Paint like a girl! – Art, History and Feminism

Madam & Eve book cover

As the world marches to the chant of “Girl Power!” and we bear witness to #MeToo, and as here in New Zealand we celebrate 125 years of Suffrage, we are observing a resurgence of feminism and watching as the waves of change filter across our perceptions, society and history. The world of art; ever the medium of visionaries, rebels, leaders and forward thinkers, has a hidden history that is fervently female. In this month’s recent picks, we invite you to open your minds and look at art through the eyes of feminism and equality. From fresh looks at art history, to records of important social movements, from local pioneers such as Elizabeth Lissaman, to looking at how women represent each other through art. Explore this special collection of new books that reflects these times and our changing perceptions.

Madam & Eve : women portraying women / Rideal, Liz
“How do women paint or photograph each other? How do they represent each other in performance or sculpture? Explore the female gaze as it focuses on other women, as an artist and a curator investigate the work of over 200 artists.  The result is an amazing parade of artworks: eye-catching, poignant, powerful, political, idiosyncratic, playful, awkward, passionate, sexy and positive. It is also an eloquent examination of the impact that the feminist movement has had on contemporary art.” (Catalogue)

Art unfolded : a history of art in four colours / Street, Ben
“Trace the history of art through 48 paintings and four colors. Blue: the color of the beyond and the divine. Red: the color of blood, purity and sensuality. Green: the color of new life, but also of sickness and death. Gold: the color of wealth, attributed to the things we value most. These four colors tell the history of art in a way that few other details can and  grant us access to fascinating stories, both of individual works of art and the world in which they were created.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

A mouth is always muzzled : six dissidents, five continents, and the art of resistance / Hopkinson, Natalie
“As people consider how to respond to a resurgence of racist, xenophobic populism, A Mouth Is Always Muzzled tells an extraordinary story of the ways art brings hope in perilous times. Weaving disparate topics from sugar and British colonialism to attacks on free speech and Facebook activism and traveling a jagged path across the Americas, Africa, India, and Europe, Hopkinson, argues that art is where the future is negotiated.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

A big important art book (now with women): profiles of unstoppable female artists–and projects to help you become one /Krysa, Danielle
“Walk into a museum, or open an art book, and you’ll probably be left wondering: where are all the women artists? This book offers an exciting alternative to this male-dominated art world, showcasing the work of contemporary women artists alongside creative prompts that will bring out the artist in anyone.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

Ninth Street women : Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler : five painters and the movement that changed modern art / Gabriel, Mary
“Set amid the most turbulent social and political period of modern times, Ninth Street Women is the impassioned, wild, sometimes tragic, always exhilarating chronicle of five women who dared to enter the male-dominated world of twentieth-century abstract painting–not as muses but as artists.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

Significant others : creativity & intimate partnership
“Biographies of artists and writers have traditionally presented an individual’s lone struggle for self-expression. In this book, critics and historians challenge these assumptions in a series of essays that focus on artist and writer couples who have shared sexual and artistic bonds. Featuring duos such as Auguste Rodin and Camille Claudel, Sonia and Robert Delaunay, Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, and Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg.” (Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverForms of enchantment : writings on art & artists / Marina Warner.
“Here, Warner captures the visual experience of the work of a diverse group of artists, with a notable focus on the inner lives of women, through an exploration of the range of stories and symbols to which they allude in their work. With illustrations of the works being described, Marina Warner’s writing unites the imagination of artist, writer, and reader, creating a reading experience that parallels the intrinsic pleasure of looking at art.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

Reading art : art for book lovers / Trigg, David
“As every book tells a story, every book in art is part of an intriguing, engaging, and relatable image. Books are depicted as indicators of intellect in portraits, as symbols of piety in religious paintings, as subjects in still lifes, and as the raw material for contemporary installations. Reading Art spotlights artworks from museums and collections around the globe, creating a gorgeous, inspiring homage to both the written word and to its pivotal role in the visual world.” (Syndetics Summary)

All too human : Bacon, Freud and a century of painting life
“A new account of one of the most distinctive and fascinating chapters of modern British art: how artists have used painting to record their personal, sensuous and often intense experiences of life. Spanning a century, this history encompasses a diverse but related group of painters, who focused on the depiction of the human figure and the everyday landscape they inhabited. Despite their differences, they all shared a similarly intense and scrutinizing gaze, and remained loyal to their pursuit of intimate and powerful representations of reality.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

Syndetics book coverElizabeth Lissaman : New Zealand’s Pioneer Studio Potter
“Tracing the life and work of Elizabeth Lissaman OBE (1901-1991), Marlborough-born, Lissaman potted continuously for almost 70 years until 1990, spanning much of New Zealand’s twentieth-century studio pottery movement. This volume is illustrated with over 100 pieces of Lissaman’s pottery, selected from leading private and public collections, such as those from the Marlborough Museum who aim to ensure the legacy of Lissaman and that she may be celebrated as an icon of New Zealand Culture.” (Adapted Back Cover Summary)

Humanity of the Moment – Photography Recent Picks

Hip Hop At The End of the World book cover

“There is one thing the photograph must contain, the humanity of the moment.” — Robert Frank

Explore the humanity of these moments; from the ‘Beat Generation’ to Victorian giants of photographic exploration, go from Ground Zero NYC to life in Venice with Peggy Guggenheim and witness the evolution of Hip Hop through the lens of Brother Ernie. Turn the pages and open a window to another time and place with these latest picks from our new photography books.

