Semi advanced Book suggestions?

Hartinez

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Hey guys and gals. Was wondering if I could get your suggestions on quality bonsai books that aren’t for beginners. Sometimes I need to put the screen down and read a dam book and I’d sure love to do so reading about my favorite pastime. What are your must have books for your bonsai library? And while we’re at it, How bout books on plant physiology and horticulture?

I just saw the thread by @River's Edge about the Maples Book from the Italian gent and was inspired to inquire further with everyone. @0soyoung and @Leo in N E Illinois what are your go to horticulture/bonsai books? @Brian Van Fleet id imagine your library is extensive? @William N. Valavanis any chance I could get some suggestions from you as well?

These answers could be helpful to everyone so any suggestions would be amazing! Thanks!!

DH
 

Bonsai Nut

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How bout you Greg? Do you own some go to books? Or just classics that are nice to own?
I have some favorites... including the classic Bonsai Techniques I and II from John Naka, because I learn something new every time I reread them.

I have a full library of Bonsai Today magazines, which are worth rereading even when some of the technical information might not be up-to-date. The galleries alone are inspirational.

But Principles of Bonsai Design is the one book that (in my personal opinion) tries to help with bonsai DESIGN instead of bonsai STYLING. It is a subtle difference, but there is quite a decent discussion about bonsai design and art aesthetics.

However I have three shelves of bonsai books that I like for one reason or other. Some of them are gallery books that are amazing just to look at. Some are very specific - for example Toshio Kawamoto's Sakei book which (in my opinion) is simply the best sakei book that I have ever encountered. It is one of the few books that I purchased first in soft cover, and then went back and found a slip-cover hard cover edition, because I plan on keeping it forever.
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Hey guys and gals. Was wondering if I could get your suggestions on quality bonsai books that aren’t for beginners. Sometimes I need to put the screen down and read a dam book and I’d sure love to do so reading about my favorite pastime. What are your must have books for your bonsai library? And while we’re at it, How bout books on plant physiology and horticulture?

I just saw the thread by @River's Edge about the Maples Book from the Italian gent and was inspired to inquire further with everyone. @0soyoung and @Leo in N E Illinois what are your go to horticulture/bonsai books? @Brian Van Fleet id imagine your library is extensive? @William N. Valavanis any chance I could get some suggestions from you as well?

These answers could be helpful to everyone so any suggestions would be amazing! Thanks!!

DH
FWIW, here are a couple shots of mine. Bonsai Today, International Bonsai, Bonsai Europe/Focus, and a few journal of the ABS. A bunch of standards, several all-Japanese books and magazines which are good for the photos, and the source for many of the BT articles. I only subscribe to International Bonsai Magazine at the moment.

Kokufu books and the USNBE albums are probably the best books once you get past the beginner stuff. After the basics, it’s best to study the trees. If you’re into shohin, that Modern Bonsai book is pretty cool. I also have a book on Japanese pots, and the Tofukuji pots book, a gift from Matt Ouwinga.

My prized book is Kunio Kobayashi’s book (left book in the middle photo), autographed by him, and gifted to me by Peter Warren. It has amazing trees, but will really make you a pot addict.
0BC32988-57A8-4F80-AD97-D84C8F7F1E71.jpegB6503BA6-A44F-41D1-8A28-1B41EDB2CBF6.jpegD0A22A7B-6410-4324-8AC1-AC53728D8DF9.jpeg
And a little Easter Egg for @just.wing.it ...my souvenir from Amoeba Music on Haight Street in San Francisco.
 

Hartinez

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FWIW, here are a couple shots of mine. Bonsai Today, International Bonsai, Bonsai Europe/Focus, and a few journal of the ABS. A bunch of standards, several all-Japanese books and magazines which are good for the photos, and the source for many of the BT articles. I only subscribe to International Bonsai Magazine at the moment.

Kokufu books and the USNBE albums are probably the best books once you get past the beginner stuff. After the basics, it’s best to study the trees. If you’re into shohin, that Modern Bonsai book is pretty cool. I also have a book on Japanese pots, and the Tofukuji pots book, a gift from Matt Ouwinga.

My prized book is Kunio Kobayashi’s book (left book in the middle photo), autographed by him, and gifted to me by Peter Warren. It has amazing trees, but will really make you a pot addict.
View attachment 258672View attachment 258674View attachment 258673
And a little Easter Egg for @just.wing.it ...my souvenir from Amoeba Music on Haight Street in San Francisco.
Very cool. I wondered, and was going to ask someday, where you introduced yourself to pot knowledge.

