It's that time of year again, when we all think back about our accomplishments and fallings, and fill the internet with lists of things we have liked or bought because we thought we should. As much as I protest, it is an enjoyable exercise, and one that makes us all feel a little like we work alongside John Cusack in a record shop. What follows is a highly subjective list of books that I enjoyed spending time with over the past year, and that I think you might as well.
When I picked up a copy of Hotel Oracle from Jason at Offprint this Year, he set fire to the first page, this pretty much sets the tone of a book. Most books I buy live on my desk/sofa for a week or two, and then get filed away in my shelves, brought out for reference more than anything else. But not this book, it has taken up semi-permanent residence on my sofa, demanding to be looked at again and again.
New York Arbor
There are on very rare occasions books that give you that warm feeling in the pit of your belly, and make you remember why you fell in love with photography in the first place. This, dare I say it, is one of those books. Epstein's latest book takes on an unremarkable, simple concept and executes it in such a perfectly pure way that makes it impossible not to love this book. We asked Aaron Schuman to interview Mitch for our WINTER issue, the results of which you can read HERE.
Gold Country Real Estate
I've had this book on my desk for coming up to a year, and I still don’t understand it, but I like that. Part of Études Blue book series, it involves a woman clad in an Amex logo towel, apples, sugar cubes and logs. Check out Kevin Clark's essay from our Apr-May issue HERE to find out more.
Jason's new book from the London based publishers HERE is a wonderfully simple and engaging way of bringing modern vernacular photography to life. If you can show me one person who looks through this book and does not think about the person who first played them Nevermind and the story behind the introduction (my cousin Michael) I will show you someone born in the 90s. Holly Lucas took a closer look back in our WINTER issue take a look HERE.
A Period of Juvenile Prosperity
When I first heard about the Polaroid Kid a few years ago, I wasn’t convinced. Generally, I'm not a fan of romantic photographs of disheveled youths unless they were made before the advent of the internet, but in moving away from the tweeness of the Polaroid, Brodie seems to have found his feet and stepped into a rather large pair of shoes giving us a seemingly unpretentious and beautiful insight his world. Sophie Balhetchet delved into this book for us for our relaunch issue. Take a look HERE.
Grays the Mountain Sends
We published a portfolio of Schutmaat's series back in Febuary. Over the course of a few years he photographed the dwindling mining towns of America, and the people that live within them, giving us a poetic vision of failing masculinity, which it is difficult not to fall for a little, and now, unfortunately, even harder to find a copy. Aaron Schuman had a chat with Bryan at the beginning of the year, which you can read in full HERE.
Thinking back over the past year, there has been only one book that’s made me laugh out loud. Seeing the male half of a married couple cupping the breast of a rather tall transvestite show girl as his wife stands on smiling, has a tendency to make me do that. It’s not something I'm proud of, but it happened. Holly Lucas reviewed it in our WINTER issue, which you can take a look at HERE.
The Christmas Tree Bucket
I've been waiting for this book to come across for over a year, so when it finally did, the stakes were pretty high, fortunately it didn't let me down. I have a soft spot for when Magnum photographers turn their cameras homeward (i.e. Christopher Anderson's recent series SON). The Christmas Tree Bucket is thoughtfully designed and yet another book that warms the cockles. If you are short of a christmas present for your nearest and dearest, I’m sure Amazon’s drone-bots can fly this through the night to your door step.
— Gregory Barker