Hip-hop at the end of the world : the photography of Ernie Paniccioli / Paniccioli, Ernie
“With more than 250 images of artists including Ice Cube, The Notorious B.I.G., N.W.A, Lauren Hill & TLC, many that have never before been published, this book is set to become the new hip-hop photography bible. With exclusive, behind-the-scenes access, preeminent photographer Brother Ernie captures the last four decades of the evolution of hip-hop, the styles that grew from it, and the artists who shaped it.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

Joel Meyerowitz : where I find myself : a lifetime retrospective / Meyerowitz, Joel
“Organized in inverse chronological order and spanning his whole career to date. This book covers all of Meyerowitz’s great projects: his work inspired by Morandi, the exclusive coverage of Ground Zero, his trips in the footsteps of Robert Frank and of course his iconic street photography. Joel Meyerovitz is incredibly eloquent and candid about how photography works or doesn’t, and this is an inspiration for all interested in photography.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

Destinations
“For the first time, Gourmet Traveller has compiled a collection of its most dazzling travel photography. Visit some of the world’s most beautiful and exotic places through the lenses of the world’s finest photographers. Traverses the globe making stops along the banks of the Yangzi River, on the streets of Cuba and at the grand turquoise minarets of Uzbekistan. Immerse yourself in the architecture, the food and the culture of the places you’ve been to and the ones you long to visit.” (Catalogue)

I see a city : Todd Webb’s New York / Webb, Todd
“A rich portrait of the everyday life and architecture of New York, Webb’s work is clear, direct, focused, layered with light and shadow, and captures the soul of these places shaped by the friction and frisson of humanity. Published on the occasion of the exhibition Todd Webb’s New York at the Museum of the City of New York, this book restores the reputation and legacy of a forgotten American artist.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

Encounters with Peggy Guggenheim / Moses, Stefan
“In Encounters with Peggy Guggenheim, renowned photographer Stefan Moses reveals his collection of photographs of Peggy, taken between 1969 and 1974, many of which have never been seen before. Striking, eccentric, and dramatic, Moses photographed Peggy in her favorite places around Venice, as well as in her private palazzo at Canal Grande. An inspiration for art-, photography- and fashion-lovers alike, take a behind-the-scenes look at of one of the world’s most eccentric and inspirational women.” (Catalogue)

The Beat scene / Glinn, Burt
“Featuring a remarkable collection of largely unseen photographs of the ‘Beat Generation’ by renowned Magnum photographer Burt Glinn, these photographs manage to capture the raw energy of a generation in a way that has never been seen before in print. Shot between 1957 and 1960 in New York and San Francisco, the images feature nearly everyone involved in the scene, including Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, poets like Gregory Corso and William Morris, and many more.” (Adapted Syndetics Review)

Double take : the world’s most iconic photographs meticulously re-created in miniature / Cortis, Jojakim
Double Take presents forty astonishingly accurate reconstructions of iconic photographs–ranging from the earliest known to the world’s most expensive. These images have been painstakingly re-created in miniature by two photographers, Jojakim Cortis and Adrian Sonderegger.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

Victorian giants : the birth of art photography : Julia Margaret Cameron, Lewis Carroll, Clementina Hawarden, Oscar Rejlander / Prodger, Philip
“Bringing together the works of four of the most celebrated figures in art photography, Lewis Carroll (1832-98), Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-79), Oscar Rejlander (1813-75) and Clementina Hawarden (1822-65), these four artists would come to embody the very best in photography of the Victorian era. Featuring striking portraits of sitters such as Charles Darwin, Alice Liddell, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Thomas Carlyle and Lord Tennyson.” (Adapted Syndetics Review)

Latest Looks: November Fashion and Beauty

Leopard book cover

This month we have the exciting and much-awaited memoir by New York’s iconic Bill Cunningham, and it’s such a great read! Other new items include an illustrated style guide and a recipe book for beauty and hair products made from natural ingredients you already have at home. There’s also an up-close look at timeless leopard print – roar!

Fashion climbing / Cunningham, William J
“For Bill Cunningham, New York City was the land of freedom, glamour, and, above all, style. Growing up in a lace-curtain Irish suburb of Boston, secretly trying on his sister’s dresses and spending his evenings after school in the city’s chicest boutiques, Bill dreamed of a life dedicated to fashion. Fashion Climbing is the story of a young man striving to be the person he was born to be: a true original. Written with his infectious joy and one-of-a-kind voice, this memoir was polished, neatly typewritten, and safely stored away in his lifetime. He held off on sharing it–and himself–until his passing. Between these covers, is an education in style, an effervescent tale of a bohemian world as it once was, and a final gift to the readers of one of New York’s great characters.” (adapted from catalogue)

How to dress : secret styling tips from a fashion insider / Fullerton, Alexandra
“The perfect book for anyone who wants to know the secrets to always looking stylish with minimal effort. Alex encourages readers to get to know their style icons alongside streamlining their own style and outlines the central capsule wardrobe which can be edited to suit each individual personal preference. This book will be an indispensable guide to creating your own style and making sure you never look at your wardrobe and think ‘I have nothing to wear’ again.” (adapted from catalogue)

Skin food : natural skin & hair care treatments / Thompson, Sophie
“When it comes to our skin, nature knows how to soothe, smooth, hydrate, refresh, tone and feed us. Sister & Co teaches that you don’t need to spend a fortune on expensive beauty products to feed your skin. All you need is a few ingredients that are available in your local supermarket and the alchemy can begin! Skin Food features 70 nourishing recipes which show you how to make luxurious skincare products from scratch, so you can fill those beautiful glass pots sitting in your bathroom with incredible scrubs, butters and salts.” (adapted from catalogue)

