Fall ’17 Book Recommendations

 

A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson  The followup to Life After Life tells the dramatic story of the 20th Century through Ursula’s beloved younger brother Teddy – would-be poet, heroic pilot, husband, father, and grandfather – as he navigates the perils and progress of a rapidly changing world. After all that Teddy endures in battle, his greatest challenge is living in a future he never expected to have.

Things Are What You Make of Them: Life Advice for Creatives by Adam J. Kurtz  From the creative mind and heart of designer Adam J. Kurtz comes this upbeat rallying cry for creators of all stripes. Expanding on a series of popular essays, this handwritten and heartfelt book shares wisdom and empathy from one working artist to others. Perforated tear-and-share pages make it easy to display the most crucial reminders or to pass a bit of advice on to someone who needs it.

The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova  Alexandra Boyd, has traveled to Sofia, Bulgaria, hoping that life abroad will salve the wounds left by the loss of her beloved brother. Soon after arriving she helps an elderly couple into a taxi – and realizes too late that she has accidentally kept one of their bags. Inside she finds an ornately carved wooden box engraved with a name, an urn filled with human ashes. As she sets out to locate the family and return this precious item, she will first have to uncover the secrets of a talented musician who was shattered by political oppression and she will find out all too quickly that this knowledge is fraught with its own danger.

Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton  The year is 1876, warring Indian tribes still populate America’s western territories even as lawless gold-rush towns begin to mark the landscape. Against this backdrop two monomaniacal paleontologists pillage the Wild West, hunting for dinosaur fossils, while surveilling, deceiving, and sabotaging each other in a rivalry that will come to be known as the Bone Wars. Into this treacherous territory plunges the arrogant and entitled William Johnson, a Yale student with more privilege than sense. Determined to survive a summer in the west to win a bet against his arch-rival, William has joined world-renowned paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh on his latest expedition.

Listening to Type: Making Language Visible by Alex W. White  Designers will develop the skills and vision to produce truly innovative, eye-catching type design. All the basics of type design are covered, and in-depth information is provided on more advanced topics such as the differences between type applications, how typography creates identity, and what best inspires readers. Designer Alex W. White packs the pages with fifteen hundred images—modern and ancient, specially created and found—that illustrate typographic concepts and continue to yield more complexity and connectivity.

The Rules Do Not Apple: A Memoir by Ariel Levy  When Ariel Levy left for a reporting trip to Mongolia in 2012, she was pregnant, married, financially secure, and successful on her own terms. A month later, none of that was true.

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware  A journalist who writes for a travel magazine has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. The sky is clear, the waters calm, and the veneered, select guests jovial as the exclusive cruise ship, the Aurora, begins her voyage in the North Sea. At first Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant, but as the week wears on Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a dark and terrifying nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for, and so the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone wrong.

A Secret History of Witches by Louisa Morgan  The Orchires fight to keep the old ways alive, practicing half-remembered spells and arcane rites in hopes of a revival. And when their youngest daughter comes of age, magic flows anew. The lineage continues, though new generations struggle not only to master their power, but also to keep it hidden.

We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby  Whether talking about how her difficult childhood has led to a problem in making “adult” budgets, explaining why she should be the new Bachelorette, detailing a disastrous pilgrimage/romantic-vacation to Nashville to scatter her estranged father’s ashes, sharing awkward sexual encounters, or dispensing advice on how to navigate friendships with former drinking buddies who are now suburban moms, Samantha is as deft at poking fun at the ghosts of her past self as she is at capturing powerful emotional truths.

 

 

Teaching Graphic Design, Second Edition by Stephen Heller  Teaching is a special skill requiring talent, instinct, passion, and organization. This book ontains syllabi that are for all practicing designers and design educators who want to enhance their teaching skills and learn how experienced instructors and professors teach varied tools and impart the knowledge needed to be a designer in the current environment. It includes 30+ new syllabi by professional teachers and teaching professionals who address the most current concerns of the graphic design industry, including product, strategic, entrepreneurial, and data design as well as the classic image, type, and layout disciplines.

