We're getting there, you know? The giving season where you always "need" a good gift idea that's in the $20 range. Or you need a suggestion for someone who "needs" to get you a gift. (I use "need" liberally here, obviously.) But I'm a BIG FAN of giving (and receiving!) books - especially creative books because those are the only ones I find myself paging through again and again (Harry Potter, The Time Traveler's Wife and Les Miserables excluded).
Funnily enough, most of this stack I'm sharing today were gifts from my parents. (I know this because my mom inscribes "Merry Christmas" on the inside.) In no particular order, here are five books I find myself pulling off the shelf often (and always finding something new).
Thinking with Type (2nd edition) by Ellen Lupton. I've had this since I graduated college I think. It's a book you can actually read through to learn about elements of typography but then (if you're me) you can also refer back to it to learn things about kerning that you don't quite get. This is like a textbook, but better. And easy to understand. And obviously, so well laid out.
A Year of Mornings by Maria Alexandra Vettese & Stephanie Congdon Barnes. This is my favorite photography book (though it would be awesome if it was larger). I page through it every season or so and always find another pairing or another angle or another way to play with light that I haven't seen before.
The Creative Family by Amanda Blake Soule. I read this when I was pregnant and am finding myself paging through it again. Ellerie is getting to the real PLAYING age and if I do one thing right as a mama, I want to encourage her creative side (in everything). Tons of fun projects and insight in this book. Specifically, I love the birthday crown and nature table idea.
The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp. This is another book that I think should be a text book. Business classes should have to read this. Phsychology majors should have to read this. Artists should have to read this. Everyone should have to read this. It's a word book much more than it's a picture book but it's filled with so many gems and practical advice for strengthening your creative muscles. My copy is well highlighted and I'm due for a complete re-read through.
Made by Hand by Lena Corwin. Full disclosure: I have not made any of the projects in this book. But I have read almost every word and marveled at every photograph. The photography was done by MAV and SCB (the women who shot A Year of Mornings) and it's gorgeous. The projects are involved (more than a normal craft book) but they are well explained and were developed by various creatives (which is fun because it brings in different voices and so many mediums). I referred to the index a lot while knitting my sweater and I really want my first project to be a crocheted rug(!)
On my wishlist right now: Sunday Morning Quilts (I checked this out from the library last fall - which I totally suggest before you invest in a craft book and I find myself wishing I could refer back to it all the time) & The Printmaking Bible.
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