Betak : fashion show revolution.
“The New York Times describes Alexandre de Betak as ‘the Fellini of fashion and the Cecil B. DeMille of the runways’. For 25 years, Betak has produced many of the fashion world’s most memorable shows and events for brands as diverse as Dior and Victoria’s Secret. This stunning, lavishly produced volume celebrates his career via set and show photography, as well as hundreds of unpublished behind-the-scenes images. Structured thematically to bring readers inside Betak’s creative process, the book provides unrivalled insight into how fashion becomes art as well as commerce.” (Catalogue)

Leopard : Fashion’s Most Powerful Print / Alexander, Hilary
“Explore the enduring appeal of fashion’s most powerful print in the definitive collection of all things leopard. From the catwalk to covers, Saint Laurent to Celine, rock stars to First Ladies, Leopard includes the most iconic and arresting images of leopard print. With a foreword by the biggest advocate of the print, Donatella Versace, Leopard is a must-have for leopard print aficionados and a valuable resource for fashion designers and stylists.” (Catalogue)

Gilessølvekatie / Sundsbø, Sølve
“Giles Deacon specializes in modern couture and dressing the industry’s top players. Before setting up his own label, GILES, in 2004, Deacon was head of design at Bottega Veneta and Gucci. Katie Grand is one of the world’s most influential stylists and fashion editors. Solve Sundsbo is a fashion photographer and filmmaker, respected for his otherworldly concepts and stylistic versatility.” (Catalogue)

People of Faith: Recent Beliefs Picks

This latest edition features biographies on seekers, to well seasoned spiritual believers. Some life experiences have raised deep questions whilst others have strengthened their commitment.

The spiritual Mandela : faith and religion in the life of Nelson Mandela, by Dennis Cruywagen.
“In the first book of its kind, an acclaimed South African journalist and former parliamentary spokesperson for the ANC shares how Nelson Mandela balanced his Christian faith with his political views, exploring how the beloved leader reconciled his own beliefs with the hard truth that religion had often been used as a tool to oppress his people.” (Catalogue)

Born with wings : the spiritual journey of a modern Muslim woman, by Daisy Khan.
“Khan details her faith journey, beginning with the strong guidance of her supportive family in her native Kashmir, where religious practices were deeply felt. But after she moves to the U.S., questions and doubts began to surface for Khan. Finding Sufism renewed her and served as a starting point for her activism. Khan’s extensive research on her faith led to one of her core beliefs: that, despite perceptions to the contrary, Islam elevates the status of women. Today, she is the executive director of the Women’s Islamic Initiative for Spirituality and Equality… A thought-provoking read.” (Booklist, courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverWhy I am a Hindu, by Shashi Tharoor.
“Opening with a frank and touching reflection on his personal beliefs, he lays out Hinduism’s origins and its key philosophical concepts…. Tharoor is unsparing in his criticism of extremism and unequivocal in his belief that what makes India a distinctive nation with a unique culture will be imperilled if Hindu ‘fundamentalists’, the proponents of ‘Hindutva’, or politicised Hinduism, seize the high ground. … Written in Tharoor’s captivating prose, [this] is a revelatory and original contribution to our understanding of religion in the modern era.” (drawn from the Syndetics summary)

Paul : a biography, by N.T. Wright.
The details of Paul’s life are scant at best, and while Wright presents plenty of historical background material, he bases much of his insights on the picture revealed by Paul’s writings. In this very readable account, Wright is careful to acknowledge that his thoughts are calculated probabilities, but speculations none the less, as he tries to understand the man most responsible for spreading Christianity across the Gentile world.

Stalking God : my unorthodox search for something to believe in, by Anjali Kumar.
“Anjali Kumar, a pragmatic lawyer for Google, was part of a rapidly growing population in America: highly spiritual but religiously uncommitted. But when her daughter was born, she became compelled to find God – or at least some kind of enlightenment. Convinced that traditional religions were not a fit for her, and knowing that she couldn’t simply Google an answer to ‘What is the meaning of life?’ Kumar set out on a spiritual pilgrimage, looking for answers… Narrated from the open-minded perspective of a spiritual seeker rather than a religious scholar, Kumar offers an honest account of some of the less than mainstream spiritual practices that are followed by millions of people in the world today. Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

Shunned : how I lost my religion and found myself, by Linda A Curtis.
“Linda Curtis was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness and is an unquestioning true believer who has knocked on doors from the time she was nine years old… Then one day, at age thirty-three, she knocks on a door – and a coworker she deeply respects answers the door. To their mutual consternation she launches into her usual spiel, but this time, for the first time ever, the message sounds hollow. Curtis tries hard to overcome the doubts that spring from that doorstep encounter, …but ultimately, unable to reconcile her incredulity, she leaves her religion and divorces her Witness husband – a choice for which she is shunned by the entire community, including all members of her immediate family. Shunned follows Linda as she steps into a world she was taught to fear and discovers what is possible when we stay true to our hearts, even when it means disappointing those we love.” (Catalogue)

An explorer’s guide to Julian of Norwich, by Veronica Rolf.
Medieval scholar Rolf introduces us to Christian theologian and mystic Julian of Norwich as the first woman to write a book (let alone a spiritual autobiography) in the English language. Julian was probably a member of the merchant class, rather than a nun which is commonly assumed. Rolf places Julian in her social context as she prays alongside the Hundred Years’ War, and the Great Plague’s destruction of one-third of human life.