Perennials by Mandy Berman  Rachel Rivkin and Fiona Larkin used to treasure their summers together as campers at Camp Marigold. Now, reunited as counselors after their first year of college, their relationship is more complicated. Through them, as well as from the perspectives of their fellow counselors, their campers, and their mothers, we witness the tensions of the turbulent summer build to a tragic event, which forces Rachel and Fiona to confront their pasts – and the adults they’re becoming.

Gràfica de les Rambles: The Signs of Barcelona by Louse Fili  From the labyrinthine paths and serene squares of the Gothic Quarter to the stunning art nouveau architecture of the Eixample, Barcelona is a place of irresistible charm. Throughout this beloved Catalan city by the sea, dazzling signage is everywhere: glowing mosaics and stained glass, intricately carved stonework and brilliantly gilded placards that herald the city’s eclectic mix of commerce, all documented with affection and a dash of obsession by celebrated graphic designer Louise Fili.

Commonwealth by Anne Patchett  Spanning five decades, Commonwealth explores how a chance encounter reverberates through the lives of four parents and six children. Spending summers together in Virginia, the Keating and Cousins children forge a lasting bond that is based on a shared disillusionment with their parents and the strange and genuine affection that grows up between them. Their childhood becomes the basis for a wildly successful book, ultimately forcing them to come to terms with their losses, their guilt, and the deeply loyal connection they feel for one another.

Pantry and Palate: Remembering and Rediscovering Acadian Food by Simon Thibault  The author explores his Acadian roots by scouring old family recipes, ladies’ auxiliary cookbooks, and folk wisdom for 50 of the best-loved recipes of Acadians past and present. Recipes run the gamut, from the art of pickling beets to old-fashioned foodways such as rendering lard and cooking with head cheese, to Acadian staples like Classic French Canadian Tourtière and Seafood Chowder, and a delicious roster of desserts from Rhubarb Custard Pie to Acadian Panna Cotta.

Can Graphic Design Save Your Life?  This ambitious book examines the varied and vital relationship between graphic design and health, focusing on work that demonstrates how communication strategies and visual languages are employed to persuade, inform, prevent, and ultimately protect.

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A Book That Takes It’s Time

 

A Book That Takes Its Time is one I’ve been waiting to get my hands on since the start of the year when I first learned of its upcoming existence. Finally today, thanks to the team at Workman Publishing, I’m able to share it with you on its release date!

Flow is a magazine celebrating creativity, imperfection, and life’s little pleasures and this is its first companion book. It also embraces the physical qualities of paper – its weight, texture, the way it takes color – and the formats and ways in which it can be delivered. Articles in the magazine mingle with bound-in or fold-out posters, stickers, pre-printed thank you cards from noted illustrators, and other “goodies.” In short, Flow has created a magazine best enjoyed in print form and A Book That Takes Its Time follows closely in its successful footsteps.

 

 

A Book That Takes Its Time: An Unhurried Adventure in Creative Mindfulness (the full title) was penned by the co-founders and creative directors of Flow, Irene Smit and Astrid Van der Hulst. At it’s heart this tome is about doing, about experience, and about intention. It’s a book both about mindfulness and a book that literally inspires mindfulness while reminding readers to slow down, breathe deeply, and be present.

 

 

I don’t know about you, but I’m forever struggling to be more in tune with the now – maybe this year more than ever before. This book turned out to be a much needed balm, right from Chapter 1, that I can turn to when the days are especially trying or I just need a moment to regroup and regain focus. Make your way through its pages in order or skip around depending on what you need and when you need it.

 

 

Learn to appreciate and savor moments both large and small by punching out pages of decorative memory cards to fill out and save in a mason jar so you can revisit them when you need an emotional lift. Read about the benefits of clearing your mind and letting your hands lead the way, then use the provided images and words to create a personal collage. Snip, arrange, and paste them onto the fold-out blank canvas and see where your subconscious takes you.

 

 

Read about the advantages of slowing down, then put those lessons into practice with the removable Joy of One Thing at a Time Notebook. Tear out a postcard and snail mail it to a friend. Make a list to clear your mind and refocus.

