Holiday Staff Favorites, 2014



1. CANVAS DETROIT, signed copies available, hardcover, $34.99. Julie Pincus and Nichole Christian combine vibrant full-color photography of the city’s much-buzzed-about art scene with thoughtful narrative that explores the art and artists that are re-creating Detroit.

2. DEATH OF A KING, by Tavis Smiley, signed copies available, hardcover, $27.00. “A gripping, up-close…portrayal of King during the last year of his life…. Succinctly and achingly told.”—Scott Porch, The Daily Beast

3. RESPECT: THE LIFE OF ARETHA FRANKLIN, by David Ritz, hardcover, $30.00. “An honest and genuinely respectful portrait of a true diva by a writer who feels the power of her art.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

4. TENNESSEE WILLIAMS: MAD PILGRIMAGE OF THE FLESH, by John Lahr, hardcover, $39.95. “Offers plenty of backstage anecdotes and high private drama…. But Mr. Lahr, ever the critic, keeps the plays themselves front and center…. The book has already won enthusiastic advance notice…along with blurbs from a kick line of A-list ‘theatricals’ including Helen Mirren, John Guare and Tony Kushner.” –Jennifer Schuessler – New York Times

5. Brothas Be, Yo Like George, Ain’t That Funkin’ Kinda Hard on You?: A Memoir by George Clinton, hardcover, $27.00. “People will come to this book looking for druggy tales and eccentric stories, and they will not be disappointed. However they will also encounter a highly intelligent, visionary man who happens to have an encyclopedic knowledge of pop music from doo wop to hip hop. P-Funk worked because George Clinton knew how to weave all the threads together.” –Nelson George. Tavis Smiley in a recent Interview with Funk Master George Clinton.

6.Gil Scott-Heron: Pieces of a Man by Marcus Baram, hardcover $26.99. “A poignant portrait… of the artist as a black man struggling to make sense of his culture from the 1960s to his death… Baram’s appreciative biography offers a glimpse into the complex feelings and thoughts of this Renaissance man we lost much too soon.” – Publishers Weekly. Read an excerpt from Gil Scott-Heron: Pieces of a Man< in The New York Daily News


1.HENRY & GLENN FOREVER & EVER by Tom Neely and Friends, paperback $17.95.”Whether you love, hate, or have never even heard of Henry Rollins and Glenn Danzig you need to pick this up.” —Armando Olivas,

2.Women in Clothes, paperback $30.“Thoughtfully crafted and visually entertaining, this collection, edited by Heti, Julavits, and Shapton, uses personal reflections from 642 contributors to examine women’s relationship with clothes in a deceptively lighthearted and irreverent tone….it also inspires meaningful questions…the prose is spliced with striking visuals…[a] provocative time capsule of contemporary womanhood.”—Publishers Weekly

“The kind of openness they practice and encourage is instructive; it is also, in its way, political. It gives other women permission to improvise, to show their mistakes, to share information. Pushing against the prevailing rules that have governed women’s self-presentation for thousands of years, they say: Be voluble, grandiose, experimental, wild. Be imperfect.
New York Times book review

3. Popular Skullture, hardcover, $19.99. Never before has a book addressed the skull as a cover motif during the Golden Age of American publishing. Countless skull-themed comic book, pulp, and paperback covers appeared from the 1930s through the mid-50s. Popular Skullture assembles over 160 of the creepiest, oddest, and downright weirdest skull covers, edited and designed by award-winning art director Monte Beauchamp–with an introduction by graphic design luminary Steven Heller.

4.THE ANDY COHEN DIARIES: A Deep Look at a Shallow Year. “The funniest thing I’ve done all year is read Andy Cohen’s Diaries. He has more genuinely funny and surprising encounters with celebrities and sublebrities in a day than I do all year…. Then my name popped up. Now I just want to sue him.” —Anderson Cooper

5. CARSICK: John Waters Hitchhikes Across America. “In this, the seventh of his books, John Waters—the evil genuis of Baltimore, the living, breathing embodiment of camp, the man with the bristling pencil-thin mustache and vocabulary that would make a drill sargeant blush—betrays his deepest and darkest secret. In these pages the apostle of outrage—the actor, writer and director whose contributions to cinematic glory include “Pink Flamingos,” “Mondo Trasho,” and Hairspray”—reveals himself to be a . . . sentimentalis . . . underlying it all is a highly developed sense of fun, a desire to amuse more than to shock . . . Waters has made a funny engaging and—of course—occasionally outrageous book . . . All in all a cool trip and a delightful book.” —Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post


