VSANA Library of Stone Appreciation Books
The following reviews are intended to give readers an indication of the wide range of books available, primarily on Asian stone appreciation, but also on Western stones. Additional reviews are added to this site each month. They are presented in the country where they are produced. Unfortunately, some of the books are out of print and difficult to obtain.
Suiseki, El Arte de contemplar piedras paisaje.
Idearte Grafica. Santiago del Estero, Argentina. 147 pp. ISBN: 978-987-4194-19-0. $34
This new introduction to suiseki—in Spanish by Argentine stone enthusiast Alejandro Bonardi—will stimulate stone appreciation throughout Latin America. Bonardi writes with great enthusiasm and feeling throughout the book’s five chapters. The introductory chapter provides information about the origin and evolution of suiseki. The sections on the spirit of stones and the art of suggestion demonstrate that the author has a good understanding of suiseki. The next two chapters focus on how to build your own suiseki collection and how to orient your stones for display. The fourth chapter is devoted to procedures and general aspects of hand-carved wood bases (diaza). This includes a nice section on micro suiseki, a subject that is often overlooked in other books. Bonardi’s treatment of displaying stones in ceramic and metal trays is minimal. The final chapter, The Literary Corner, contains stone-related poems by Bonardi and his friends. A complete list of the sources of the photographs and a bibliography of the references used in compiling this book is also given, much to the credit of Bonardi. He is truly a serious student of the art of stone appreciation.
Suseiki is based primarily on his understanding of modern Japanese concept of stone appreciation with little evidence of influence from Chinese practices. Bonardi is an advocate of maintaining a stone’s original aspect as nature gave it, and promotes the use of authentic stones rather than ones than have been manipulated. This paperback edition is well-illustrated and the design and layout make for easy reading.
Suiseki: qseki 2009
Self-published. Madrid, Spain. 88 pages. ISBN: 978-84-614-3429-9. 25 Euros when published.
The author, Jesus Quintas, a Spanish stone connoisseur, is a leader in the European stone appreciation community. After collecting stones for twenty years, Quintas published this book to show others some of the stones in his collection. It is a catalog of the displays he developed over a year (2009). Stones from Japan, California, Italy, and Spain including the Canary Islands. He even includes a convincing stone made from cement-like material but closely resemble a Japanese style stone. Thirty-three stones are illustrated in this book. Each stone has commentary in Spanish and English.
Suseki qseki 2009 is an attractive volume with a pleasing format. Quintas often provides his opinion on aspects of each stone. This is helpful and allows readers to understand what he sees in each stone and why it is important to him.