclaimed British artist Johanna Basford, whose coloring books for adults have become wildly popular on both sides of the Atlantic. Basford’s latest book, Lost Ocean, has just been published in time for gift-giving season, and her contract with Penguin calls for another new coloring book in 2016.

Basford's intricate drawing style has already generated two blockbuster hits, Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest, and many bestseller lists have been dominated recently by coloring books for adults. (Currently, six of Amazon's 20 best-selling books are coloring books.)

We checked in with Leder to learn more about the explosion of interest in coloring and what's driving this surprising trend.

Have you been surprised by the sudden popularity of coloring books for adults?
I don’t know that any of us could have predicted the coloring-book craze, but at the same time, I’m not totally surprised. It’s so easy to pick up, it’s relaxing to engage in, and it lets readers put their own creative spin on something gorgeous.

Adults find coloring "a welcome respite from the screens we spend most of our lives in front of."

How would you explain the appeal of coloring books?
Johanna Basford attributes it to the analog nature of the activity, and I agree. It’s a welcome respite from the screens we spend most of our lives in front of! I also think coloring is a very democratic activity. It’s not expensive to participate in, and you don’t need to spend weeks honing your skills. It’s great for those of us who are insecure about our own drawing skills . . . we get to collaborate with these artists in bringing something beautiful to life.

How did you get involved in coloring books for adults? What was the first coloring book you acquired?
I acquired a book at my previous imprint, Perigee Books, called Outside the Lines by Souris Hong. It’s a collection of pieces to color in from various artists. We published that in 2013 and saw very steady sales. I was personally hooked as well—I still have my own copy in which I’ve colored in numerous pages!

What is the process for developing a new coloring book? Do you work closely with the artist in developing themes and/or patterns? Or do you prefer to give each artist free rein?
Johanna is one of the most collaborative and conscientious authors I’ve ever worked with. That being said, she knows her fans so well and she has such an established track record that we decided to follow her lead with content and development. My goal was to help get the project into place as a book and to support Johanna with what she needed, but she has such an innate sense of style and a gorgeous aesthetic, we let her run with it. 

Best-selling coloring book artist Johanna Basford

What upcoming coloring books do you have “on the drawing board” so to speak, that you're especially excited about?
Johanna’s working on a new project for Summer 2016. Without divulging too much, I can say that as someone working on the book, I’m eager to see her new designs, and as someone who wants to color in the book, I can’t wait to get started.

Do you personally like coloring? Do you find it an effective way to de-stress?
Yes! I love it! There are a group of us at Penguin who occasionally get together at lunch to color. I love being able to periodically step away from my desk, and find I come back to work feeling refreshed. I’ve been working on a particular image in my own copy of Lost Ocean and like taking small breaks throughout the day to color.

Penguin employees take a coloring break with Basford's latest book, Lost Ocean.

Is this a predominantly female pastime or do men enjoy coloring books, too?
There are quite a few male colorers at Penguin! While I think a lot of women enjoy it, I don’t think it’s exclusively a female pastime at all. 

Do you think this will be a short-lived craze or a trend with staying power?
While I think there is an element of “of the moment” to this, I think the new fans who have discovered coloring are around to stay. It’s too addictive to quit, and people are always looking for gorgeous new designs to color in. 

Photo of Johanna Basford by Sam Brill.

As executive editor of Penguin Books, Meg Leder serves as the U.S. editor for acclaimed British artist Johanna Basford, whose coloring books for adults have become wildly popular on both sides of the Atlantic. Basford’s latest book, Lost Ocean, has just been published in time for gift-giving season, and her contract with Penguin calls for […]

Remember the coloring books you scribbled in as a kid? Have you ever found yourself wishing you had a grown-up version? Adult coloring books have taken the publishing world by storm, and this blockbuster niche is only predicted to keep growing. This season, enticing titles abound, from world-renowned artists and illustrators, titles that welcome you to color in scenes from your favorite literary worlds and more. Sharpen those long-forgotten colored pencils, pick up a fresh pack of markers and get reacquainted with this fun and relaxing activity.

GET LOST AT SEA
Artist Johanna Basford is one of the pioneers of the adult coloring book and has published two worldwide best-selling collections, but her newest is almost as good as finding sunken treasure. The intricate pen-and-ink illustrations of Lost Ocean feature curious sea creatures, exotic fish, shipwrecks, coral reefs and more. Tap into your inner Jacques Cousteau and get coloring!


Illustration from Lost Ocean by Johanna Basford. Excerpted with permission from Penguin Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright 2015, Johanna Basford.

EVERY LITTLE THING COLORING BOOK
Those who are especially enchanted by patterns found on textiles and wallpapers will delight in Payton Cosell Turner's Every Little Thing. These playful designs feature woodland creatures alongside irreverent pieces of pop-culture from the 1980s like boom boxes, burgers and Trapper Keepers. This collection is sure to inspire the use of bright and playful color combinations, and the finished products will be welcome additions to any adult's fridge. 

A COLORFUL, WIZARDING WORLD 
Listen up, Harry Potter fans! Now you can have a hand a making the scenes inside this beloved series come alive with The Harry Potter Coloring Book. Coloring pages feature the grounds of Hogwarts, Snape sitting (and brooding) at his desk, Harry and the gang getting into trouble and so much more. This coloring book is especially perfect for adults and kids to share and color in together. 

Illustration from the Harry Potter Coloring Book. HARRY POTTER characters, names and related indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter Publishing Rights © JKR. (s15)

THE HIGHLANDS COME ALIVE
If you're looking to take your pencils to a different kind of literary landscape, check out The Official Outlander Coloring Book. Inspired by scenes from Diana Gabaldon's beloved time-traveling romance series, this book features excerpts from her novels juxtaposed with the images or scenes being described. 

OUTSIDE THE LINES, TOO
Sometimes a work of art pulls us in, and we long for a more hands-on way of engaging with it. Souris Hong has just the book for this exact kind of art-lover with Outside the Lines, Too. This collection features pages of art from the Eames Office, Kevin Lyons, Audrey Kawasaki, street artists, photographers, graphic designers and more. If you crave stylistic variation in the pages you color, Hong's collection will deliver while introducting you to a wide range of artists from around the world.

“Shilton's Fleas” by MISTER PHIL. From Outside the Lines, Too by Souris Hong, published September 1, 2015 by Tarcher Perigee, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright 2015, Souris Hong.

 

Remember the coloring books you scribbled in as a kid? Have you ever found yourself wishing you had a grown-up version? Adult coloring books have taken the publishing world by storm, and this blockbuster niche is only predicted to keep growing. This season, enticing titles abound, from world-renowned artists and illustrators, titles that welcome you to color in scenes from your favorite literary worlds and more. Sharpen those long-forgotten colored pencils, pick up a fresh pack of markers and get re-acquainted with this fun and relaxing activity.

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