Since I was little, I've rarely bought and kept books, because I would go through them so quickly it didn't make sense to spend money on something I'd read once. But now, I've started to appreciate certain "coffee table" books, and have started growing my collection again.
This month, I'll be reviewing NYC: Basic Tips and Etiquette by Nathan Pyle, Isms by Stephan Little, The Teen Vogue Handbook, It, and Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton.
it by alexa chung
I'm a big fan of Alexa Chung's style, and the way she always looks chic without trying to hard. She seems like a fun, bubbly person - an older, more sophisticated version of Taylor Swift basically. I happened to receive this as a gift, but I probably wouldn't buy it with my own money.
There are some short anecdotes, but they're sort of rambling with no real sense of direction. It's how I imagine looking into Alexa's diary might be like. There are some polaroid-esque photos, as well as drawings, but nothing too mind-blowing or high quality. She does write a decent amount about her early influences, and fashion at that time.
All in all, this book is mainly for the aesthetics and Alexa Chung, not the reading.
-isms by stephan little
I originally came across this book while researching for a school paper, and I'm really glad I did. It's chock full of information about art history in a reference style layout, but it's not dry or boring (at least for me). It covers from Renaissance to Post Modernism, with each art style taking up a page.
It's light and small, so it would be perfect to slip into your back at a museum, so you really sound like you know what you're talking about. There are lots of full page artworks, and some sections for specific museums.
I would definitely buy this - it's worth the money and it makes you look well educated ((:
nyc: basic tips and etiquette by nathan pyle
I've always wanted to live in New York, so I got this book from the library hoping to gain a little more insight into what it's like there. It's a much smaller book than I imagined, and a very quick read. The tips are all accompanied by drawings, and there are about 135 in total.
Many of the tips were things that should be common sense, but probably aren't in today's world. It basically reminds you to be conscious of others, along with some sightseeing tips specific to NYC.
I would get it as a gift for someone moving there, or for my room, especially since it's so cheap. I'm not completely sold on the usefulness of it though - there are probably many blogs about living in New York.
I've always been interested in the fashion world, and curious about whether I could make it as a photographer, designer, or blogger. Although I'm sure the fashion insiders covered in the book have all done many interviews you can watch on Youtube, it's helpful to have them compiled in this format for me.
It's sectioned into designers, models, beauticians, bloggers, editors, etc, so you can definitely find whatever you're curious about in the fashion industry. The trends are a bit old (~2009), but the advice is timeless.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who's even considering the fashion industry as a career, or just interested in fashion. It would be a great gift as well (I know I'd love to receive it ;))!
humans of new york by brandon stanton
Over the last few years, you've definitely heard of Humans of New York - even if you're not on social media at all. The basic idea is interviewing strangers on the street in New York, and then getting a photo to accompany the quote. It's always surprised me how much people will share with a random person, and I love reading new posts on the Facebook page.
There are many spinoffs of HONY for different cities, and I'm actually a part of the team in my city. It's completely independent of HONY and we take the same idea and apply it to our city. I've loved the experience, and it's helped me become a lot more outgoing and bold. For those of you who are good at photography or talking to people, I would definitely encourage you to see if there's a Humans Of group near you, or create your own!
Although I love HONY, I'm not sure I would've bought the book with my own money (I received it as a gift). Many of the interviews are repeats from ones posted previously, and there weren't many long ones included. About a quarter of them were "Seen at ___" posts. The photography was great in print, and it'll be a nice coffee table book though. Apparently, he's coming out with a new book this fall with longer stories, so that might be interesting to try.
Please do let me know if you've read any of these books and what you thought of them! I'd also love to hear any suggestions for books to read in the future.