Holy rover : journeys in search of mystery, miracles and God, by Lori Erickson.
Erickson travels the world as a writer specializing in holy sites – journeys that led her on an ever-deepening spiritual quest. Her pilgrimages have taken her to several continents : Martin Luther sites in Germany, Machu Picchu in Peru, Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts, and The Temple of Artemis and House of the Virgin Mary in Ephesus, Turkey to name a few.

Streetwear, style guides and skin care: New fashion and beauty

Tokyo Street Style

Travel the world with June’s new streetwear and style guides, focusing on Japan, France, Australia and beyond! And treat your skin with June’s new beauty books, which include recipes for homemade skincare and a skincare guide by Dr Anjali Mahto.

Syndetics book coverTokyo street style / by Yoko Yagi ; photography by Tohru Yuasa.
“In Tokyo Street Style, fashion writer Yoko Yagi explores influential trends, covering an eclectic range of styles from kawaii cute to genderless looks, while designers, editors, models, stylists, and other important personalities in the Tokyo fashion scene share their individual approaches to style in interviews. Moving from a glimpse of the outrageous fashion found on the streets of Harajuku to everyday-chic work and weekend attire, this comprehensive guide offers a lively overview of an extraordinary urban culture with a rich collection of inspirational photographs and practical guidance for cultivating Tokyo style, no matter where you live.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDress like a Parisian / Aloïs Guinut ; illustrator, Judith van den Hoek.
Dress Like a Parisian is a wise and witty guide to finding your personal style, taking inspiration from how real Parisian women dress. With personal stylist and fashion blogger Aloïs Guinut as your guide, you can explore which colors, shapes and styles work best for you, whatever the occasion. Aloïs reveals Parisian style secrets, rejects restrictive fashion rules and shares her favorite shops and brands, demonstrating how you can use fashion to enhance your personality rather than shaping your personality to fashion. In the words of the patron saint of Parisian women, Yves St. Laurent, ‘fashions fade, style is eternal.'” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFashion : the essential visual guide to the world of style / Karen Homer.
“Revealing the fashion industry as never before, this beautiful book contains a wealth of invaluable information every fashionista should know. Written by fashion insider and bestselling author Karen Homer, and featuring stunning original illustrations, this stylish visual guide tells the stories behind trends such as the most iconic fabrics and prints, glasses as the ultimate fashion accessory, the ubiquitous Little Black Dress, and the rise of the metrosexual. Plus shining the spotlight on key fashion figures, such as Audrey Hepburn, Victoria Beckham, and Kate Moss.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRomance Was Born / Anna Plunkett & Luke Sales ; with Georgina Safe.
“The sumptuously illustrated story of one of the most successful Australian fashion houses of the last 15 years. Romance Was Born collections are lavish, larger than life, iconic and iconoclastic, and this gorgeous book is a celebration of this unique Australian vision, created by two young designers who declined an internship with Galliano at Dior to ‘do their own thing’.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverButterfly on a pin : a memoir of love, loss and reinvention / Alannah Hill.
“Unflinching, funny, shocking, inspiring and tender: this is a story like no other. Alannah Hill, one of Australia’s most successful fashion designers, created an international fashion brand that defied trends with ornamental, sophisticated elegance, beads, bows and vintage florals. This extraordinary book is the fierce and intelligent account of how a freckle-faced teenage runaway metamorphosed into a trailblazer and true original.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThis is not fashion : streetwear past, present and future / King Adz, Wilma Stone.
“Streetwear recounts the remarkable history of how subcultural fashion trends have grown into a multi-billion-dollar global industry taking both high-end and fast fashion by storm. The intent behind streetwear remains the same: a powerful sense of identity and belonging.With more than 500 photographs and illustrations, exclusive interviews, profiles of industry pioneers, spotlights on significant brands, and snapshots of key cities, this is the complete history of fashion’s fastest- growing and most influential trend.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFresh & pure : organically crafted beauty balms & cleansers / Jules Aron.
“Tired of wondering exactly what went into her beauty products, holistic health and wellness coach Jules Aron decided to make her own. In Fresh & Pure, Aron explains how to use fruit, flowers, herbs, and minerals to craft healthy beauty products that promote radiant skin, strong nails, and shiny hair. With this helpful guide, readers will be able to pamper themselves from head to toe with aromatic, forward-thinking potions like charcoal soap, strawberry rose facial mist, pineapple sunflower body scrub, and aloe and avocado hair conditioner.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe skincare bible : your no-nonsense guide to great skin / Dr Anjali Mahto.
“Dr Mahto cuts through all the nonsense that we read online or in magazines. She gives us honest expert advice on a variety of skin issues and how best to look after our skin. From morning and night-time routines, to dealing common skin complaints such as acne, rosacea and pigmentation, to how stress, pollution and diet impact your skin and how to look after you skin at any age, Dr Mahto provides you with your complete guide to having radiant, healthy skin for the rest of your life.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

New home, garden and DIY picks

Design By Nature

This month’s home, garden and DIY blog features  upcycling for gardens, decorating stylish homes and even building solar powered robots at home.

