More Beautiful Gift Books 2013
Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Here is another newsletter filled with tips on great books for you and terrific gifts for the holidays. You can come and see them at the store and can also join in the annual Small Business Saturday celebration of independent businesses. People are more and more realizing that the dynamism and vitality of their main streets and their public life are sustained by the web of independent businesses that make up their communities. Supporting independent businesses is great for the economy, greatly enriches our lives and our neighborhoods. Small Business Saturday is just one way of reminding us of what we already know: shopping indies is the way to go. We get the best gifts, chosen thoughtfully by engaged and experienced professionals, and it's always more fun, too!
See you this Saturday and throughout the holidays!
John & all Dieselfolk
Gregory Crewdson is one of the best-known and most acclaimed American photographers. This oversized, slip-covered monograph is a comprehensive survey of his prolific career of nearly 30 years. The photographs reflect a melancholic, painterly view of small-town America, creating a vision that is both familiar and haunting and reminding of us of the work of Edward Hopper and David Lynch. Crewdson is often likened to a film director as he typically works with large crews to set the stage for his atmospheric, layered photographs. Included are his recent masterpieces Beneath the Roses and Sanctuary, as well as the lesser-known Fireflies series. Jonathan Lethem has written short stories to accompany each of Crewdson's different series. Nancy Spector introduces the book and Melissa Harris provides an essay on Crewdson's creative process. Any lover of contemporary American photography will want to own this book. -- Alan Dishman
Rube Goldberg is indeed a household name, but most people don't think of him as a creator of comic strips. And if you ask comics fans to name their favorite strips, a Goldberg title rarely makes the list. Perhaps it's because he is better known for his inventions (which, in great part, originated in his newspaper comics) or his editorial cartoons or other forms of illustration. But Rube Goldberg's work has been inexorably linked to the American comic strip from its earliest years through the golden age of newspaper comics. This fabulous book has an interactive cover and offers a plethora of art and information that'll keep you laughing for hours upon hours. -- Riley
Have you ever imagined what a character in a favorite book would look like if they were real? In Well-Read Women, artist Samantha Hahn has pieced together all the snippets of scattered descriptions throughout a variety of classic novels to create 50 fully-realized portraits. Here, visions of literary heroines are translated into dream-like images. Hahn's watercolors may be soft on the eye, but each woman's strength and unique beauty shines through. -- Cheryl Ryan
For anyone devoted to the book as a thing of beauty and an art form in itself, this extraordinary volume filled with the works of 27 artists who have carved, cut, and sculpted them will take your breath away. The artists have created a wonderfully diverse collection in size and style. There are chess sets from pulp, portraits from telephone directories, 3D scenes from children's literature, a bonsai oak, jewelry, ballet slippers, and other pieces too numerous to list. The book itself is likewise beautiful, with an exposed spine and exquisite photography. There is also wonderful text describing the history of the book as art and how, in this age of digital media, the printed page is a thing to be cherished. -- Pam Sterling
Bears are, in my opinion, among the most interesting and impressive members of the animal kingdom. Paul Nicklen, a wildlife photographer, journalist, and National Geographic contributor, has put together a beautiful book with stunning photographs and stories about these majestic mammals, specifically the polar bear, the grizzly, and the black bear and its rare subspecies, the white spirit bear. Articles from well-known environmentalists and quotes from literary figures offer insight and illumination. This is a wonderful gift for a lover of the wild. -- Rod Froke
Here's the perfect gift for that Buddhist cat lover in your life: The Meditating Cat: A Zen Coloring Book. It's a book that will appeal to all ages, and especially to those who like to draw or color. Inside a recessed, die-cut cat shape sits a calm and peaceful feline in the lotus position, eyes closed, a slight smile on its face. As you thumb through the pages, you'll discover that in each scene, whether a quiet shot under the moon or in the midst of a busy city street, there sits the enlightened kitty in all his glory! A lesson in peacefulness, sure to please any cat-loving, zen-practicing color artist. Just add a box of crayons! -- Linda Grana
Ballad, the new book from French artist Blexbolex, is a unique and mind-opening read. In many regards, the book falls squarely into the genre of children's literature, complete with knights, princesses, castles, and a quest. At the same time, it's a challenging, genre-spanning work that could be shelved in numerous other places: with graphic novels or art books, or even in metaphysics or mythology. Through vivid, overprinted colors and repeated phrases, the book takes on a hypnotic, meta-literary tone, and seems to be telling countless stories at once. In addition to being an illustrator, Blexbolex is also a screenprinter, and a love of printing infuses the book. Each page is loaded with wildly contrasting colors, and, despite its smaller trim size, the book is heavy with ink. Ballad makes a unique and gorgeous gift for imaginative kids, art lovers, and anyone with an appreciation for beautifully-printed books. -- John Peck