Good Reads

Revamp: A Memoir of Travel and Obsessive Renovation

Pamela Reynolds

When a big-city journalist quits her dream job to move to a remote Italian island for love, she discovers a whole new life beyond the romantic fantasies of Italy spun by books and movies. Struggling to adapt to a different culture, she buys a quirky house in the Sardinian countryside, goes to art school and becomes obsessed with home improvement and renovation. Ultimately, her ex-pat adventure opens her world to making and embracing art in life and home, understanding, ultimately that home is where the “art” is.

Song of Saigon

Anh Vu Sawyer

In the spring of 1975, as war spread across South Vietnam and her country stood on the brink of collapse, Anh Vu, a young medical student, faced the most terrifying ordeal of her life. Her only hope was to pray for the seemingly impossible: escape.

Shoot What You Love: Tips and Tales from a Working Photographer

Henry Horenstein

The best professional advice Henry Horenstein ever received was to “shoot what you love.” He’s been doing that for more than four decades, capturing photographs that often richly evoke older cultures and places, especially ones that are disappearing: country musicians in Branson, horse racing at Saratoga Springs, nightlife in Buenos Aires, fais do-dos in Cajun Louisiana, old highways everywhere.

Fabulous Fiction

Black Moon: A Novel

Kenneth Calhoun

A hallucinatory and stunning debut that Charles Yu calls “Gripping and expertly constructed.”

Insomnia has claimed everyone Biggs knows.  Even his beloved wife, Carolyn, has succumbed to the telltale red-rimmed eyes, slurred speech and cloudy mind before disappearing into the quickly collapsing world.  Yet Biggs can still sleep, and dream, so he sets out to find her.

Love Hotel

Jane Unrue

A novel about a mysterious love triangle and the almost mythological power―and potentially lethal danger―of eros.

Working on behalf of a cunning and mysterious couple, a woman embarks on a haunting search for a stranger (a child? somebody’s lover? a ghost?) and undertakes a perplexing, dangerous, deeply layered, and apparently timeless journey originating on a secluded country estate and leading deep into the erotic center of a transient location in the city. 

The House

Jane Unrue

Jane Unrue’s extraordinary prose unfolds within the confines of a mythological house: I used to walk when the moonlight was just enough to make the metallic structural elements (the rest of the house as if missing) appear to be coming at me from all sides. ‘I know those door frames and window frames are not really coming at me,’ I remember saying, ‘but it sure does look as if they are.’ In restless, suspended sentences that seem to push closure beyond the horizon, a woman wanders from room to room or ventures outside.

Life of a Star

Jane Unrue

An actress of sorts, a woman recalls her childhood, longs for her absent lover, imagines traveling overseas, and wanders through gardens and galleries of art. Hers is a life meticulously lived, a carefully crafted and rehearsed engagement with a real and imagined world; a search for love and meaning that has left her, in the end, alone. Unrue’s intricate and intriguing sentences–now one word, now comprising whole paragraphs and interrupting one another–manage to fuse detachment and emotion, heartbreak and humor.

Read & Do

Hot Connections Jewelry: The Complete Sourcebook of Soldering Techniques

Jennifer Chin

The art of soldering—permanently joining metal components with a torch and solder—can open up a new world of creative possibilities for jewelry makers.
 
In Hot Connections Jewelry, award-winning jewelry designer Jennifer Chin guides you through every step, from choosing a torch to basic techniques like sawing, filing, and riveting, as well as more advanced techniques like creating surface textures, setting stones, and using inlay.

Black and White Photography: A Basic Manual

Henry Horenstein

A comprehensive instructional book that covers every element of photography. Henry Horenstein’s books have been widely used at leading universities, including Parsons School of Design, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and MIT as well as in continuing education programs. Horenstein is a professor at the Rhode Island School of Design. A real bargain among photographic how-to books.

Digital Photography: A Basic Manual

Henry Horenstein

This thorough, concise, and easy-to-use guide to capturing digital photographs provides an entire step-by-step course for budding digital photographers. All concepts are fully illustrated with sample work by internationally renowned professionals, representing editorial work, photojournalism, and everything in between. Topics covered include essential information for both film and digital photography, such as exposure controls and shutter speed, as well as digital-specific information on image editing, printing methods, and even file storage.

Inspiration

Honky Tonk: Portraits of Country Music

Henry Horenstein

Newly expanded to include work from recent years, Honky Tonk is as evocative and irresistible as the music itself.

Forty years after Henry Horenstein began documenting the country music scene in and around Nashville, his deep love for the music and its people continues. Having spent a lifetime around performers and fans, he has been granted access to both the high-glamour backstage of the Grand Ole Opry in its heyday of the 1970s and the rough-and-tumble dive bars that carry on the tradition today.

Histories: Tales from the 70's

Henry Horenstein

The American photographer is best known for documenting the country-music scene, and this show of black-and-white work from the nineteen-seventies includes pictures from the Grand Ole Opry (notably, a portrait of a dewy Dolly Parton). But they re overshadowed by subtler and more probing images, which recall Diane Arbus. A boy in glasses, alone in an audience, looks startled by the camera s attention; by contrast, two women, arm in arm in clashing checks and stripes, beam happily. A masseur stands outside a steam room full of young jockeys like a sentry. —The New Yorker

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