Katie's Top Ten Books (and Gift Items) of 2018

This year has been a doozy and many times I felt myself wondering if things would ever change and how? I chose to make my list true to my feelings and how I have sought knowledge and solace these last twelve months. My list includes some art inspired books and gift items, but the overall theme deals with the issues surrounding our current culture. While that can seem like a real downer around the holidays, I have found by reading these books that the opposite has been true. These books, essay collections, poetry, and art books have inspired me to be better, to do more, and to find hope where it seems hope may not exist. Wherever you stand on the political spectrum, I think we can all learn something from each other and these books, so buy one for yourself and one for a friend this holiday season. With the new year approaching we can all be inspired by these books and hope for a better future.

Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up Cover Image
By Claire Wilcox (Editor)
$50.00
ISBN: 9781851779604
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Victoria & Albert Museum - July 24th, 2018

I have a deep obsession with all things Frida—she is one of my favorite artists, and I love sharing her work with others. This book focuses more on who Frida was and how she presented herself to the world through her personal style, prosthetics, jewelry, and clothes which are accompanied by diary entries, letters, and artworks creating an incredibly intimate portrait of the artist who felt deeply in life. This book is absolutely stunning for the art or fashion lover—full page images of Kahlo’s clothing show the intricate details of her traditional Tehuana dresses. If you can’t make it to her and Diego’s home in Coyoacan to see all these items this book really does them justice!


Art of Feminism: Images that Shaped the Fight for Equality, 1857-2017 Cover Image
By Helena Reckitt (Editor), Lucinda Gosling (Text by), Hilary Robinson (Text by), Amy Tobin (Text by), Maria Balshaw (Preface by), Xabier Arakistain (Foreword by)
$45.00
ISBN: 9781452169927
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chronicle Books - October 23rd, 2018

An amazing large art book that is essential for the feminist art lover in your life. THE ART OF FEMINISM follows the feminist movement and the ways in which the visual arts and media have propelled the movement and the women creating it. This book has a little bit of everything—illustrations, paintings, photography, performance, and graphic design. Accompanying the works are essays about the art and the artist. Feel empowered reading this book and get out and create some fierce art!


Forgotten Women: The Artists Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781788400633
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Cassell - October 2nd, 2018

This is a great series of books. Others in this collection include influential women, scientists, writers, and my favorite artists. Forty-eight fantastic artists who have gone mostly unacknowledged within the male driven art world finally get some attention! Some artists represented were overshadowed by their famous male significant others. This book does an excellent job of representing different mediums, styles, and countries.


Perennial Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781566895170
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Coffee House Press - August 7th, 2018

I read COLUMBINE this year by the journalist Dave Cullen after steering clear of it for a long time, but with all the terrible issues surrounding gun control I realized it was something I needed to read and understand as an event that sparked a continued issue in American culture. In her absolutely standout poetry collection, Kelly Forsythe uses the post-Columbine world to show the changes in both the youth from that moment forward and her and understanding of herself as a young girl. This collection is incredibly moving, and Forsythe writes about the tenderness of youth, growing up, and how we become aware of grief and loss at a young age.


Call Them by Their True Names: American Crises (and Essays) Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781608469468
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Haymarket Books - September 4th, 2018

In this collection of Essays, Solnit chooses to focus on the “wars” in our country, within our communities, and in our own homes. She calls the injustices within our society such as our current politicians, police shootings, gentrification, gun violence, among other issues and calls them by their true names, leaving nothing sugar coated but breaking issues down to the core of what they really are and how they look and effect us. This is a cliche to say, but it’s a powerful and thought provoking collection.


The Reckonings: Essays Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781501159008
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - October 9th, 2018

Where do I even begin! I have highlighted and written all over my copy of THE RECKONINGS and continue to reread chapters months after finishing the collection of essays. It’s a fantastic continuation or introduction to Johnson’s works concerning the subject of her own sexual assault which she writes about in her memoir THE OTHER SIDE. Through the twelve essays Johnson draws from art, history, philosophy, mythology and many other subjects to discuss our current era of sexual assault, harassment, police brutality, school shootings, and issues with incarceration. This collection focuses on what is wrong and how we should try to fix where society has fallen short. Johnson does not suggest pointing the finger or demanding vengeance, rather embracing honesty and the acknowledgement of all people and the pain they have experienced at the hands of others, society, and the law. An overarching theme of this collection is hope and finding hope even and grabbing on even when it seems impossible…this has been and will continue to be my mantra.


After the Winter Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781566895255
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Coffee House Press - September 4th, 2018

AFTER THE WINTER is by far one of the best books I’ve read this year! I think about it constantly, and I always recommend it! It’s a love story that’s not a traditional love story, but a book about characters. Except this story’s characters are not just the people, but also the cities and locations like Paris, New York, and a cemetery. If you are anything like me, you love deep characters and the places and people that develop the person you become through love, death, and making huge moves to pursue the life you dream for yourself. This is one of those timeless books you will revisit yearly. It has the qualities of becoming a classic like Pride and Prejudice, but a lot less tea in the parlor.


$17.00
SKU: 848404078405

It’s a puppy pouch…enough said! A great canvas bag that can be used as a pencil case, makeup pouch, or a clutch!


$19.95
SKU: 4004117394157

My personal favorite journal. This journal goes everywhere with me, I bullet journal in this, draw, write, and fill it with daily thoughts and ideas. I love the bright color of this journal and it’s simple design and perfect size to carry everywhere.


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