Literature

Getting Real

Getting Real is a book about the business, design, programming, and marketing philosophies of 37signals — a developer of web-based software used by over 1 million people and businesses in 70 countries. $25 at 37signals.

Runner’s Rule Book

With more than 100 rules that will help you pick the right shoes and apparel, keep up with the latest running lingo, and achieve your running goals while keeping sore ankles, knees, and muscles to a minimum. $13 from Amazon.

DJ History Boys Own Book

The Boy’s Own crew were having so much fun that in six years they only managed to release 12 issues. But these 440 pages depict acid house culture – the slang, the parties, the tunes, the humour – better than anything, as captured in the words of Farley, Mayes, Weatherall, Oakenfold and many more key players. As well as every page of every fanzine there’s a great interview with all the Boys. $30 at Oki Ni. Note: This one’s for you, Ben. It would be for Sam too, but he needs to come say Hi first.

Operating Manual For Spaceship Earth

Operating Manual For Spaceship Earth is a short book by R. Buckminster Fuller, first published in 1969. The book imagines our species as a crew, united by a shared fate, on a tiny spaceship traveling through infinity. The spaceship has a finite amount of resources and cannot be resupplied. It can be read even today as the most intelligent metaphor for thinking about humankind on this planet. Fuller accepted the challenge presented by this metaphor, using his inventions and writings to contribute to the safe operations of Spaceship Earth.

Quote Bookends

Quote Bookends

These bookends are great to showcase your favorite books and a unique way to organize your collection. Available from GSelect for $89.

The Visual Miscellaneum by David McCandless

The Visual Miscellaneum

The Visual Miscellaneum is a unique, groundbreaking look at the modern information age, helping readers make sense of the countless statistics and random facts that constantly bombard us. Using cutting edge graphs, charts, and illustrations, David McCandless creatively visualizes the world’s surprising relationships and compelling data, covering everything from the most pleasurable guilty pleasures to how long it takes different condiments to spoil to world maps of Internet search terms. 320 pages. David’s blog, Information is Beautiful. $18 at Amazon.

The Sartorialist by Scott Schuman

The Sartorialist

Scott Schuman just wanted to take photographs of people on the street who looked great. His now famous blog (‘the bellwether American site that turned photo blogging into an art form’ – “New York Times“) was an attempt to showcase the wonderful and varied sartorial tastes of real people – not only those of the fashion industry. The book is a beautiful anthology of Scott’s favourite shots from around the world. They include photographs of well-known fashion figures as well as those shots of the anonymous passerby whose imagination and taste delight the viewer. From the streets of Rio to Bejing, Stockholm to Milan, these are the people that have inspired Scott and in turn, inspired designers and people of all ages, wages and nationalities with an interest in fashion. Intimately designed and created with Scott, the book is a handsome object in its own right, in full colour on hand-picked, quality paper. Scott’s Blog. $16.50 on Amazon.

Eat.Shop Guides

Eat Shop Guides

Discover a unique vision through these witty, urban city guides that focus on locally owned eating, shopping, and lodging establishments. The numerous distinct businesses are hand-picked by the authors, giving these convenient references a personal feel that can be enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. Explorers will delight in the luscious photographs, easy-to-read maps, and compact size, making them perfect for throwing into a bag and taking on a tour of the town. Only 24 cities available as of yet.. Hopefully Nashville will be soon. Image borrowed from IS. More info at EatShopGuide.com. $11 at Amazon.

Spencerian Penmanship

Spencerian Penmanship

In the mid-1800’s, the Spencerian form of penmanship became a standard. An elegant handwriting was much prized. Today, in our computer age, a fine, beautiful, and legible handwriting brings a warm personal touch to our correspondence. These books, 5 copybooks and a theory book (available separately or as a set), may be used to introduce cursive writing to second or third graders or to improve the handwriting of older students or adults. The 6-book set is only $21 at Amazon.com.

Hideous Absinthe – A History of the Devil in a Bottle By Jad Adams

Hideous Absinthe

Mysteriously sophisticated, darkly alluring, almost Satanic: absinthe was the drink of choice for Baudelaire, Verlaine and Wilde. It inspired paintings by Degas and Manet, van Gogh and Picasso. It was blamed for conditions ranging from sterility to madness, to French defeats in World War I. The campaign against “the devil in a bottle” resulted in its ban throughout most of Europe. Its reputation for toxicity eventually extinguished the fin-de-siècle’s infatuation with absinthe, but not before it had influenced generations of artists on both sides of the channel. This book is a biography of “the green fairy”: from its place in the lives of writers and artists who were inspired–and ruined–by it, to its more recent rediscovery by Ernest Hemingway and today’s would-be sophisticates. $14 at Amazon.com.

For a quick history of Absinthe, visit TheGreasySpoon.