December 17, 2012
I'm actually getting pretty used to the idea that very few people like the same books that I do. I like to say my taste is unique, but when it comes down to it maybe I'm just odd!
Needless to say, the books I love are so rarely the ones that sell in vast quantities and I've all but given up recommending personal favourites to my colleagues.
I did, however, make an exception this year for a collection of stories by English novelist Edward St. Aubyn, which I raved about for like a maniac for 12 solid months (just ask our reps!).
Edward St. Aubyn's semi-autobiographical novels about the dysfunctional Patrick Melrose are quite well known in the UK. Never Mind, was first published in 1992. The fourth, Mother's Milk, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2006. But St. Aubyn's novels, horrifying and comic in turn, were presumed to be altogether too British for Canadian and American tastes. You had to really hunt them down if you wanted to read them on this side of the Atlantic.
Fortunately, all FIVE of St. Aubyn's Patrick Melrose novels were finally released properly in the US and Canada in January this year.
The Patrick Melrose Novels collects the first four stories — Never Mind, Bad News, Some Hope and Mother's Milk — into one thick paperback (a bargain at $23.00!) and the fifth, concluding volume, At Last, (published in the UK in 2011), is now also available in paperback — just in time for Christmas.
If you like your prose surgical, your humour black, and your heroes alcoholic, I can't recommend these books enough (and Alice Sebold agrees with me!).
It is hard to pick a favourite comic book of the year, but I really enjoyed Guy Delisle's latest travelogue Jerusalem. I had the pleasure of meeting Guy at the Toronto Comics Arts Festival this year and witnessed his deadpan humour firsthand. As a dad, I can't wait to see his new book A User's Guide to Neglectful Parenting in the new year...
I also had the pleasure of meeting Tom Gauld at TCAF. Goliath, Tom's latest graphic novel, is a charming and funny retelling of the familiar bibilical story and well-worth picking up. Tom has a new collection of literary comic strips out in January called You're All Just Jealous of My Jetpack, which I'm very excited about. If you liked Hark! A Vagrant, I think it might be a book for you...
Also recommended (although sadly overlooked in my opinion) is Baby's in Black by German cartoonist Arne Bellstorf. It's beautifully drawn and, although the story will be familiar to a lot of people from the movie Backbeat, it is lovingly told. It would be a perfect for a teenage Beatles fan.
Lastly, we had several photography books that really caught my eye this year. Balthazar Korab: Architect of Photography is a must for anyone who loves midcentury-modern style and beautiful pictures — it's the perfect book to adorn your Noguchi coffee table.
Instant: The Story of Polaroid by Christopher Bonanos and The Disappearance of Darkness: Photography at the End of the Analog Era by Robert Burley are companion books in a way. Both are about the changing face of photography and the replacement of film technology with digital.
Instant details the Apple-like innovation and inventiveness behind the creation of Polaroid and the company's subsequent decline with the rise digital cameras. Likewise, Robert Burley's photographs in The Disappearance of Darkness capture the rapid end of the once-thriving analogue film industry around the world. Burley's photographs of the Kodak plant in Toronto and it's eventual demolition are particularly compelling, if not the cheeriest images for Christmas!
Dan Wagstaff, Online Marketing Manager
Art & Photography / November 22, 2012
Art & Photography / May 16, 2012
Food & Drink / October 06, 2011
Melanie Dunea has done it again. In her first acclaimed book, My Last Supper (2007) she asked the world's top chefs 'what would you eat for your last meal on earth?' Now she just released My Last Supper: The Next Course where she upped the questions for 50 notable foodies. Thought provoking questions as well. I'm going to take a moment to answer them.
What Would Be Your Last Meal on Earth? You'll get the idea of why I chose this meal after you see the setting of this meal. I'd like to eat steak, good steak. Ones we bought from the market. Baked potatoes with all the fixings and a yummy beet salad. And chicken wings from grain fed chicken too (hot of course).
What would be the setting for the meal? I'd like it on a mountain top eating on a picnic table looking over Salmon Arm. Beautiful white and pink hydrangeas fill simple glass vases. Blue and white gingham table cloth and eating off my melomine camping dishes. It's dusk and there are lanterns in the trees to give off a soft glow. A campfire burns about 10 feet away and there are coolers filled with selections of ice cold beer.
Would there be music? Absolutely! Dave Mathews would serenade. Oh and maybe I'll have the Kings of Leon open cause I just saw them and they pretty much rocked.
Who Would be your dining partners? My mother and my boyfriend Garfield (yep just like the cat) and well whoever wanted to come, cause it would be a party.
Who would prepare the meal? Gordon Ramsay. I like that he swears a lot, is funny, and can cook. I hope he likes camping!
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What Would Be Your Last Meal on Earth? Let me know! You can win a copy of My Last Supper: The Next Course.
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“I entered to win Raincoast Books' My Last Supper: The Next Course Contest courtesy of @raincoastbooks @mylastsupper and @RodaleNews!"
I'll pick a random name Firday October 15th.
Well Laurence King the publishing house, not Laurence King the founder himself (I think he's older than 20).
Established in London in 1991, Laurence King Publishing is now recognized as one of the world's leading publishers of books on the creative arts.
Their books are acclaimed for their beautiful design and authoritative text as well as the quality and care taken over their production. They publish books in the fields of art, graphic design, architecture and fashion; just to name a few.
