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// posts about books

(S)mythology Book

Smythology is a fairy-tale by Jeremy Tarr.

Charming, poignant and absurdly funny, (S)MYTHOLOGY is a contemporary fairy-tale that whisks you on a wild adventure from the streets of London to the far reaches of the globe from haunted islands to African villages, from the peaks of the Alps to the depths of the Underworld. Twenty-one year old Sophie has spent her entire life in virtual seclusion in a London flat fearful that should she venture out into the world the curse that was placed on her as an infant would turn friends and lovers into stone (marble, to be exact) just by merely looking at her. But when events beyond her control drive her onto the streets of London, she must combat her fears and battle the forces that have kept her hidden away since childhood.

I’m really attracted to the drawing style of the illustrator, Katy Smail. Her drawings are intricate and so full of character. So beautiful. I’ve included more of her illustrations below.


Bunch Design – John Durak’s Condiments & Entrails

This book design by Bunch Design is pretty cool. Condiments & Entrails features a collection of poetry by John Durak. Each copy has one of three different stickers on the cover, which when removed reveals a hidden message, and leaves the book title-less. The inside of the book is nicely designed, too, with awesome illustrations by OmegaTheKid!Phoenix that accompany each poem. There is also a limited edition screenprint inspired by the cover available here.



Nests: Fifty Nests and the Birds that Built Them

Spectacular specimens in Sharon Beals’ new book – Nests: Fifty Nests and the Birds that Built Them.

via WonderHowTo

Chronicle Books – Haul-idays

I don’t normally do this, but I love Chronicle Books and they are having an awesome promotion – “Celebrate the Haul-idays” – and I can’t help myself. They are offering a blog and a reader each up to $500 worth of free books. This is my wishlist – if you want the chance to win this set of books, leave a comment on this post and if we win, one of our commenters will win a set of books, too! They will announce the winners on December 13th.

Above: Handmade Living by Lotta Jansdotter, Narrow House by Avi Friedman, Paper + Craft by Minhee and Truman Cho of Paper + Cup.

From Hieroglyphics to Isotype by Matthew Eve and Christopher Burke, Little Book of Letterpress by Charlotte Rivers, Art of McSweeney’s.

This Is for You by Rob Ryan, The Sneaker Coloring Book by Daniel Jarosch and Henrik Klingel, The Exquisite Book by Julia Rothman, Jenny Volvovski, and Matt Lamothe.

Creative, Inc. by Meg Mateo Ilasco and Joy Deangdeelert Cho, Designs for Small Spaces by Jennifer Hudson, City Walks Architecture: New York by Alissa Walker, One Line a Day: A Five Year Memory Book

Creature by Andrew Zuckerman, Ichthyo: The Architecture of Fish, Pictorial Webster’s A Visual Dictionary of Curiosities by John M. Carrera.

Jonas Bendiksen – Satellites

Jonas Bendiksen’s “Satellites” book is a compilation of some amazing photos. My favorites are the photos of the spacecraft crash zones. So cool.

The Soviet collapse spawned 15 new countries that are now established members of the international community. However, economic, political and ethnic disparities also gave birth to a series of far less known unrecognized republics, national aspirations and legacies. “Satellites” is the culmination of Jonas Bendiksen’s fascinating seven-year photographic journey through unrecognized countries, enclaves, and isolated communities on the periphery of the former Soviet Union. The itinerary goes through places such as Transdniester, a breakaway republic in Eastern Europe, Abkhazia, an unrecognized country on the Black Sea, the religiously conservative Ferghana Valley in Central Asia, the spacecraft crash zones between Russia and Kazakhstan, and the Jewish Autonomous Region of Far Eastern Russia.

15 years after the fall of the USSR, Bendiksen’s haunting photographs and text explore these restless territories’ search for historical, religious and ideological identity, and forms a timely look into unfinished chapters of Soviet history.

Via The Middle Ground

The Magician and The Snake – Mike and Katie Mignola

The Magician and The Snake is a collaboration between Mike Mignola and his 7-year old daughter, Katie. The pair won an Eisner for best short story in 2003. Pretty good for a 7-year old! It’s a sweet story of time and friendship, and you can read Katie’s thoughts on it here.

via From Heroes to Icons

Marian Bantjes – I Wonder

Marian Bantjes’ book, I Wonder, looks amazing. I can’t wait until it comes out in October…

David Stephenson – Heavenly Vaults

This book looks amazing. Heavenly Vaults: From Romanesque to Gothic in European Architecture, by the photographer David Stephenson, catalogs the domes of eighty different cathedrals built between the 12th and 16th centuries in Europe. The domes are almost abstract in their structure and pattern, becoming something more transient and emotional.

Via Designboom.

Dynamo – Status – Volume 1

Dynamo sent us a copy of their newly-released book, Status – Volume I, a bilingual (French and English) compilation of what they call the “best of the best” social-networking status updates. Beautifully designed, with each status update given individual design and typographic treatment, Status is as much an elevation of the status update as it is a commentary on our obsession with broadcasting every mundane detail about our lives.

From the preface:

What’s Your Status?

…Whatever you type into that seemingly innocuous box will be broadcast instantaneously to every human connection you’ve ever made: family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, exes, high school sweethearts, stalkers and frenemies. It’s enough to make your fingertips sweat.

And you’re not alone. Status feeds have become an unrelenting, virtual mudslide of steady, mind-mushing, lackluster messages that are not only irrelevant for most of us, but are uninspiring and signal a state of boredom and monotony…

In light of the mounting collective contempt for the snoozefest that is the social network “communication” landscape, we were inspired to create this book and felt it our duty to remind you that there is another way…

We hope this book inspires you to write something worth reading the next time you are asked “What’s Your Status?”

And I love the dedication: “Dedicated to status junkies everywhere. Without you, this book would have been about something else.”

Oded Ezer – The Typographer’s Guide to the Galaxy

We were sent a review copy of Oded Ezer’s book The Typographer‘s Guide to the Galaxy by Gestalten last year. I’m fairly new to Oded’s designs, but to survey his extensive body of work, as presented in the book, is amazing.

Typography goes beyond just letters on a page – it gives expression to a word. To me, Oded’s work even goes beyond that – his typographic work blurs the line between the science of typography and art. His words become sculptural, sometimes just in their 2D form, but other times they become literally 3-dimensional, taking on a life of their own.

Not being able to read Hebrew myself, I am even further removed from the reality of the words he works with, making them more foreign, beautiful and emotional. In the forward of the book, Paola Antonelli expresses this well:

“There is no better proof of the elegance of a typeface than obfuscating its content. And if, as is my case when it comes to Hebrew (or Korean, or Thai, or Arabic…), one does not understand anything at all, there is no need to even reverse the sheet; the experience becomes purely emotional and aesthetic. Ah, the delights of ignorance!”

The Typographer‘s Guide to the Galaxy is a beautiful, inspirational monograph. Besides just being visually stimulating, Gestalten included a series of essays about his work (by Paola Antonelli, Marian Bantjes, Yehuda Hofshi, Cinzia Ferrara, and Kitty Bolhöfer), as well as an interview with Oded himself, all of which provide insight into Oded’s design process and his collection of work.

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