Syndetics book coverHome sweet maison : the French art of making a home / Danielle Postel-Vinay.
“How do the French create the elusive and alluring sanctuaries they call home? This question long intrigued Danielle Postel-Vinay. Thanks to a chance encounter with a French expat in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and years of immersive research, she embarked on a quest to discover the secrets of the French home aesthetic. Experiencing first-hand la belle vie–the beautiful life–Postel-Vinay now shows everyone how to create their own French sanctuary, a home sweet maison, no matter where they live.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverUpcycling outdoors / Max McMurdo ; photography by Brent Darby.
“Following the success of his first book Upcycling, Max has turned his thoughts to the outdoors with this truly inspirational collection of inventive projects, each built from recycled materials and unwanted ‘spare parts’. Whether you want to create a firepit from bicycle wheels, an outdoor plant display from a painted dressing table, or fashion a potting shed from three vintage doors, Max provides invaluable know-how on the tools, techniques and materials required to take you on an outdoor creative journey.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Anatomy Of Treehouses: New Buildings From An Old Tradition
“This beautiful book shows how the treehouse can be many things: from simple structures based on centuries-old woodworking skills to modern geodesic forms strung high up above the treeline. There is something magical about treehouses – whatever your age. There are treehouses with wood-burning stoves, some with copper baths and some with elevated linking walkways obscured by the canopy of trees above. The book offers both visual inspiration, but also the human stories behind the creation and design of these treehouses.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDesign by nature : creating layered, lived-in spaces inspired by the natural world / Erica Tanov ; photographs by Ngoc Minh Ngo.
“Inspired by nature’s colors, textures, and patterns, design icon Erica Tanov uses her passion for textiles to create beautiful, timeless interiors that connect us to the natural world. Now, in her first book, Design by Nature, Tanov teaches you how to train your eye to the beauty of the natural world, and then bring the outdoors in–incorporating patterns and motifs from nature, as well as actual organic elements, into simple ideas for everyday decorating and design.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNew order : a decluttering handbook for creative folks (and everyone else) / Fay Wolf ; illustrated by Jeremy Gates.
“Can a decluttered space fuel a creative mind? Heck yes, says organizing expert Fay Wolf, who has helped everyone from Hollywood celebrities to schoolteachers to work-from-home parents achieve a simpler, more fulfilling life. Here, Wolf outlines her basic rules for saying goodbye to the stuff crowding up your space and hello to new habits that free you up for the things you’re passionate about. And it can all be done in as little as a few minutes a day.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe new seed-starters handbook / Nancy Bubel with Jean Nick.
“An easy-to-use reference that gives readers the most up-to-date information on how to start seeds successfully and grow their favorite plants from year to year. Step-by-step guides to starting plants from seed, which allows for earlier harvests, greater variety, and healthier seedlings. It also presents an encyclopedia of more than 200 plants–including vegetables and fruits, garden flowers, wildflowers, herbs, trees, and shrubs–with details on how to start each from seed.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHome robotics : maker-inspired projects for building your own robots / Daniel Knox.
“Relying on common, easily-sourced components, an illustrated guide for both beginner and intermediate robotics enthusiasts offers step-by-step instructions to design and build their very own robot beginning with a simple cardboard creation to a robot powered by solar energy.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCraeft : how traditional crafts are about more than just making / Alexander Langlands.
“In a period of meaningless mass manufacturing, our growing appetite for hand-made objects, artisan food, and craft beverages reveals our deep cravings for tradition and quality. But there was a time when craft meant something very different; the Old English word craeft possessed an almost indefinable sense of knowledge, wisdom, and power. In this fascinating book, historian and popular broadcaster Alex Langlands goes in search of the mysterious lost meaning of craeft.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFrom Fibre to Fabric: The Ultimate Guide to Soft Furnishings [hardback]
“This ultimate reference book for everyone involved in interior designer presents the technical knowledge needed to make the right choices. It covers the variety of fabrics available, how fibres are turned into fabrics, and how they are used in the home. The photography will inspire and delight.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTruly Nordic : Nordic craftsmanship, branding campaigns and design.
“Nordic design exhibits a philosophy that’s characterised by efficiency, clean lines and a simple and cheerful palette. History and culture have been the fundamental premise of their aesthetic approach, imbued with a respectful attitude towards nature visible in their material choices and graphic expressions. With a notion to examines creative works by regional influences, Truly Nordic explores contemporary design emerging from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The book spans cutting-edge projects from brand identities to set designs and everything in between.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNew minimalism : decluttering and design for sustainable, intentional living / Cary Telander Fortin + Kyle Louise Quilici ; photography by Kelly Ishikawa.
“This book promises an opportunity for self-reflection and lasting change, by getting to the bottom of why we’ve accumulated too much stuff in the first place, therefore allowing us to transform our lives. Professional decluttering and design team Cary and Kyle of New Minimalism will take you through every step, from assessing your emotional relationship to your stuff to decluttering your home to then turning it into a beautifully designed space that feels clean and tidy without feeling sparse or prescriptive.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe sewing book / Alison Smith.
“250 step-by-step techniques will guide you whether you are sewing clothes, making soft furnishings, or doing alterations. Master hand and machine sewing with close-up photographs and clear instructions to demystify even the trickiest techniques, and choose from 15 stylish projects to practise your sewing skills. Every project is brand new for this updated edition of the ultimate sewing bible, with 5 new sewing techniques now added. With in-depth coverage of sewing tools, techniques, and fabric, this is the ultimate sewing resource for beginners, students, and seasoned stitchers alike.” (Syndetics summary)

Keep Calm and Carry On: New art books

Bomberg

In our most recent art picks we invite you to “keep calm and carry on” appreciating art. Whether your interests lie in 20th century artists such as David Bomberg and Mark Dion, instructional books, recounts of the influences of art or evolutionary tales of Manga through comics, cartoons and animation, or a WW2 slogan, we have quite the selection for you.

