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January 26, 2016

Staff Picks: TASCHEN Library

Start 2016 off with some of our favorite TASCHEN tomes.

“My favorite book in the shop right now is Beyond the Wall, Art and Artifacts from the GDR ($150). A portrait of life in Communist East Germany, this book is full of all the fun stuff they never told you about in history class. Like how the entire country was basically fueled by alcohol, sure, but also addicted to coffee and cigarettes. Or how plastic was the most important building material in the country and used in the manufacture of everything from clothes to furniture to toys, and “aversion to the plastic lifestyle raised a flag of suspicion with the authorities.” Or that, in reflection of the GDR’s official stance of sexual equality, state approved erotica contained photos of both nude women and men.

It’s a tabbed book (I love a tab, so classy) with sections for eat and drink, home, design and fashion, travel, and more. Menus from restaurants, advertisements for home goods, a collection of favorite liqueurs, and fashion from mail order catalogs are just some of the everyday items featured. A visual feast, and a history buffs dream, fascinating and beautiful, this one is a must read!” -Erin Johnson, Store Manager

“My pick for the month is On Yoga: The Architecture of Peace ($69.99). On Yoga follows iconic photographer Michael O’Neill’s photographic journey of over 10 years documenting the discipline of yoga with photos of practitioners, gurus, and influential yogis alike.  It includes essays that delve deeper than the modern idea of the trendy workout and into the history and spiritual ideology the practice is rooted in. On Yoga: The Architecture of Peace may be the inspiration one would need to stay on top of their New Year’s resolution.”  –Daniel Casey, Sales Associate

“I’m enjoying the new publication, Jazz: New York In The Roaring Twenties ($49.99) at the moment, by Robert Nippoldt with texts by Hans-Jurgen Schaal. Along with intricate illustrated designs by Nippoldt the researched retrospective information compiled by Schaal, provide a nearly first hand vibe of the roaring 1920s from its inception, peak, and plateau. The book is extremely detailed featuring a recording sessions sociogram of all musicians noted in an illustrated web of interaction, and emoji-like emblems of jazz instruments and musicians featured. Each musicians’ original signatures are scribed on durable paper as well as images of original record labels uniquely photographed on pseudo vinyl illustrations. This tome not only educates the reader of an artist’s biographical background from birth to death, but the writer greatly guides the reader through fanfare explorations of the roaring lives the greats of the jazz era lived! In addition, the book accompanies an  exclusive to TASCHEN Publications ’20 track CD of original recordings including the first-ever jazz recordings, Livery Stable Blues, made in 1917.’ What’s there not to love about this affordable publication that does not depreciate over time?” -Leonard Fortner, Sales Associate