If you have readers on your holiday shopping lists, it can be a challenge to find something they might like, that they haven’t already read.
Fortunately, this morning, Lisa Baudoin, proprietor of Books and Company in Oconomowoc, offers up some noteworthy titles that aren’t necessarily on the best seller list, but might just fit the bill for you or a loved one.
- Wunderkammer by Tod Williams & Billie Tsien
The "wunderkammer," or the "cabinet of curiosities" concept that originated during the Renaissance, continues to fascinate people today, including renowned architects Billie Tsien and Tod Williams. So they invited 35 architects and designers to create their own cabinets in box form. The result is a beautiful collection of photographs of these creations with statements from the artists themselves about the objects inside.
- Humans of New York, by Brandon Stanton
On his popular blog, photographer Brandon Stanton has created a photographic census of New York by taking New Yorkers' portraits on the street and asking them to briefly tell their story. "He's not intrusive, and yet you do feel like you get to visually eavesdrop on the streets of New York," Baudoin says. The blog's been translated into a book version that Baudoin says is "as good, if not better, than some of the blog posts." This "fantastic collection of humanity" is the perfect gift for teenagers and young college students, she says.
- Art Made from Books: Altered, Sculpted, Carved, Transformed, by Laura Heyenga
This book is an "object of art in itself," Baudoin says. With exposed binding on the side, "it is just gorgeous. You want to have it in your hands." The book features photographs of books that have been transformed from literary to physical works of art. Pages and bindings become sculpture to give these books "a new life and a new story," Baudoin says.
- Once Upon a Memory (kids' picture book), by Nina Laden, illustrated by Renata Liwska
Does a book remember it was once a word? Does a garden remember it was once a pea? These are the questions at the heart of this tender and sweet story that explores a complex idea. As a "picture book that adults can get something out of," Baudoin says the illustrations are gentle and charming, while the language, beautiful.
- The Mad Farmer Poems, by Wendell Berry
This book is just out in paperback, which is good because you'll want to be able to carry it around in your back pocket. Baudoin says these poems offer readers a moment to change perspectives and moods, urging them to pause and not take life for granted - by highlighting the hard work farmers must do to make our food. "It can open up the world and it can be the right thing at the right time," she says. Plus, this little book can make a great stocking stuffer.
- Schlitz Brewing Art, by Paul Bialas
Photographer and author Paul Bialas was able to photograph the site of the Schlitz Brewery before it came down, with fascinating pictures of artifacts and the elegant decline of the building. He also includes a history of Schlitz in Milwaukee, making it a more in-depth read. The book comes with a CD that features interviews with former employees and songs written about Schlitz beer.
- From the Top, by Michael Perry
Published by Wisconsin Historical Society Press, printed on paper made by a Wisconsin company and featuring the monologues of best-selling Wisconsin author Michael Perry, From the Top is a "true Wisconsin gift," Baudoin says. The monologues are taken from Perry's Tent Radio Show program and are about three pages long at most. "They are funny and to-the-point stories, a pretty quick read," Baudoin says. Check out Lake Effect's interview with Perry on the book here.