Book Jacket for: Keep calm and carry on : the truth behind the posterKeep calm and carry on : the truth behind the poster / Lewis, Bex
“‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ has become one of the most recognizable slogans of the twenty-first century. But where is it from and why has it resonated so strongly with the modern British public? This book reveals the truth behind the now infamous poster, tracing its origins to the Second World War, when it was created to allay public panic in the event of a German invasion. Later seized upon as an encouragement in the economic crisis, ‘Keep Calm’ went on to become arguably the most successful meme in history.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Book Jacket for: Draw your weaponsDraw your weapons / Sentilles, Sarah
“A literary collage with hope at its core, Sentilles tells the true stories of Howard, a conscientious objector during World War II, and Miles, a former prison guard at Abu Ghraib, and in the process she challenges conventional thinking about how war is waged, witnessed, and resisted. The pacifist and the soldier both create art in response to war. Asking questions such as, what impact can one person have? And how should we respond to violence when it feels like it can’t be stopped?” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Book Jacket for: BombergBomberg / MacDougall, Sarah
“This monograph on the influential 20th-century British artist David Bomberg (1890-1957) accompanies a major new exhibition curated by the authors. A comprehensive account, providing an informed and accessible overview of Bomberg’s career and achievements, combining a biographical narrative with an analytical and interpretative approach. Including new material relating to Bomberg’s Jewish background and sumptuous illustrations.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Book Jacket for: Mangasia : the definitive guide to Asian comicsMangasia : the definitive guide to Asian comics / Gravett, Paul
“An exhaustive and visually engaging account, Mangasia charts the evolution of manga from its roots in late nineteenth-century Japan through the many and varied forms of comics, cartoons and animation created throughout Asia for more than one hundred years. With infographics, maps, timelines, and reproductions from all across Asia, this book is the first to explain the significance of key themes, the meanings of embodied myths and the connections between various manga traditions.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Book Jacket for: In celebration of Cecil Collins : visionary artist and educatorIn celebration of Cecil Collins : visionary artist and educator
“Cecil Collins is arguably one of the greatest English visionary artists since Blake and Palmer. With emblematic figures such as the Fool, and the Sibyl in extraordinary landscapes, Collins portrayed an original and inspiring philosophy of life. Recognized as belonging to the Neo-Romantic movement of poetical art, his dedication to depicting his mystic understanding made his work highly distinctive.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Book Jacket for: Mark Dion : misadventures of a 21st-century naturalistMark Dion : misadventures of a 21st-century naturalist / Erickson, Ruth
“Part of a generation of artists expanding institutional critique in the 1990s, Dion adopted the methods of the archaeologist or the natural history museum, juxtaposing natural objects, taxidermy, books, and more to reorganize the natural and the manmade in poetic, witty ways. Generously illustrated, this publication introduces new insights and features more than seventy-five artworks.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Book Jacket for: Ann Blockley's watercolour workshop : projects and interpretations.Ann Blockley’s watercolour workshop : projects and interpretations./ Blockley, A 
“Artist Ann Blockley is renowned for her innovative approach to watercolour painting. Her highly anticipated new book provides a series of workshops demonstrating how to push the boundaries of watercolour, using key techniques to develop your own work and take your paintings to the next level. Her beautiful and inspirational artworks demonstrate how different interpretations of a subject might take an unexpected or unusual direction, and how to make the most of these opportunities.” (Adapted from fishpond.co.nz)

Book Jacket for: Wanted : the search for the modernist murals of E. Mervyn TaylorWanted : the search for the modernist murals of E. Mervyn Taylor
“The detective hunt for some of this country’s most important and beautiful murals. Mervyn Taylor was one of the most celebrated New Zealand artists of the 1930s to 1960s. He was highly connected to modernism and nationalism as it was expressed in the New Zealand art and literature of the period. This fascinating and beautiful book, bursting with archival material, details the detective hunt for his murals and tells the stories of their creation.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Book Jacket for: The art of buying art : how to evaluate and buy art like a professional collectorThe art of buying art : how to evaluate and buy art like a professional collector / Bamberger, Alan S.
“This classic, since its original publication in 1990, has been revised to bring it completely up to date and make it internationally relevant. It now includes information on the internet (researching and buying directly from artists), global art fairs and the contemporary art world. Without a doubt the best and most readily understandable book on how to buy, sell, price, evaluate, appraise and collect artworks for any art buyer, not just collectors no previous knowledge of art or the art business is necessary.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Living the life more fabulous: New fashion and beauty books

1930s Fashion

Our favourites this month include beauty vlogger Tricia Cusden’s beauty and lifestyle guide for older women, a new book on fashion embroidery and a close-up look at the designs of Charles James. For vintage fashion fans we have shiny new volumes on 1920s and 1930s fashion, as well as a glamorous new edition on the American fashion runway. This selection of new fashion and beauty will definitely have you living the life more fabulous!

