Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Kelly's TBP List [2015 edition]

Dear Jenny,

Well, I have attempted this project three times now so far -- 2012, 2013, and 2014. In those three years, I have perused a total of... five books. Yeah. That's not great. Oh, well. I'm going to throw this list up here again, anyway. Cause...  it's our blog. So we can do whatever we want!

As a refresher... my "To Be Perused" (TBP) list is a list of art books I own that I have not made time to peruse. I originally made this list with the intent of "motivating" myself, but now I think it's more about "don't forget to take a look at these beautiful books sitting around, Kelly." I will attempt (once again) to peruse one per month and report on it here.

Last year, I only perused Lost Detroit, which I didn't actually post about until earlier today. Again... oh, well. The good news is that I haven't been acquiring a ton of new art books, so it's not like my house is filling up with books I need to peruse, right?

In fact, I only acquired one new one this year: Cover. Which, of course, is a gift from you! (Spoiler alert: I have actually already read it! Just need to post about it! Yay!) (Whoa with the exclamation points, Kel.)

Re-reading my post about this project from last year, I still have the same problem now that I did then -- it's not the reading of these books that is daunting, but the writing about them. (For instance, I burned through Cover but now I have so much to telllll yoooou!) Again, I say: "Oh well!" and I press on.

So here are my TBP books. And just to switch things up a bit, I put some notes about these books and why I have them/where they came from/what has motivated me to buy them...

(Click to see that bigger.)

 In alphabetical order, they are:
  1. 100 Years of Fashion by Cally Blackman -- This book just looks like pure eye candy. I'm not a terribly "fashionable" person, but I do find fashion to be so interesting as an art. (Should have perused this thing alongside Tim Gunn. Oh, well!) Hey -- this year, I can read it along with Women in Clothes!
  2. Art for the People: The Rediscovery and Preservation of Progressive and WPA-Era Murals in the Chicago Public Schools, 1904-1943 by Heather Becker -- We've already discussed my "small world" situation and just this month, you actually saw one of these murals in person. Crazy!
  3. Art of Modern Rock by Paul Grushkin -- This is Bill's book. That I gave him. Heh. I think he's perused it and it looks interesting to me. Another total eye candy book.
  4. The Audrey Hepburn Treasures by Ellen Erwin -- Oh! This book is incredible! It's like a scrapbook -- with actual ephemera inside! Like, reproductions of her letters and photographs and stuff. It's soooo cool -- like going through Audrey Hepburn's own scrapbook. Seriously cool.
  5. Cover by Peter Mendelsund -- You bought this for me. You know what it is. Hee.
  6. Decorate: 1,000 Design Ideas for Every Room in Your Home by Holly Becker -- I read this blog and I like decorating stuff.
  7. Design*Sponge at Home by Grace Bonney -- Same as #7, actually. I'm so predictable.
  8. East Bay Then and Now by Dennis Evanosky -- Well, I bought this one when we lived there. Looking at it now, I feel like, "Am I going to be that interested in this now?" but I'll give it a whirl.
  9. Helvetica and the New York City Subway System: The True (Maybe) Story by Paul Shaw -- You gave this to me for Christmas last year. I feel like a jerk for not reading it already!
  10. Plymouth in Vintage Postcards by Elizabeth Kelley Kerstens -- This is my town now. I'd like  to do the same thing I did with the Alameda version of this book. (So, ahhh... a summer project, then...) (Meanwhile, that Alameda post was soooo cool. Go, me! What I have lacked in quantity on the TBP project, I have made up for in quality!)
  11. Prom by Mary Ellen Mark -- This book looks amazing and includes a documentary DVD with it. One of those books that I read about somewhere and immediately bought. 
  12. Punk House: Interiors in Anarchy by Abby Banks -- Another book of Bill's that I gave him. Not sure if he's perused it, but it just seemed like a perfect combination of his interests (punk) and mine (decor). Haha.
  13. Robert Bechtle: A Retrospective by Janet Bishop -- This was a gift from Bill a few years back because I love this painting so much. It's at SFMOMA and I love to just stare at it whenever I go -- photorealistic painting amazes me and I know exactly where that house is in Alameda. It totally captures the feeling of those houses and the time period in which they were built.
All right! Let's do this thing!



  1. I'm so annoyed! Where did my comment go?

    Here's what I was going to say. I'd by happy to peruse the WPA murals book with you---I ordered one for myself last week, a super cheap copy from Amazon. I order a lot more used books on Amazon now if they are significantly cheaper than their price, especially if I can find one in "very good" condition.

    Anyways, I think it's great that you are still sticking to this list. I love big art books, but I rarely buy them. So expensive, hard to know where to put them, etc. But I love hearing about them!

    1. You know, it's funny because... I rarely buy them too!

      In fact, most of this list is the same list I originally created in 2012.

      I have only added 4 books to the list in 3 years: Two were gifts from Bill (and one of those -- Plymouth in Vintage Postcards isn't a "big art book" at all -- it's one of those tiny vintage-y books by Arcadia Publishing), one was a gift from you (Cover), and only one was truly a splurge-y impulse buy (Prom).

      Sooo... in 3 years, I have only actually purchased one big art book. This list is truly *all* of the books like this that I own. (In fact, if I ever actually finish this list, I won't have any more to peruse!) So it's not that I own tons of these books -- I'm just going through the ones that I do have verrrrrry slooooowly. ;)