VSANA Library of Stone Appreciation Books

Book reviews in the VSANA Library of Stone Appreciation 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.

The VSANA Library currently consists of three parts—the Featured Book Review of the Month, the VSANA Library, and Buy Books.

• Feature Book Review features monthly one of the more important books published in field of stone


• VSANA library contains over 150 reviews in nine languages. The reviews are intended to give readers

     an indication of the wide range of books available on stone appreciation published globally.

• Buy Books is a new feature to guide our readers who may wish to purchase a book from reliable sources.

Featured Book Review

Mari, Roberto. 2008.


Giunti Editore S.p.A., Florence and Milan. 64 pages, ISBN 978-88-09-06308-2. Nine Euros.

The Nanjing Rain Flower pebbles, famous for their colors and patterns, were among the first stones collected and appreciated as aesthetic objects. Their appeal continues to the present as thousands of collectors in China regularly exhibit these stones submerged in small white bowls with water. Now, the Italian version of these small stones are presented in Giottolandia.  Mari has been collecting rare and unusual small pebbles along the coasts and rivers of central southern Tuscany. These stones have extraordinary patterns. Mari described them as “where colors and lines form compositions of absolute beauty—such as the beauty of some sunsets and of infinite variety.” This volume clearly illustrates that small stones can be just as fascinating as the larger pattern stones that are collected.

A variety of these small pebbles are beautifully illustrated in this soft cover book. Two short  contributed essays precede a longer article The Discovery of Giottolandia by Mari. Most of this book is devoted to color illustrations of  “Italian Rain Flower” pebbles.  Each stone resembles a contemporary abstract paintings where lines intersect and colors sharply contrast with each other.

Rating:  Very good. This small volume in Italian opens the door to a new type of stone for viewing stone enthusiasts.

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