Syndetics book coverLiving the life more fabulous : beauty, style & empowerment for older women : a handbook / Tricia Cusden.
“We are the first generation to expect to live into advanced old age, so my intention is to show you the very best ways to achieve the goal of a stylish, healthy, happy and satisfying ‘final great adventure.”
At the age of 65 Tricia was fed up of being overlooked by the beauty industry. So she decided to take matters into her own hands by founding Look Fabulous Forever, a make-up company aimed at older women and began a vlog. Living the Life More Fabulous will cover topics from beauty, confidence, health and give advice on how to live an engaged life and keeping an active mind.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAmerican runway : 75 years of fashion and the front row / Booth Moore and the Council of Fashion Designers of America ; foreword by Diane von Furstenberg.
“New York Fashion Week has served many purposes throughout its long history, but it has always remained at the center of the American fashion world. Now, this illustrious history is told as it’s never been told before, in a book packed with designer interviews, backstage ephemera, and exclusive photographs culled from all 75 years of New York Fashion Week. American Runway will bring to life the people, places, and over-the-top runway productions of New York Fashion Week–and will sate the appetites of die-hard fashion fans and casual fashionistas alike.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFashion embroidery : embroidery techniques and inspiration for haute-couture clothing / Jessica Jane Pile.
“Add a unique touch to your clothes with this inspirational guide to couture embroidery and embellishment. Whether you’re interested in adding monogrammed initials to your snuggly bathrobe, stitching a flower on your favorite jacket, or adding sparkling beads to a new dress, this beautifully illustrated book shows you how. It features hand-drawn designs, catwalk photographs, and step-by-step guides, so it’s perfect for beginners looking to personalize their own clothes, as well as more experienced embroiderers who want to apply new techniques to different fabrics.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCharles James, portrait of an unreasonable man : fame, fashion, art / Michèle Gerber Klein.
“Inspired by the discovery of long-overlooked interviews conducted just before his death, this is the first biography of the visionary fashion designer Charles James. This portrait of the life and times of Charles James draws on the glamour of Europe in the 1930s, and the dazzle of New York City from the ’40s through the ’70s as it travels with James from his birth to privilege in England in 1906 and follows his career through his complex and turbulent relationships with exceptional women such as Elsa Schiaparelli and Eleanor Lambert, ending with his penurious death in New York’s fabled Chelsea Hotel. As engrossing as a novel, as dramatic as grand opera, James’s story will provoke, rivet, and inspire.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe beauty of dirty skin : the surprising science of looking and feeling radiant from the inside out / Whitney Bowe, MD.
“Internationally renowned dermatologist and research scientist Dr. Whitney Bowe presents, for the first time, the connection between a healthy gut and radiant, clear skin, with a 21-day program to maximize skin health and beauty. With simple explanations of the science, do-it-yourself practical skincare strategies, and a life-changing 21-day program, The Beauty of Dirty Skin is your roadmap to great skin from the inside out and the outside in.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover1920’s Fashion: The Definitive Sourcebook [paperback]
“Containing page after page of fabulous Art Deco fashions, 1920s Fashion documents comprehensively the seasonal fashion styles of the Twenties. Sumptuously illustrated with over 600 original photographs, drawings, and prints, this title is a must-have reference work for not only students of fashion and vintage collectors, but for all fashionistas. 1920s Fashion focuses on the Art Deco period with its beautiful beaded dresses, cloche hats and strappy shoes as worn by the fashionable flappers and the “bright young things” of the time.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover1930’s Fashion: The Definitive Sourcebook [paperback]
“An essential guide to Thirties fashion, this is a must-have handbook for fashion students as well as anyone interested in fashion or cultural history. Featuring elegant silk tea-dresses, tailored suits and draped furs, 1930s Fashion reveals the incredible elegance of this era’s fashions. Meanwhile, an authoritative introductory essay assesses the major themes within fashion during this period and presents its most notable designers. Giving a unique insight into the glamorous and opulent fashions of this fabulous bygone era, this book is not only a rich source of inspiration but also a significant and long-awaited reappraisal of Thirties fashion.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Ways of looking: Recent beliefs picks

2018’s first beliefs list includes discussions on the latest scientific research on wellbeing and spiritual activities, how NZ has been shaped by church, and a comparison on Buddhism and western psychotherapy.

Syndetics book coverEinstein and the rabbi : searching for the soul, by Naomi Levy.
The great Einstein once wrote to distressed rabbi Robert S. Marcus, a decorated battlefield chaplain in WWII, when his 11 year old son died. Rabbi Levy enters this intense human drama that draws on her own experience when she suddenly felt the spiritual presence of her murdered father beside her, guiding her. This is the story of an inspiring journey of discovery.

Syndetics book coverSeven ways of looking at religion : the major narratives, by Benjamin Schewel.
Schewel organizes and evaluates the main narratives of religious history which have been used by scholars and argues that debates can be viewed according to seven central themes: subtraction, renewal, transsecular, postnaturalist, construct, perennial, and developmental. Examining the basic logic, insights, and limitations of each of these narratives, Schewel offers an original philosophical perspective on religion today.

Syndetics book coverUncomfortable : the awkward and essential challenge of Christian community, by Brett McCracken.
The modern trend of Christians shopping around for a church to fit their needs is under McCracken’s microscope. “What if the biblical approach is actually that we should fit ourselves into the life and mission of the local church, adapting ourselves to the family and filling gaps where needed?” he writes. Each chapter tackles a different topic with suggestions about how to let go of personal preferences in light of Biblical teaching.

Syndetics book coverScience and spiritual practices, by Rupert Sheldrake.
Many recent studies have shown that religious and spiritual practices generally make people happier and healthier. Sheldrake summarizes the latest scientific research on what happens when we take part in these practices – Meditation – Gratitude – Connecting with nature – Relating to plants – Rituals – Singing and chanting – Pilgrimage and holy places. This is a book for anyone who has a sneaking suspicion that in the drive towards all-pervading secularism, something valuable has been left behind.

Syndetics book coverAdvice not given : a guide to getting over yourself, by Mark Epstein.
Epstein reveals how Buddhism and Western psychotherapy, two different traditions that developed in entirely different times, both identify the ego as the limiting factor in our well-being. Our ego claims to have our best interests at heart, but its consuming pursuit for attention, sabotage our true goals and cause suffering. When we release it, we are free.

Syndetics book coverThe rise and fall of Adam and Eve, Stephen Greenblatt.
Drawing on recent archaeological discoveries, Greenblatt compares the powerful Genesis narrative to the ancient Gilgamesh legend and recent discoveries Nag Hammadi, Egypt. He tracks the way they have acted as creative muses and catalysts over the centuries – a psalm of creation and a powerful dark allegory of accountability and pain at the same time. This story remains a signpost, not for an explanation of the scientific nature of things, but rather a deep encounter with primal challenges that continue to fascinate.

