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Los Angeles Review of Books - Sounds Of The City: New York 1973-1977. IN THE SUMMER OF 1975, scenes started to cohere around sounds emanating from lower Manhattan. Local musicians and critics sat up and took note. With a massive festival of unsigned bands, CBGB, a dank little Bowery club, confirmed its status as ground zero for New York’s rock and roll underground. Just a few months earlier, Patti Smith, cult poet and fledgling improvisational rocker, had kicked off a seven–week run there with another favorite local band, Television, by signing a seven–album, $750,000 contract. The summer CBGB festival included dozens of hopefuls competing to follow her lead. Neighborhood newspaper critics took turns eking out interpretations.

Christgau’s spirit of 1977 now seems charmingly parochial. 5 Notable Design Books for Summer Reading: Maria Popova. Guest blogger Maria Popova—creator of Brain Pickings, shares for summer reading pleasure her selection of five notable design titles published during 2012. — SK Guest blogger: Maria Popova: Brain Pickings (New York) Profile Summer is a time of escapism, be it physical or intellectual and creative.

Summer reading is thus an invitation to explore the whimsical and the esoteric, or to shine new light on previously unknown facets of the familiar. Here are five books that offer precisely that. View Maria Popova’s Profile. TOP SELLING PHOTOGRAPHY BOOKS OF ALL TIME. The Family of Man has sold more than 4 million copies The Family of Man was a photography exhibition curated by Edward Steichen first shown in 1955 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.


The 503 photos by 273 photographers in 68 countries were selected from almost 2 million pictures submitted by famous and unknown photographers. The photos offer a snapshot of the human experience which lingers on birth, love, and joy, but also touches war, privation, illness and death. His intention was to prove the universality of human experience and photography's role in its documentation. More than 9 million people viewed the exhibit in 38 countries. The exhibit was turned into a book with an introduction by Carl Sandburg, Steichen's brother-in-law.

The Recipe for Writing Success? Kill Your Characters. Ok aspiring fiction writers, if you’ve ever wondered how to write a successful novel, the secret is here: kill off your characters.

The Recipe for Writing Success? Kill Your Characters

Of the handful of books that won the prestigious Man Booker Prize in 2011, all 13 novels had the common theme of putting to death main characters… it’s a lot like the plot of Will Ferrell’s Stranger Than Fiction… everyone knows the story won’t be as good without a solid death. This beautiful graphic designed by the literary heavy “slow journalism magazine” Delayed Gratification, traces the dominant themes from last years winners, showing that not just a few, but ALL the winners featured overriding themes of death. What followed that? In distant second we have themes about love and then betrayal… both subjects that can get the blood boiling, but obviously don’t guarantee a win.

Oh, and don’t forget some of the less popular plots about escaped tigers, nanny trust issues and homicidal cowboy brothers. Click here or the images below for a full-sized view: Why We Love: 5 Must-Read Books on the Psychology of Love. By Maria Popova What Oscar Wilde has to do with Hippocrates and the neurochemistry of romance.

Why We Love: 5 Must-Read Books on the Psychology of Love

It’s often said that every song, every poem, every novel, every painting ever created is in some way “about” love. What this really means is that love is a central theme, an underlying preoccupation, in humanity’s greatest works. But what exactly is love? How does its mechanism spur such poeticism, and how does it lodge itself in our minds, hearts and souls so completely, so stubbornly, as to permeate every aspect of the human imagination? No superlative is an exaggeration of Alain de Botton‘s humble brilliance spanning everything from philosophy to architecture. Every fall into love involves [to adapt Oscar Wilde] the triumph of hope over self-knowledge. You might recall biological anthropologist Helen Fisher‘s work from this fascinating discussion of how antidepressants impact the experience of romantic love.

Sample her work with this fantastic TED talk on the brain in love: Donating = Loving. Created Equal: Parallel Portraits of Cultural Difference. By Maria Popova Nearly two years ago, we explored Exactitudes — a visual study of similarity within subcultures.

Created Equal: Parallel Portraits of Cultural Difference

We Own The Night: The Art Of The Underbelly Project. In 2009, an abandoned NYC subway station slowly morphed from ghost status to the world's best kept urban art status.

We Own The Night: The Art Of The Underbelly Project

Scrap Irony: Edward Gorey Illustrates Snarky Cultural Commentary, 1961. By Maria Popova What the physiological effects of space flight have to do with the art of courtship and the Oedipus complex.

Scrap Irony: Edward Gorey Illustrates Snarky Cultural Commentary, 1961

Inimitable mid-century illustrator Edward Gorey — notorious letter-writer, illuminator of day and night, purveyor of mischievous eroticism — had a rare gift for irreverent storytelling and dark humor, so it was only fitting he would parter with poet and satirist Felicia Lamport. "THE GIFT" ART BOOK by delphinediallo.

Since the dawn of the Renaissance in the 15th century, artistic expression has always been the gateway to pinpointing the pulse of a period.

"THE GIFT" ART BOOK by delphinediallo

Art serves as a cultural barometer utilizing visual tools in an effort to catalyze a social and psychological paradigm shift. These shifts have inspired some of history’s most important moments enabling societies to gain a glimpse into their soul through art. As we move through the twenty-first century, there has been a new call to recognize the vital impact that contemporary art has on popular culture. This call to action underpins the need for a new voice and visual vocabulary reflecting of the multicultural world, which has now become our new societal norm.

We present to you: ‘The Gift’! The Gift is an Art Book that will create a universal language of cultural expression that seeks to conceive a new mythical narrative daring to defy the status quo. Written by Larry Ossei - Mensah. The 11 Best Art and Design Books of 2011. The 11 Best Photography Books of 2011. By Maria Popova What the world’s last living nomads have to do with Victorian strongwomen, tweed, and the unseen Beatles.

The 11 Best Photography Books of 2011

After the year’s best illustrated books for (eternal) kids and finest art, design, and creativity books, my best-of series continues with a look at the best photography books of 2011 — visual treasure troves that tell an important story, reveal a fascinating piece of history, or just deeply delight with a fresh perspective on a familiar subject. Annie Leibovitz is one of today’s most prolific and celebrated photographers, her lens having captured generations of cultural icons with equal parts admiration and humanity. Unlike her other volumes, her latest book, out earlier this month, features no celebrities, no luminaries, no models — at least not directly. 10 Essential Books on Typography. By Maria Popova What Arab culture has to do with industrial ideals, midcentury design and Victorian hand-lettering.

10 Essential Books on Typography