Beautiful Gift Books 2013


Dear Reader,

The season is upon us for annual gift giving galore! Books are the best gifts, from the heart. But you know this already -- you are reading this! Here is a selection of books we think might interest you, or someone near and dear to you, for the holidays. Books are good, but gift books are wonderful and take many forms, covering many subjects, and are presented in wildly divergent styles. We have something -- many things really -- for everyone in your life. These are some suggestions to help you to get started. Looking forward to recommending more in the store through the holidays. See you there!

Happy Reading!
John & all Dieselfolk

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Richard Diebenkorn: The Berkeley Years, 1953-1966 Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780300190786
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Yale University Press - July 2nd, 2013

Richard Diebenkorn was one of the most influential artists immediately following WWII, making his claim to fame in 13 "magical" years spent producing artwork in Berkeley, California. This collection by my absolute favorite artist of the 20th century is truly brilliant. Complete with vibrant landscapes, sultry figurative works, and insightful essays, Diebenkorn outlines his creative process through artistic expression in the literary and visual arts. For the first time ever, the opportunity to experience the entirety of this collection is possible! The Berkeley Years, 1953-1966 has been organized in collaboration with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and the Palm Springs Art Museum. Unfortunately, the San Francisco show has ended but the Palm Springs exhibition will be up until February 16, 2014. This beautiful book is the perfect gift! Read and reflect, then visit and witness in person. -- Avery Albert

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A Steam Odyssey: The Railroad Photographs of Victor Hand Cover Image
By Victor Hand, Don Phillips (Introduction by), Jeff Brouws (Afterword by)
ISBN: 9780393084313
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - November 11th, 2013

Victor Hand has been photographing railways all around the world for over 50 years. This is a collection of 162 photographs that were scanned directly from his prints. Many of these gorgeous black and white images juxtapose the man-made steam engines forging through vast expanses of pristine wilderness. Though these photos were taken in the last 50 years, they evoke a nostalgic sense of wonder, as if you were the first to ever lay eyes on these landscapes. -- Cheryl Ryan

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The Collected Poems of Denise Levertov Cover Image
By Denise Levertov, Paul A. Lacey (Editor), Eavan Boland (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780811221733
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - November 29th, 2013

Underappreciated, but pivotal, vital, and necessary, Denise Levertov is one of our greatest poets. Finally, we have her Collected Poems, beautifully published by W. W. Norton, with an introduction by Eavan Boland. Following a couple volumes of her correspondence with William Carlos Williams and Robert Duncan, this book should plant her back in the mainstream of American poetic history. Her range is astounding, from the political to the mystical, the wry social and psychological insight to the profound sensitivity to the natural world. Her influence is wide: from Mary Oliver to the Black Mountain poets; the San Francisco Renaissance to Nation magazine; winning the Shelley Memorial Award, the Robert Frost Medal, the Lenore Marshall Prize, and a Lannan Award. She is a master poet, generous, brilliant, and bighearted. Give this to the poet in your midst, and watch their mind, their heart, and their imagination open up. -- John Evans

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The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson's Envelope Poems Cover Image
By Emily Dickinson, Jen Bervin (Editor), Marta Werner (Editor)
ISBN: 9780811221757
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - click to see which location!
Published: New Directions Publishing Corporation - October 29th, 2013

There is something emotionally and intellectually piercing about how quiet this volume is. The images are simple -- envelopes and script, that's it -- but as with Dickinson's best poetry, appearances can be ever so deceiving. Between the tilting of the book to follow her train of thought, squinting for what's underneath her crossed out lines -- wondering, was the first draft better? -- or sitting with the words themselves, in all their fragile beauty, you know you're holding something special in your hands. Maybe even art. -- Brad Johnson

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Marvel Year by Year: A Visual Chronicle Cover Image
ISBN: 9781465414434
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: DK Publishing (Dorling Kindersley) - August 19th, 2013

Okay guys, let's be honest, this is actually what I want for the holidays right here. However, even if you're not buying for me, but have a Marvel fan in your life, this is pretty perfect. It's 380 pages of Marvel Comics history, from the beginning in 1939 with the original Human Torch and Namor the Sub-Mariner's first appearances, all the way through 2013's shocking Amazing Spider-Man #700. In between that lies tons of Marvel trivia, milestones, and major events. Of course, the first thing I did was flip to the years of my childhood, where I saw some old covers and panels that I hadn't thought about in years. Definite nostalgia bomb. -- Joey Puente

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Doctor Who: The Vault Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062280633
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Design - October 29th, 2013

I first saw this book across a crowded trade floor: the TARDIS blue caught my eye and the large square padded format guided me in. Then I opened the book and fell in love. The BBC is currently celebrating Doctor Who's 50th anniversary. There are many introductory books out there for those who have seen a few episodes and want to know a bit more, but this is not one of them. Doctor Who: The Vault is an official guide, making full use of the BBC archives and most importantly, it's a book for Doctor Who fans. The Vault is arranged year by year, with hundreds of high-quality color production photographs, concept drawings, design sketches, models, and close-ups of props and memorabilia. I have been watching Doctor Who for 30 years and there was plenty in this book I'd never seen before. There is also plenty to read: lots of interviews and stories that span even the years when no TV episodes were made. I'm not saying you need to have seen all the episodes (actually, you can't watch all of them, as many of the original recordings are lost or badly degraded), but if you get excited when there's a new episode, you know your Silurians from your Autons, and you have a healthy respect for the show's incredible history, then this is what you want for the holidays. -- Clare Doornbos

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The Annotated Alice: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass Cover Image
By Lewis Carroll, John Tenniel (Illustrator), Martin Gardner (Notes by)
ISBN: 9780393048476
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - November 17th, 1999

You might expect The Annotated Alice -- a compilation of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass with extensive footnotes -- to be a tedious exercise in taking the fun out of children's literature, but you'd be reckoning without Martin Gardner. Gardner, best known for writing the "Mathematical Games" column for Scientific American, knows how to explain a joke without making it any less funny. He manages to remind adult readers of the joy we once felt in reading children's stories, while simultaneously giving the intellect something to chew on. This volume, which includes gorgeous reproductions of John Tenniel's original illustrations, would make a wonderful present for any teenager or adult with a brain and a sense of humor. -- Alex Melnick