 

 

There are lessons on how to shift your focus away from what you don’t have and focus on what you do have. On stepping back from your phone to take just one photo with a camera – and then let the gaps in an album tell the story. Even tips for breaking old habits that will get your wheels turning.

 

 

Not every page is an activity or lesson, some are simply filled with inspiring words that you may not have known you needed to read. Do you get it? It’s the kind of book that makes you take your time, one that you can’t just hurry through so like so many other things in life. It’s a book that makes you stop to savor, play with, and appreciate all the lovely and interesting detours that hands-on activities provide.

 

 

 

Readers will have the chance to learn hand-lettering, the basics of collaging, even how to meditate while running. There’s something for everyone, which is what I love most about this book that mixes reading, learning, and doing. It’s part creative therapy, part teacher, part self-help, part workshop.

 

 

 

 

 

This post sponsored by Workman Publishing. All words and opinions are my own, as always. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Design Crush creating fresh content!

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Quick Picks

 

I’m always looking for opportunities to share more of my favorite affordable finds with you, so today we’re debuting a new series called Quick Picks where I’ll do just that. Ten things that I’m crushing on from the last week or so that I don’t own but wouldn’t mind having in my home. No art, no designer anything, only things that are within reach. (If you see something you want to check out further just click on the image!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Grid Poems Vol. I

 

Let’s start with… what exactly is a grid poem?

A grid poem is a 3 x 3-inch arrangement of lines written to allow two different readings: left-to-right and top-to-bottom. This allows subtly, or drastically, different perspectives to emerge from the same text. Part haiku, part Sudoku, the full poem is only revealed through re-reading and exploration.

 

 

Art and design collective Point in Passing just released a book of grid poetry with collaborator Brian Isett, called Grid Poems Vol. I. The book is a collection of 45 illustrated poems on hope, loss, and expectation. Not only brilliantly creative and imaginative, but also rather pertinent to the current times we’re living in.

 

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June Favorites

 

1/ Super Sweet 100 Cherry Tomatoes
I’ve been doing container gardens for the past few years, and this summer I ventured into the world of cherry tomatoes, Sweet 100s specifically. They’re a vining variety that are deliciously meaty and sweet. Last week I was able to start picking a few day as they ripen and my salad game has gone up a notch!

2/ Mom’s Stuff All-Purpose Piñon Salve
I started using Mom’s Stuff a few years ago after meeting Mom’s daughter and trying out a sample. Each jar is handmade from all natural ingredients that deeply moisturize, soothe, and protect your skin and there are no filler ingredients like water, cheap oils, or stabilizers. Lately I’ve been dabbing some on bug bites for comfort.

3/ Illume Candles Vanity Tins
Illume Candles first entered my life back in college, when I bought two delicious smelling candles for more than I could afford. I’m loving the design of their Vanity Tins and the scents are just as good as ever!

4/ Pineapple Sage
It was the pineapple-scented leaves that caused me to pick up one of these to plant this year. In late summer they bloom bright red, tube-shaped blooms that attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

5/ La Colombe Draft Latte
This is the treat I’ve been reaching for on hot summer mornings! Lactose-free milk and cold pressed espresso make for a slightly sweet drink without any added sugar.

6/ Kristin Ess Instant Lift Thickening Spray
Forever on the search for the perfect hair product that will give my fine hair more oomph, and this spray has become the top contender. You don’t need to use a ton, it’s not super sticky, and the smell is amazing.

7/ Lou & Grey Linen Racerback Tank (50% off!)
I picked up black and grey ones a few weeks ago and have been more or less living in them. They hit my short(ish) torso in just the right spot and the cut is super flattering.

8/ Carmex Comfort Care Colloidal Oatmeal Lip Balm
As a lip balm-aholic you can take my word that this stuff is the real deal. Its blend of natural colloidal oatmeal and cold-pressed antioxidant rich fruit seed oil provides long-lasting moisture for visibly smoother lips.

9/ Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
A collection of poetry and prose about survival, about the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. And how to find the sweetness in all areas of life.

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