Mark Lamster of Design Observer took up the chance to interview Laurence to hear his thoughts about the state and future of design publishing, and what makes a design book (and book proposal) successful.
...Even with this distinguished catalog, few Americans are likely to know much about King or his press, as until recently most of his titles were sold in this country by other publishers, who purchased their rights. I got to know him this way, both as a buyer and a seller, when I was an editor at Princeton Architectural Press. We worked on many books together — some winners, some losers — and it was always a pleasure. King is one of the true gentlemen of design publishing, self-deprecating and charming in the classic British manner... ~ Mark Lamster
Full article can be found here.
This Fall LK has some pretty amazing new books that I get to publicize (yep I do!). Please pre-order at Amazon.ca, Indigo. ca or take a walk to your local bookshop, they can order a copy for you. Below are just a few. There's planty more to come! I'll keep you posted!
And what's a blog without some cool Laurence King videos? Enjoy!
Art & Photography / July 22, 2011
Did you know that you can make a camera virtually out of anything? Like for example the Quaker tin from your oatmeal, the container your coffee grounds are kept in or even a shoebox? Well you can! Take for example the following...
...who would have thought?? Cool right?
I’ve seen pinhole cameras ranging
in shape and size from a pineapple
to a Volkswagen bus. You’ll be
amazed by how many interesting
things can be turned into a pinhole
camera—so interesting that when
you start to use it in the field, people
will be curious about what you’re
doing. And when you tell them that
you’re creating photos with a coffee
can, they’ll be surprised that’s even
~ Chris Keeney author of Pinhole Cameras: A DIY Guide
This book is a do-it-yourself guide which shows you how to transform basic household containers (lots of them!) into amazing photographic devices. Apparently the images don't turn out so crisp and clear but that's the idea. If you want a sharp image then just use your boring ol'camera. The gallery from the book reminds me of that app Instagram. Love it! So if you're feeling up to the challenge and want to take pictures that aren't that perfect, pick up a copy and try for yourself. And why not send them over to share with us. We'll post them on our blog!
It is undeniable that the worldwide political landscape has seen a good deal of unrest and historic change this year. Award-winning photographer Platon knows that landscape well. He’s photographed world leaders since the fall of 2009 when nearly all heads of state were in New York for a meeting of the United Nations.
Platon’s photographs, Portraits of Power, appeared in the Dec. 7th issue of the New Yorker that year. Many are of icons of our age, such as his image of Gaddafi, which was featured earlier this year on the cover of Time Magazine.
Power, Platon’s new book with Chronicle, provides a comprehensive historical record of our time. It’s a “yearbook” that captures a truly unique moment.
“If you put all of the pictures together,” says Platon, “you get a sense of the global personality of the power system. It allows us to stand back and to start to analyze what happened, who was in control—that is what this book is about.”
You can hear Platon speak about his experiences photographing this amazing roster of world leaders in the video below.
Power features over 100 stunning portraits along with an introduction by New Yorker editor David Remnick. Here are a few I am sure you’ll recognize.
Barack Obama, President, United States
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President, Iran
Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister, Russia
Tony Blair, Prime Minister, United Kingdom May 1997-June 2007
Robert Mugabe, President, Zimbabwe
Special thanks to Patti Quill for this blog posting!
(Marketing and Publicity for Chronicle Books)
And Platon was interview by the BBC. Please take a look at the video linked here and scroll through to approx. 09.08 (just after the weather report from Wimbledon.)
Growing up in Northern Ontario, I always thought the image of Easter you see on TV was a bit off... I mean, how could you possibly have an Easter egg hunt outdoors when the ground is still blanketed in snow — or worse, slush? (Wearing poufy pastel dresses, no less.)
And then I moved to Vancouver... and now I get it (except for the pastel dresses; I think I may be a bit old for that now). While some (most?) of the country is still bracing for snow, it's feeling quite Spring-like and Easter-y here in Vancouver. The cherry blossoms are out and it's bright and sunny outside. There are daffodils poking up all over the place. Sorry, rest-of-Canada, but it's true.
But there's hope yet. In the spirit of Easter, here are a few books to usher in Springtime, no matter how cold, wet or snowy it may be outside. Just curl up with a book that's full of Springtime goodness, and use your imagination... Chocolate eggs also help.
Chicken and Egg is one of my personal favourites from Chronicle's Spring list. In it, food writer Janice Cole shares her adventures of deciding to take on raising chickens in her backyard. This book is not only lovely to look at (thanks to the crack design team at Chronicle), it's also topical, as allowing "urban poultry" seems to be an issue that's been raised in several Canadian cities in the past couple of years, and also downright delicious... Did I mention that the book also includes 125 recipes for delicious chicken and egg dishes?
Another gorgeous book with a Springtime feel is Nests: Fifty Nests and the Birds that Built Them. This book featuresamazing photography drawn from the collections of the California Academy of Sciences, the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at UC Berkeley, and the Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology. Close-up photos of nests are accompanied by short portraits of the birds that constructed them. The variety and detail is fascinating. Here are a few spreads from the book... (Click on the images below to see them larger.)
And for something that's just plain fun(ny), check out One Chick to Another. Full of quips and funny one-liners paired with cute photos of, you guessed it, chicks.
Art & Photography / March 08, 2011