I’d like to subscribe to a bonsai mag. I’ll check out International Bonsai.

I’m just going to start adding books I want to the cart on Amazon and drop hints often for gifts.

Much appreciated Brian.
 

Hartinez

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I have some favorites... including the classic Bonsai Techniques I and II from John Naka, because I learn something new every time I reread them.

I have a full library of Bonsai Today magazines, which are worth rereading even when some of the technical information might not be up-to-date. The galleries alone are inspirational.

But Principles of Bonsai Design is the one book that (in my personal opinion) tries to help with bonsai DESIGN instead of bonsai STYLING. It is a subtle difference, but there is quite a decent discussion about bonsai design and art aesthetics.

However I have three shelves of bonsai books that I like for one reason or other. Some of them are gallery books that are amazing just to look at. Some are very specific - for example Toshio Kawamoto's Sakei book which (in my opinion) is simply the best sakei book that I have ever encountered. It is one of the few books that I purchased first in soft cover, and then went back and found a slip-cover hard cover edition, because I plan on keeping it forever.
This is the kind of info I love. Thank you Greg. 🙏🏻
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Very cool. I wondered, and was going to ask someday, where you introduced yourself to pot knowledge.

I’d like to subscribe to a bonsai mag. I’ll check out International Bonsai.

I’m just going to start adding books I want to the cart on Amazon and drop hints often for gifts.

Much appreciated Brian.
I got to know Ryan Bell when I covered MS as part of my region 6-8 years ago, and we have been to each other’s houses on several occasions. His site is a great resource. This book is also a good book for learning to identify potters by their work: https://japanesebonsaipots.net/pottery-book-keys/. Then it’s a matter of studying shapes, clays, glazes, etc. Do learn chops, but don’t solely rely on them for identification, especially with the high dollar ones.
 

River's Edge

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I have a lot of Bonsai books. Really like some of the older magazines, older copies of Golden Statements. Kokufu books, Bonsai Art of Kimura, Some books i have been seeking are still pretty elusive!
The following are my go to for in depth.
John Naka 1&2
David Degroot Principles of Bonsai Design
Bonsai Aesthetics, Francois Jeker
Specifically for JBP development. ( see attached photo)
Bonsai Maples, Meriggioli
Bonsai with Japanese Maples, Adams
Kawabe's book ( photo attached)
 

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markyscott

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One of the most enjoyable books I’ve read about bonsai was “Post-Dated: The Schooling of an Irreverent Bonsai Monk” by Michael Hagedorn. It’s only partly about bonsai however. It’s also partly about Michael’s experience as an American apprenticing in Japan and partly about the cultural influences leading to the Japanese aesthetic and it’s influence on the art of bonsai. He’s a very good author and wrote the only bonsai book I’d describe as a page-turner. Highly recommended.

Scott
 

Sansui

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Two out-of-print books I covet are The Art of Natural Bonsai (2003) by the late Dave Joyce and Bonsai Design, Deciduous and Coniferous Trees (1990) by the late Peter D. Adams. Most recently I purchased Principles of Bonsai Design by David DeGroot from Stone Lantern. This is also very good!
 

rockm

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I have been collecting bonsai books for a long time. I have three bookcases full of them...There are some great suggestions above. I'd add a few more to fill in.

some of my favorites in the "semi-advanced" classification:

Craig Coussin's "Bonsai School" and "Bonsai Masterclass"

I also didn't see probably the best bonsai forest book out there Saburo Kato's "Forest, Rock Planting & Ezo Spruce" listed. It us great for getting an understanding of how forest compositions work and why--as well as some pretty nice photos.

And in the WTF? category--this is a really good picture book from the late 90's by Spanish bonsai-ist Luis Vallejo. Um, $800? I have the French version of this book. Wonderful pictures, but uh, it's not worth $800...;-)
 
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penumbra

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I just got Principles of Bonsai Design at Stone Lantern for $34.95. It is $100 on Amazon.
If possible check out the library or a friends library before you buy a book, unless the reviews are nothing less than stellar. I know there is one one listed above that I absolutely disliked and took it to the flea market to unload.
 

rockm

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didn't get a chance to mention that the "bonsai school" book contains profiles of specific artists and trees, including many knowledgeable bonsaists -including U.S. artists such as Joe Day, Howard Smith, --you don't see very often. The profiles trace the history of specific trees and details of how the artists developed them. book is little talked about, but can be an eye opener if you're moving on from intermediate level...
 
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