Best of 2015: Jeremy

Article by Jeremy

One should never underestimate the appeal of a beautiful book. As the threat of e-books spread over the past several years, publishers have reacted by creating objects that don't quite work on a screen. We are always proud and happy to have a wide selection of gorgeous books on the shelves at all times. These are a few of my favorites from 2015.

American Qur'an Cover Image
By Sandow Birk (Artist), Reza Aslan (Preface by), Iftikhar Dadi (Other)
ISBN: 9781631490187
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Liveright Publishing Corporation - November 2nd, 2015

Artist Sandow Birk has illuminated the Qur'an in English. Taking his cues from traditional Islamic design, the book includes handwritten text and scenes from American life throughout. The strange juxtaposition makes this oversized tome something to see. Includes a fantastic introduction by Reza Aslan.

Gregory Crewdson Cover Image
By Gregory Crewdson, Jonathan Lethem (Text by (Art/Photo Books)), Nancy Spector (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780847840915
Availability: Backordered
Published: Rizzoli International Publications - October 29th, 2013

This retrospective of photographer Grewgory Crewdson's work is extraordinary. If you don't know already know his work, please come and see. His images are hyper cinematic in their ambition. They are at once familiar and strangely unsettling. Pregnant moments that are preludes to something dangerous or exciting. This book documents his evolution as an artist and brings together the full body of work.

Frank Stella: A Retrospective Cover Image
By Michael Auping, Adam D. Weinberg (Contribution by), Jordan Kantor (Contribution by)
ISBN: 9780300215441
Availability: Backordered
Published: Yale University Press - November 17th, 2015

Frank Stella's sublime color fields of the 1960s were a revolution. His later work exploded in chaotic complexity, baffling many of his critics. This catalog of Frank Stella's work (from the show currently on display at the Whitney in New York) tracks his evolution as an artist and is essential for any lover of modern art.

Transit Maps of the World: Expanded and Updated Edition of the World's First Collection of Every Urban Train Map on Earth Cover Image
ISBN: 9780143128496
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - November 3rd, 2015

Transit maps are inherently interesting to me. I admire the way complicated information can be conveyed visually. And as a monolingual traveler who uses the subway wherever I go, whenever possible, that visual communication is essential. This book collects every urban train map on Earth. This is a beautiful and ideal book for jetsetters or armchair travelers.

The Wonder Garden: Wander Through 5 Habitats to Discover 80 Amazing Animals Cover Image
ISBN: 9781847807038
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Wide Eyed Editions - September 3rd, 2015

There is no shortage of amazing illustrated books for kids, but THE WONDER GARDEN is really something special. The book tours readers through a garden, complete with wild animals and spectacular flora. But what really makes the book are the psychadelic colors and gold foil stamped illustrations. The strong graphic design will make kids (and adults) fall in love with this book.

Jutaku: Japanese Houses Cover Image
ISBN: 9780714869629
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Phaidon Press - October 12th, 2015

Contemporary Japanese architecture is really something to behold. The homes in JUTAKU are often severe concrete blocks, but they are simultaneously delicately textured and designed. And because they're Japanese, they take full advantage of every square inch of space. This beautiful book inspires you to do a lot with a little.

The Kinfolk Home: Interiors for Slow Living Cover Image
ISBN: 9781579656652
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Artisan Publishers - October 20th, 2015

THE KINFOLK HOME takes readers inside 35 homes around the world, each one carefully designed and decorated. Lush pictures of U.S., Japanese and Scandinavian interiors serve as inspiration to create your own more perfect living space.

Oh, how I wish I could live like this.

SKU: 9782264065117

If only Paris had its own version of The New Yorker magazine....

This book collects dozens of contemporary French artists and illustrators takes on what their cover designs might be. Charming, lovely, and oh, so French, THE PARISIANER isn't available anywhere in Texas, except Brazos Bookstore.

A Little Life Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385539258
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Doubleday Books - March 10th, 2015

I have to mention two novels that struck me visually this year:

A LITTLE LIFE is a love it or hate it book. Its distinctive cover supports that notion. The book is intense, emotional, and (dare I say) somewhat melodramatic. The cover image perfectly supports the text and has become iconic. I hope they keep it for the paperback.

Bats of the Republic: An Illuminated Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385539838
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Doubleday Books - October 6th, 2015

And finally, BATS OF THE REPUBLIC is one of the more extraordinary books we have on the shelves this year. A naturalist travels from Chicago to the frontier of the Texas Revolution in 1873, carrying a secret letter. Three hundred years later, that mysterious letter holds the key to peace after another revolution. But the story isn't what makes this book beautiful: page after page of illustrations, maps, journals, and more make this a feast for the eyes. BATS OF THE REPUBLIC is one of the most stunning books of 2015.

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