Foreword Reviews

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Books of Beauty

For Artists, Gardeners, Nature Lovers, and Superheroes

Gift Books

Andrea del Sarto

The Renaissance Workshop in Action

Book Cover
Julian Brooks
Getty Publications
Hardcover $59.00 (264pp)
978-1-60606-438-2
Buy: IndieBound, Amazon

Imagine yourself at Florence High in 1512 and you need a senior portrait for the yearbook. Who you gonna call? Michelangelo, perhaps, or Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Titian, Correggio … Not if you wanted the best because all those guys looked up to Andrea del Sarto as the most innovative, talented draftsman/painter in the city. Due to some shoddy biographies, Andrea’s reputation took a hit over the centuries, but this stunningly illustrated project looks beneath the surface of the paintings to reveal his drawings, his cartoon lines, and a sense of his working process—the powers that be now have just what they need to put him back at the top tier of masters.

MATT SUTHERLAND (August 27, 2015)

The Grand River: Dundalk to Lake Erie

Wood Engravings

Book Cover
Gerard Brender à Brandis
Marianne Brandis, contributor
The Porcupine’s Quill
Softcover $24.95 (150pp)
978-0-88984-381-3
Buy: IndieBound, Amazon

To grasp the complexity of life on this planet, you could do worse than to study riverness—water nourishing, shaping, cleansing, and altogether interacting with land, air, and all manner of being. This biography of Ontario’s Grand River reaches mystical status through the wood block engravings of scenes along the three-hundred-kilometer Grand and prose at its nature-loving best.

MATT SUTHERLAND (August 27, 2015)

Plants Have So Much to Give Us, All We Have to Do Is Ask

Anishinaabe Botanical Teachings

Book Cover
Mary Siisip Geniusz
Wendy Makoons Geniusz, editor
University of Minnesota Press
Softcover $22.95 (344pp)
978-0-8166-9676-5
Buy: IndieBound, Amazon

Curiosity may have killed the cat but damn, what a ball it had in the meantime. So let down the tightly braided updo of your beliefs and entertain the idea that plants are beings with whom we can communicate and interact—the Anishinaabe and other Native American tribes have been doing just that for millennia. This project collects the stories, teachings, recipes, and practical uses of many dozens of common plants in an erudite, detailed, and scholarly way; you would be wrong to expect folksy fairy tales and witches’ brew.

MATT SUTHERLAND (August 27, 2015)

Crows

Encounters with the Wise Guys of the Avian World

Book Cover
Candace Savage
Greystone Books
Softcover $21.95 (136pp)
978-1-77164-085-5
Buy: IndieBound, Amazon

The pitch black crow, as you well know, is intriguingly different from other birds. But studies show, you may not know, that crow brains compare in size (in relation to their bodies) to that of chimpanzees. So they’re smart as hell, and scientists at Oxford and elsewhere are only now beginning to investigate the extraordinary tool-making abilities and fascinating personalities of the birds. This illustrated compendium of crow lore overflows with personal stories, tales, poems, research, and art, and it is impossible to put down.

MATT SUTHERLAND (August 27, 2015)

A Miscellany for Garden-Lovers

Facts and Folklore through the Ages

Book Cover
David Squire
Green Books
Hardcover $15.95 (144pp)
978-0-85784-274-9
Buy: IndieBound, Amazon

The founding crops of agriculture—emmer and einkorn wheat, barley, lentils, peas, and flax—were first farmed ten thousand or so years ago, which led to innovations like forged plows and scythes during the Iron Age, grafting expertise eventually followed, and then, most importantly, garden gnomes appeared in Britain in the 1840s. But there is so much more of interest in this beautifully illustrated little project—wisdom, folklore, and insight on seeds, sowing, weather, pests, bees, tools, compost, manure, and yes, evenThe founding crops of agriculture—emmer and einkorn wheat, barley, lentils, peas, and flax—were first farmed ten thousand or so years ago, which led to innovations like forged plows and scythes during the Iron Age, grafting expertise eventually followed, and then, most importantly, garden gnomes appeared in Britain in the 1840s. But there is so much more of interest in this beautifully illustrated little project—wisdom, folklore, and insight on seeds, sowing, weather, pests, bees, tools, compost, manure, and yes, even aromatherapy.

MATT SUTHERLAND (August 27, 2015)

The League of Regrettable Superheroes

Half-Baked Heroes from Comic Book History!

Book Cover
Jon Morris
Quirk Books
Hardcover $24.95 (256pp)
978-1-59474-763-2
Buy: IndieBound, Amazon

Superman debuted in 1938 and suddenly superheroes were all the rage for comic-book publishers seeking to capitalize on the Man of Steel’s supersonic sales. We shouldn’t be surprised that a great many of the newly created crime fighters were fabulously absurd. One hundred of these superweirdoes, led by the likes of Rainbow Boy, Lady Satan, Kangaroo Man, and Doctor Hormone, are profiled in this superlative book—replete with backstories, colorful vintage art, and delightful commentary.

MATT SUTHERLAND (August 24, 2015)

Feathers, Paws, Fins, and Claws

Fairy-Tale Beasts

Book Cover
Jennifer Schacker, editor
Christine A. Jones, editor
Lina Kusaite, illustrator
Wayne State University Press
Hardcover $24.99 (136pp)
978-0-8143-4069-1
Buy: IndieBound, Amazon

Most folk and fairy tales, legends, and fables descend from an oral tradition of storytelling, with borrowed themes and characters reworked through the years. This collection of ten stories for kids and adults fixates on the unique, often comical ways that beasts have appeared in fairy tales from around the world. Following a short introduction and an original, extraordinary illustration by Belgian artist Lina Kusaite, each tale appears exactly as it did when first published.

MATT SUTHERLAND (August 27, 2015)

Embracing an Icon

The Posters of Bernard Villemot

Book Cover
George Bon Salle
Jeanne Bon Salle
Posters Please (Square One Publishers, dist.)
Hardcover $70.00 (320pp)
978-0-9792746-1-9
Buy: IndieBound, Amazon

Bernard Villemot, the last great commercial/poster artist, lived in Paris his entire life (no surprise), drew inspiration from Henri Matisse, Marc Chagall, Raoul Dufy, and other fine artists of his time (early-mid twentieth century), and left an immeasurable mark on modern advertising and graphic art. This splendid homage reproduces all of the artist’s 565 commercial designs for film, tourism, sports competitions, the beauty and cosmetics industries, etc., in addition to the iconic work he did for Bally, Orangina, and Perrier.

MATT SUTHERLAND (August 27, 2015)

Matt Sutherland

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