2014 Holiday Gift Guide: Ethan Boatner

By E.B. Boatner November 25, 2014

Categories: Books, Featured - Home Page, Our Affairs

Bewitched_Continuum

The Bewitched Continuum: The Ultimate Guide to the Classic TV Series
Adam-Michael James
Bright Horse Publishing
$29.99

An exegesis of Biblical proportions of the entire seven-year run of Bewitched, which, coincidentally, celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. From 1964 to 1972, there were 254 episodes—all included here, in 611 glorious pages. Author James was eight, back then, and “fell in love,” watching, re-watching, audiotyping, and memorizing. Now an adult, he focuses on the continuity of the supernatural sitcom, bringing Samantha, Darrin (both of them), Endora, and Tabitha back for your delectation.

Black_Faces,_White_Spaces

Black Faces, White Places: Reimagining the Relationships of African Americans to the Great Outdoors
Carolyn Finney
UNC Press
$24.95

A unique take on race and one’s access to nature. Is there really a “black experience” outside the mainstream environmental movement? Why, Finny asks, are African Americans so underrepresented in the general interest in nature, outdoor recreation, and environmentalism? Seeking answers, she looks at the races’ understanding of the natural environment, reviewing the “legacies of slavery, Jim Crow, and racial violence” that have determined our concept of environment and who should have access to it.

Photographic_Architecture

Photographic Architecture in the Twentieth Century
Claire Zimmerman
Minnesota University Press
$35

Zimmerman, who is an associate professor of architectural history at the University of Michigan, explores what might at first thought seem clear: the relationship between photography and architecture. While the reproductive abilities and usefulness of the first in service to the second might seem obvious, the author’s compelling thesis is that photography altered both its subjects and their reception in the twentieth century and beyond, influencing the very creation of the architectural works themselves.

Wilde_in_America

Wilde in America: Oscar Wilde and the Invention of the Modern Celebrity
David M. Friedman
W.W. Norton
$26.95

Before there was Lady Gaga, there was Oscar, who early on declared, “Somehow or other I’ll be famous, and if not famous, I’ll be notorious.” In time, he achieved both, and Friedman here charts the young Wilde’s adventures as he sets out in 1881 for a year-long lecture tour of the United States. He covered 29 of America’s 30 largest cities with the intention of selling himself before launching his writing career later. A flaming celebrity!

Rural_Studio_at_Twenty

Rural Studio at Twenty: Designing and Building in Hale county, Alabama 
Andrew Freear and Elena Barthel, with Andrea Oppenheimer Dean
Photography Timothy Hurlsley
Princeton Architectural Press
$40

For over twenty years, Rural Studio, a design/build program in Hale County, Alabama, has built homes and civic structures in this impoverished community. These are not dwellings imposed on clients, but structures built in collaboration with the citizenry. Cofounded by Samuel Mockbee and D.K. Ruth, the program uses local, salvaged, and other imaginatively obtained materials to create sustainable, inexpensive (20K House Program) structures tailored to the inhabitants needs. Essays and photographs inform this important book.

Mood Change

Mood Change and Other Stories
Pat Dennis
Penury Press
$7.99

Tongue in cheek, gun or knife in hand, Dennis stalks the demise of the deserving with lethal words. There are seven delectable tales here set before the reader in a rich smorgasbord of shadenfreude. As the season gets jollier and you—or the one you’re gifting—gets more jaded, kick back with a beverage of choice and unleash your harbored slights.There are plenty of deserving victims, and they can’t jail you for reading!

Bronx_Boys

Bronx Boys
Stephen Shames
Text by Martin Dones & Jose “Poncho” Muñoz
University of Texas Press
$34.90

Shames started this project in 1977, photographing Bronx boys for Look magazine. Then, involved, Shames continued to follow these kids in one of the “toughest and poorest neighborhoods in the United States” through 2000. Gaining their trust, he observed, chronicling their lives; the bonding, the brutality, the drugs that meant jail or death for many. Two of his subjects, Martin Dones and José “Poncho” Muñoz, provide fascinating, first-person accounts of their lives—then and now.

dr.a.g

dr.a.g.
Author/Editor Christopher Logan
Bookthefilm Publishing
$29.52

You’ll need a biiiiig stocking, but what a stuffer! Created to raise funds for indie filmmaking, dr.a.g. (old theater acronym for “dressed as girl”), succeeds spectacularly. Top performers and photographers gave their time and talent to create a one-of-a-kind volume, featuring the likes of Larry Edwards, Lady Bunny, Charles Busch, Coco Peru, Jimmy James and Jim Bailey. Prominent photographer credits highlight Magnus Hastings, Peter Palladino, Jose Colon, and many others.

Agua_Nacida

Agua Nacida: Water Born
Hugh Arnold – Photographer
Merrell
$40.90

Arnold cruises through 368 pages of lush photographs exploring the ocean as a feminine element, through the lithe, nude bodies of Nika Lauriatis and Polina Barbasova. He immerses the viewer in a sensual, liquid element revealing the cycles of Woman from womb to ripeness. Living on Ibiza, surrounded by its healing waters, Arnold set off on a year-long quest, using the three-dimensional weightlessness of the sea to capture his subjects revealed in this exquisite volume.

Great_Gardens_of_America

Great Gardens of America
Tim Richardson, Photographs by Andrea Jones
Francis Lincoln Ltd.
$30

Richardson observes, “America’s mode of gardening appears to be framed by the nation’s historic embrace of the wilderness ideal.” Thus armed, page through these twenty-five magnificent gardens, from Jefferson’s classical Monticello, to formal efforts of the Rockefellers and DuPonts, to the individualists and modernists who created Dumbarton Oaks and gardens of the Miller and Donnell families in Indiana and California. A satisfying number of Jones’s photos are allotted to each subject.

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