Meanwhile: Books and Books and Books

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It’s that time of year when “stop asking for books, you have too many books, look at all these piles of bloody books” echoes around our house. My excuse for all this tsundoku stacking: it’s professional research! After all, my job is just … book. Plus I have an untested but absolutely correct theory that books pay for themselves by acting as insulation and thus reducing your heating bill.

Anyway, just like everybody else in your inbox, I’m festively rolling out the affiliate links and sharing a few of my favourite reads/stacks from this year (plus a couple I don’t have my hands on yet but absolutely need to find space for … maybe I should ask Santa for bookshelves). Leave this email open near a loved one to make sure one/some/all find their way into your stocking.

The blurb for Charlotte Jansen’s Photography Now: “In the last century, photography was always novel. Now, it feels like our world is over-saturated with images. In the 21st century, what can photography do that is new?” A good question. All I know is that I adore this book, especially the Zanele Muholi self-portrait cover. [ Amazon / Bookshop ]

During the late 1960s, Joel Meyerowitz carried two cameras: one loaded with monochrome stock, the other with colour. Juxtaposing the resulting photographs, he explores the significance and effect of both approaches. Perfectly timed for my own obsession with monochromacity. [ Amazon / Bookshop ]

The latest in Phaidon’s excellent series, Vitamin C+ is a great snapshot of contemporary collage (not ceramics, as Vitamin C was – one suspects they’re regretting this approach to titles). [ Amazon / Bookshop ]

I missed Evelyn Hofer retrospective at The Photographers’ Gallery this year, but this collection of her work, focusing on her photobook output, just about makes up for it. [ Amazon / Bookshop ]

Perfectly pocketable for train journeys or school plays, the Do books are always fantastic reads. Keeping me company this year: Do Interesting by Russell Davies [ Amazon / Bookshop / Counter-Print ] and Do Photo by Andrew Painter [ Amazon / Bookshop / Counter-Print ]

After the absolute gem that was Mid-Century Modern Graphic Design, it’s always worth picking up what Theo Inglis is putting down. His new book The Graphic Design Bible is an essential reference for studios and students alike. [ Amazon / Bookshop / Counter-Print ]

Pretty sure Thames&Hudson put out a new Saul Leiter book every year, each time a little bit bigger, but this latest monograph of the street photographer’s street photographer looks particularly weighty. [ Amazon / Bookshop ]

Created by Read-Only Memory and art-directed by The Designers Republic alumni Michael C Place/Studio Build, WipEout: Futurism is the definitive illustrated history of the cult videogame. It isn’t out until next Autumn, but I’ve waited almost thirty years for this book, I can’t wait a little longer. [ Volume ]

As a book designer making a list of design books, it’s essential that I include a book about book design. The British Library always put together gorgeous tomes – imagine the meta-pressure to get the design of this one spot on! – and this is no exception. [ Amazon / Bookshop / Counter-Print ]

This was originally posted on Meanwhile, a Substack dedicated to inspiration, fascination, and procrastination from the desk of designer Daniel Benneworth-Gray.

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Photos courtesy of the author. Banner photo by Robert Anasch on Unsplash.

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