So print might be dead, but I still like books, haha! I am a big fan of the physicality of print, I can also contend with digital reading products, it's not an either or, but there is still something about the smell of ink on paper, the feel of opening a book for the first time, the look of text on page-the joy of writing in the margins that is not outdone by great options in digital environs in that arena (notes, highlighting, web links etc).
Anyway, a few of the diverse books that have come my way lately that are all worthy additions to any library. most of them would fall into the 'coffee table' end of the spectrum, which is where I find print books to be the most important personally. But I'll begin by referencing the book on the top of the pile.
24/7 Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep by Jonathan Crary has such a disturbing first chapter that I couldn't put it down. It's a book about sleep and how economics has changed it, "sleep is an uncompromising interruption of the theft of time from us by capitalism." This is not a book for the faint-hearted really, sleep, the author argues is essentially incompatible with capitalism and much effort has been made and is being made to overcome it, in the name of security, productivity and a host of other ways. I can't say that this is a dystopian book, but it definitely moves in a sober tone throughout. But it is also fascinating, again, as Crary notes, "sleep has a dense history, as does anything presumed to be natural. It has never been something monolithic or identical, and over centuries and millennia it has assumed many variegated forms and patterns." Think you know sleep? read this book and you'll realize how little you probably know.
Penance is a piece of performance art made into a book by writer and all around style guy, Glenn O'Brien. Trading on his catholic roots he dressed up as a priest and set up a 'confession booth' in the famed Chelsea Hotel in New York. Confessions were recorded by an assistant dressed in a latex 'nun' costume and what followed is recorded in the book. It's more insightful than you might imagine, more honest, and at times, quite comical.
Brian Eno Visual Music is a collection of the past 40 years of Eno's museum and gallery art installations and projects combined with his views, methods and practices of making music. The are sketchbook pages, installation notes and screenshots of various projects plus essays on his contribution to music and new media art. The man is fascinating, probably one of the most significant figures on the cultural landscape and definitely a man whose musicality has produced so much magic (Roxy Music, Bowie, U2, James, Coldplay, ambient music, on and on).
Victore, or Who Died And Made You Boss? This is a book I have given away a couple of times, so it's not new to me, just worth getting again. It is graphic designer James Victore's first book, outlining his take on teaching, practising and subverting graphic design today. Here is a famous graphic designer who mines philosophy and religion and employs elements of thinking from those domains in his work. He doesn't want clients, he searches for collaborators and the result is some of the most innovative graphic work around.
The Wes Anderson Collection. Don't really need to say much more. I want to live in a world curated by Anderson and this book simply adds to that desire. If you love his films and appreciate the aesthetic at work in all of them, this book will give you insights into the process and creation of them.