The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is short this year, with Hanukkah falling right in the middle. The holidays are upon us and that means gifts, gifts, gifts. We all know that books make great gifts, though they are often tricky to choose. Independent booksellers are praised worldwide for our uncanny ability to recommend the right books, for the right people, at the right time. It is not something to be reduced to fancy algorithms. Keep your family and friends happy with well-chosen gifts. Keep your communities and neighborhoods happy by supporting the local independent shops that keep them vibrantly alive. And keep yourself happy by visiting the feel-good stores that know what you want, who you are, what you care about, and have carefully and passionately selected things with you in mind. Can't beat it, really. Supporting the indies that support the culture that supports you -- now that's ecological activism! We hope you have happy holidays -- see you in the stores!
Happy Holiday Reading!
John & all Dieselfolk
Superb binding, fantastic paper quality, the most comprehensive selection commonly available and, most importantly, one of the strongest and most beautiful translations to date. This volume combines re-worked and re-imagined versions of Edward Snow's previous translations with his latest look at The Book of Hours. The new translations are a testament to Snow's relentless efforts toward an understanding of language's endless malleability. Snow captures Rilke's ability to simultaneously charge his words with the most intimate breaths of secrecy and the roaring winds that blow across all humanity. Each line seems to both whisper something right into the soul and ring out from the bells of mankind's cities. Snow also provides over forty pages of critical commentary and luminous amounts of historical context and background to specific poems and creative periods during the poet's life. As Snow points out, "Rilke went so far as to characterize even the Duino Elegies as 'a further shaping of those fundamental inspirations that had been bestowed in The Book of Hours.'" The Poetry of Rilke provides a terrific chronology to the poet's career and allows the reader a full resource to easily discover interconnected relations and forms between all the collections. - Thomas Bailey
There's an aesthetic I like to call "the good ugly." Clunky old cars, crumbling signage, mid-century architectural flourishes that once were cutting-edge but now just seem bizarre: this is where the fugly becomes fabulous, and I love it all. Chances are, you know some slightly offbeat person who does, too, and this person will go gaga over photographer Stephen Shore's Uncommon Places. Initially published in 1982, the new "Complete Works" - what Shore likens to a "director's cut" version - contains all the original landscape images gleaned from Shore's trips across the country during the 1970s, as well as newly-published interiors and portraits shot at the same time. The result resembles a road trip in a flux capacitor-powered DeLorean: a glorious tour of kitschy '70s Americana that's full of images that are at once hideous and strangely beautiful. By preserving these forgotten relics of another era, Uncommon Places creates not only delicious nostalgia for the past, but also pleasing questions about the future, and how our own everyday vistas and objects will be viewed through that faraway eye. - Anna Kaufman
Animal lovers rejoice! Guardians of Being is a wise and playful look at the deep connection between human beings and our animal companions. Through simple statements and humorous illustrations, Eckhart Tolle, author of The Power of Now and A New Earth, and Patrick McDonnell, creator of the comic strip Mutts, remind us of our common bond - the gift of being alive. Whereas human beings are quick to lose touch with this fact, our animal friends never do. Their natural presence and zest for life has a profound influence on us, rekindling our own joy in living and putting us back in touch with the wisdom of the natural world. - Colin Waters
This very special anniversary edition is a must-have collector's item for any fan of Charles Schultz's comic strip Peanuts. From the book's wonderfully large size and vivid illustrations to its exclusive commentary, Celebrating Peanuts: 60 Years is a comprehensive collection of Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the entire Peanuts gang, decade by decade. Peanuts has been around for 60 years, though the characters and their stories never seem to grow old. - Geo Ong
Paging through Andrew Zuckerman's newest photography book, Bird, there's no need for binoculars. This awe-inspiring and oversize collection of high-definition portraits presents our feathered friends like we've never seen them before. From California condors to brilliant macaws, owls to emus, each featured species is showcased against a striking white background, allowing the viewer to marvel over every last tailfeather and unexpected facial expression. No doubt bird-lovers, photographers, and design enthusiasts alike will be drawn to the exquisite natural detail and compelling compositions of Zuckerman's work, but the overall whimsy and elegance of this book make it an ideal gift for people of all ages and interests. - Steffi Drewes
Everyone of us who was lucky enough to be read to as a child, or read voraciously as a kid, half remembers a special book you'd love to find if only you could remember the author or title. Likely as not you will find it, accompanied by a brilliant color reproduction of the dust jacket in this new treasury of children's books. This is a prefect gift for a new family, a grand parent assembling a library for grandchildren or a book collector. - Margaret Simpson
Living with books is endlessly creative - by their nature books create ideas, images and stories. Books also offer a wealth of inspiring approaches to design. From the cluttered study to the informal and formal library, Geddes-Brown guides the reader through eccentric and resourceful examples of the transformative aesthetic of books. Whether it's desk as library, books as sculpture, ingenious shelving, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves or (if you're short on cash or space) hard-bound classics wallpaper, there is an inventive suggestion for everyone here on how to make the most of your books. - Grant Outerbridge