More Beautiful Gift Books 2014
Dear Reader,The book-giving holidays are in full swing at the store. This is our favorite time of year, and we are showing off all the beautiful, intriguing, artful, and thrilling treasures we have. Recommending is our forte, so come in to the store and get some help choosing the best gifts for all your friends and family. Some special books of the season are reviewed below. Happy Reading & Gift Giving!John & all DIESELfolk
Books come in all sizes, formats, fonts, paper stock and endpapers. There are distinct pleasures to reading each of these forms of the book. I have a particular affection for smaller-format clothbound books, especially when special attention has been given to these design details. Sitting in a chair in the evening, surrounded by warm light, with a small hardback in hand, is the beginning of an imaginal adventure. Once Upon A Time, is such a book.
This an elegantly beautiful exposition on the forms, styles, and cultural relevance of the fairy tale, for young and old, and throughout human history. From the stunning book art on the cover (by Su Blackwell of course) through Warner's fine writing and expert's grasp of the subject, this is armchair travel of the most delightful sort. Perfect for winter reading! -- John E.
Yes, Kerry Howley's Thrown is about mixed martial arts, or MMA. There are details, maybe more than you ever wanted to know, about the world of professional fighting. So, yes, she describes a few of the fights, with a literally blow-by-blow account of what happened. But Thrown is about MMA in the same way Moby-Dick is about whaling. This is not some lurid, pull-back-the-lid account of an underworld many regard as seedy and destructive. Nor is it a glorification of the "sport," a defense against these naysayers and those disgusted by violence.
See, the thing is, while Kerry did actually spend three years following two fighters, the narrator of Thrown, Kit, doesn't exist. She is a space-taker, there simply to be a witness. She's the eye that examines -- through the twin lenses of these flawed fighters -- the nature of existence, the cri de couer emanating from our depths (unconsciously or not), and the obsession that stems from trying to figure out what we're here for. Thrown is part-sports book, part-philosophical quest, and one of the best debuts I've read in a long time. -- Chris P.
The central Asian Akhal-Teke is a horse breed known for its speed, intelligence, and shimmering coat. Featuring more than 150 remarkable images, Golden Horse captures the beauty of these ancient steeds. The photographs of Artur Baboev, a Russian photographer whose love for the breed sent him on a quest across the globe, are accompanied by an authoritative account of the history and qualities of the "golden horse." This book is a perfect gift for all horse lovers, owners, breeders, and riders. - Mia W.
This new monograph of Frank Lloyd Wright's work focuses on his West Coast projects, many of which have been seen in earlier monographs. This book stands out from its predecessors for two reasons: (1) the gorgeous new photography by Joel Puliatti, and (2) the well-researched text by Mark Anthony Wilson, which provides new and private insights into the stories (imagine Frank Lloyd Wright versus client) behind the works. A coffee table book that will actually be read and enjoyed. -- Alan D.
This is a perfect blend of interior design and literature! Based on the philosophy that you don't just read a good book, you inhabit it, Giramonti presents a collection of rooms inspired by the most beloved works of literature. The ultimate book-lover's guide to interior decorating. - Maria J.
The Interior Circuit slipped past a lot of people's radars this year. Fortunately, we have time yet to change this, and truly we must because it is one of the best journalistic memoirs of recent memory. Goldman weaves an account of the complexities of everyday life in Mexico City, amidst its many joys and corruptions, with his own reckoning of life five years following the death of his wife. As New Yorker readers may already know, Goldman is a beautiful writer, and his latest book will become a treasured discovery for those who value philosophical, poetic journalism. - Brad J.
Oliver Jeffers is the much-loved author of such classic picture books as This Moose Belongs to Me and Stuck, he's also the illustrator of the phenomenally successful picture book The Day the Crayons Quit. Of course, you'll find Once Upon an Alphabet in our kids' section, it is an alphabet book, after all. (Each letter has a funny little story attached to it, as with "E": how many elephants can you get in an envelope?) However, this is such a quirky and artistic book that it would also be a great gift for grown-ups who love illustration, cartoons and strangeness.. -- Clare. D.