Surrounded by books year round, booksellers have a passionate familiarity with the latest, the greatest, the literary and the artistic. So what do Diesel booksellers have on their wishlist for the holidays? Hopefully these books will help to give you inspiration for your book-buying gift giving this season. We have plenty more recommendations, just come in and ask us. We all know that books make great gifts so let us help you find the right ones for those you care for. Check out the reviews below for starters and throughout the website if you're so inclined, then stop in the store and we'll show you the actual books that will make the great gifts you want to give.
Happy Reading and Happy Holidays!
John & all Dieselfolk
The Christmas I was 13, I was lucky enough to get to spend the holiday in Italy. In Venice we visited the Peggy Guggenheim museum, where I became enchanted by René Magritte's Empire of Light - an eerie painting of a lamppost in front of a house with a lighted window, a nighttime scene with a day-bright sky. Though very little can compete with the powerful effect of seeing a painting like that in person, David Sylvester's fabulous Magritte monograph is almost equally enchanting. Beyond producing hundreds of the surrealist's paintings, both famous and obscure, Sylvester provides a truly fascinating glimpse into the artist's life and work. This volume is the happiest of marriages between biography and retrospective: a gorgeous coffee table book that also provides substance to really sink your teeth into while beverages brew and the cookies finish baking. -- Anna Kaufman
Rosamond Purcell has taken a graceful sidestep from her well known photographs of decay and preservation. Here, she instead immortalizes an actual subject, capturing fleeting images through reflections cast in antique mercury glass jars. The results are surreal, illuminated dreamscapes of watery depths and foreboding skies. Shakespearean passages take on a new light when paired with these photographs. Words and images complement one another perfectly, each elevated together. Who deserves this book? Anyone with a soul. -- Cheryl Ryan
Lulu de Kwiatkowski's collection of sketchbook and journal collages is terrifically generous and uniquely optimistic. Her playful fragments and figures pop off every page of this gorgeous book. Drawing from her family history and personal travels, Lulu strips commercial icons and sex symbols from their original cultural functions and applies her own meaning and myth. The landscapes sumptuously morph between flat, two dimensional spaces and lush detailed textures. A perfect book for any traveler - be it inward or outward - to get lost in. -- Thomas Bailey
At first glance, you wouldn't think Walton Ford is a contemporary artist. His paintings hearken back to the 19th-century works of naturalist John James Audubon and the detailed sketchbooks of Charles Darwin. This is because Ford is a meticulous researcher who gets his ideas from trips to museums and hundreds of natural history books. If you look more closely, you'll start to see this in his work. Close inspection is the key. Pancha Tantra is wonderfully large (though nowhere near the size of his mammoth paintings, which often cover whole walls), and allows you to scrutinize each painting from the tiny, menacing details to the washed-out calligraphy Ford loves to incorporate. "The big, big thing I'm always looking for in my work," Ford says, "is a sort of attraction-repulsion thing, where the stuff is beautiful to begin with until you notice that some sort of horrible violence is about to happen or is in the middle of happening." Ford's work combines beauty and violence, the historical and the current, animal and man. Focus on the details and you'll see it all. -- Geo Ong
"We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes." That's a translation of the Latin motto the city of Detroit adopted after a devastating fire in 1805. Today, the city could still be said to be devastated, but for a slew of other reasons. Modern Detroit has a reputation as one of the worst cities in America. And yet, as Andrew Moore showcases in his beautiful photographic exploration, there is something profound, haunting, and yes, hopeful, to be found among the city's ruins, its abandoned buildings and lonely streets. There is definitely despair to be seen here - the vaulted ceilings and elaborate moldings of the former Michigan Theater transformed into a parking garage; the words "God has left Detroit" spray painted on the walls of a crumbling nursing home - but at the same time, there are trees pushing through the skeleton of an old school, and evidence of what fine, strong bones the city sports beneath the ash and decay. Like something from a fairytale, this book will cast a spell on you with its hidden ballrooms, secret staircases, and melting clocks. It will make you believe it may be possible to fix things: to smooth the faces of those drooping clocks back out, realign the numbers, and make the hands run forward again. -- Anna Kaufman
Louis Vuitton is practically synonymous with luggage. Their iconic logo is instantly recognized as a symbol of quality and luxury. This handsomely slip-cased volume chronicles the history of Vuitton's specialty trunks from 1899 to present day. Cherished by royalty, explorers and performers alike, each trunk suited the tailored needs of their owners. Trunks for billiard cues, cigars, dolls, and trunks that can transform into desks or a bed, nothing is beyond reason. More recent designs include a caviar box, skateboard trunk and a dog kennel. To commemorate the 150th anniversary, there was an in-house design competition. The most innovative design was the Mars Trunk, a futuristic capsule replete with a mini desk, drawers, tool box, first aid storage and a folding chair. Stunning photographs that could have graced the pages of National Geographic are found throughout the book: Maharajas having tea, adorned sacred elephants, and a luncheon at the base of a pyramid. Not your everyday occasions, but certainly those worthy of a Louis Vuitton trunk. -- Cheryl Ryan