1. WHISTLER: A Life For Art’s Sake by Daniel E. Sutherland, hardcover $40.00. “[Sutherland] seeks to get behind the public Whistler . . . never judging or condescending to his subject . . . The portrait of Whistler that emerges is complex and mysterious . . . a measured and scholarly account of an extraordinary life.”—Ruth Scurr, Wall Street Journal

2. THE HIDDEN WORLD by Jim Shaw, hardcover, $40.00. Graphics and propaganda from secret societies, bizarre orders and fraternities, evangelical and fundamentalist movements, new-age spiritualists, Scientologists, Mormons, Freemasons, ultraconservatives and all kinds of conspirators; encyclopedias for children and even Dr. Netter’s famous medical illustrations-with The Hidden World, Los Angeles-based artist Jim Shaw (born 1952) exhibits the incredible collection of didactic graphic art that is the main source of inspiration for his diversely informed art.

3. Bill Rauhauser: Eminent Artist. Kresge Foundation paperback (FREE! by request in-store). The 94-page monograph recounts Rauhauser’s work as a photographer and includes scores of his pictures, including a number of genres in addition to the street photography for which he is best known. “Photography cuts out the static and distractions to show us a person, a place, a slice of a community or society in revealing ways, and Bill is a master,” says Rip Rapson, Kresge’s president and CEO. “His street photography provides a rich record of the people, times and culture of Detroit. It’s a remarkable body of work. And Bill’s three-plus decades as a teacher have allowed him to share his craft and his passion with many, many others.” The book is also available as a free download at: Bill Rauhauser: Eminent Artist

4. BILLY NAME: The Silver Age, hardcover, $95. This is the definitive and comprehensive collection of Billy Name’s black and white photographs from Warhol’s Factory. Billy’s photographs from this period (1964-68) are one of the most important photographic documents of any single artist in history. This visual essay, produced in collaboration with Billy, features a foreword by John Cale. It also includes an introduction by Glenn O’Brien and contributions from Factory alumnae including Gerard Malanga, Viva, Allen Midgette, Brigid Berlin and more. It offers an extensive trip through Warhol’s world. Billy photographed the day-to-day happenings at the Factory, including visits from Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground, Nico, Edie Sedgwick, Ivy Nicholson and Bob Dylan; filming Screen Tests and features like Chelsea Girls, Vinyl and My Hustler. Featuring over 400 of Billy’s black and white photographs, this volume is not to be missed. Milk Made’s recent Interview with Billy Name.

5. The Puppet and the Modern by Marie Jirásková, Pavel Jirásek, hardcover, Czech puppetry between 1900 and 1950 was an integral part of modernist and contemporary theatre and animation. The book examines the manufacturing of puppets, stage design and technologies, and focuses on the connections of artists from various disciplines and styles to the development of avant-garde and modernist currents in twentieth-century art. The book includes 750 photographs of puppets and unique archival images of performances, sets, posters, periodicals and illustrations.

6.Longing for the Past: The 78 rpm Era in Southeast Asia, slipcased. $57.50 Longing for the Past is the first survey of the 78 rpm record era in Southeast Asia. It is a kaleidoscopic collection featuring 4 CDs with 90 tracks of music spanning six decades (1905-1966), accompanied by a 272-page book with essays and annotations by leading ethnomusicologists that is richly illustrated with more than 250 vintage photographs, record labels, and sleeves. Hear a selection of tracks at dust-to-digital/

7. THE GEORGE KUCHAR READER, paperback, $27.50 “Kuchar was a glamorizer in the spirit if not the style of Hollywood who understood that cheap tricks could spellbind just as potently as big budget ones, but with far greater privilege. Writing for Film Culture in 1964, he articulated the virtues of making films “underground”:” The New American cinema has helped us by opening up new windows that we can jump out of, thereby plummeting into the depths of a new freedom. But if we are to protect ourselves from splashing into the pavement of indecency, we must have something to say. And I have this to say: Strip me naked you immoral world of vice and pleasure and I’ll show you the lilly [sic] white flesh of truth!” —Los Angeles Review of Books

8. COSMIGRAPHICS by Michael Benson, hardcover $50. “… a pictorial catalog of our quest to order the cosmos and grasp our place in it, a sensemaking process defined by what Benson aptly calls our “gradually dawning, forever incomplete situational awareness.” From glorious paintings of the creation myth predating William Blake’s work by centuries to the pioneering galaxy drawing that inspired Van Gogh’s Starry Night to NASA’s maps of the Apollo 11 landing site, the images remind us that the cosmos — like Whitman, like ourselves — is vast and contains multitudes. This masterwork of scholarship also attests, ever so gently, ever so powerfully, to the value of the “ungoogleable” — a considerable portion of Benson’s bewitching images comes from the vaults of the world’s great science libraries and archives, bringing to light a wealth of previously unseen treasures. —Branpickings

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