Syndetics book coverSunday best : how the church shaped New Zealand and New Zealand shaped the church, by Peter Lineham.
The inter-relationship of church and society has been complex from the early arrival of the missionaries. Historian Peter Lineham asks: If faiths aimed to influence the development of New Zealand society, how did NZ change those faiths? Who shaped whom?

Syndetics book coverJudgment detox : release the beliefs that hold you back from living a better life, by Gabrielle Bernstein.
Motivational speaker Bernstein shares a 6 step process to release the judgmental beliefs that hold you back from living a better life. Pettiness disappears in the face of renewed priorities, freedom and compassion. But it does take commitment to healing.

Syndetics book coverWhat the Qurʼan meant and why it matters, by Garry Wills.
Pulitzer Prize-winning religious scholar Wills draws on his background as a devout Catholic and historian as he presents his unique understanding of what the Qur’an says, relying on commentaries rather than an in-depth knowledge of Arabic language or culture. He identified the social and political barriers that he and other American non-Muslims will have to address, before expounding on various aspects including Islamic prophets, caring for the community, Jihad, Sharia, and women and the veil. This is an encouragement to follow the author in reading further.

Paris, thrifting and a Haircult: New fashion & beauty books

Paris and Scandinavia are on the fashion itinerary this week, as well as a world atlas of street style! We have a nifty new guide to thrift shopping, a browse through some questionable fashion choices and a look at the all important Ladies’ Haircult.

Syndetics book coverParis : through a fashion eye / Megan Hess.
“In the second of her series of books on classic fashion destinations, Megan Hess takes you on a super stylish adventure through the French capital, showing you the best places for a fashionista to eat, sleep, shop and play – all illustrated in her inimitable, elegant style. Megan’s tour reveals where fashion icons such as Coco Chanel, Karl Lagerfield, Chistian Dior and Louis-Francois Cartier worked and played, the top restaurants, hotels, boutiques and sites to visit, as well as Megan’s own personal favorite places to shop. This is a must-have insider’s guide to Paris for any fashion lover or Francophile.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverItems : Is Fashion Modern?
“An encyclopaedic selection of 111 garments, footwear, and accessories – from humble masterpieces to high fashion – that have had a strong impact on society in the 20th and 21st centuries and continue to hold currency today. Published to accompany the first major exhibition on fashion design at The Museum of Modern Art since 1944, Items: Is Fashion Modern? presents 111 iconic garments, footwear and accessories that have strongly influenced society in the 20th and 21st- centuries and continue to hold currency today.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe World Atlas of Street Fashion
“An extensively researched and generously illustrated volume offering a striking and diverse portrait of street style in cities and cultures around the world. Through its extensive research, striking photography, and handsome design, World Atlas of Street Fashion is the essential resource on world street style.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

 

Syndetics book coverThriftstyle : the ultimate bargain shopper’s guide to smart fashion / Allison Engel, Reise Moore and Margaret Engel ; photographs by Roger Snider.
“Shoppers will learn to navigate the racks of their local consignment shop, spot name brands like Versace, Dior, and Burberry, select the best quality items, and repair secondhand clothes that need some love. Photo-filled chapters on thrifted handbags, jewelry, scarves, and other accessories show what’s available and give tips for distinguishing quality items from fakes. Interviews with expert tailors, dry cleaners, shoe repair wizards, and fabric-dyeing professionals explain what makes a damaged piece of clothing worth renovating. Before-and-after photos show what can be done to refashion less-than-perfect finds.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverI actually wore this : clothes we can’t believe we bought / written by Tom Coleman ; photography by Jerome Jakubiec.
“In everyone’s closet, there is one article of clothing that truly demonstrates a momentary lapse in fashion judgment. I Actually Wore This is the first book to celebrate these fashion blunders and lets us in on how and why they happened: the purple velour jumpsuit that was supposed to make you look dangerous, the Baron von Trapp-ish Tyrolean jacket that seemed like a good idea after six beers in Munich, and the cocktail napkin-sized swimsuit. Each of these cringe-inducing items somehow managed to find its way into the wardrobe of a typically fashionable person, and the authors are here to tell you how that happened.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDress Scandinavian / Pernille Teisbæk.
“In her gorgeous first book Pernille offers professional tips on how to create a minimalist wardrobe and look, mix and match patterns successfully, adopt androgynous looks or new colour combinations, try out new materials and mix fabrics, plus plenty of timeless fashion advice such as a jeans-fit guide and essential Dos and Don’ts. Her beauty chapter reveals Pernille’s capsule survival kit and how to achieve her natural look. Pernille also covers pared-back Scandinavian home design with an eye on balancing elegant simplicity and minimalism with inviting homeliness and warmth, or hygge, and inspirational pictures. A perfect gift for all Scandi lovers and anyone wanting insider advice from one of fashion’s most stylish experts.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLadies’ haircult : women’s hairstyles and culture from 1920 to 1980 for all-time pin-ups, bohemians, princesses and bad girls / Giulia Pivetta ; illustrated by Matteo Guarnaccia.
“Women’s hairstyles have changed dramatically over the past century. Charting the progression from styles dictated by fashion and tradition towards more unique and individualized looks, this book explores how the history of women’s hair in the west corresponds with their liberation over the course of the 1900s. The volume closes with a section dedicated to the most famous hairstylists and salons de coiffeur, past and present.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)