Category Current Reading

All my life I’ve heard the same refrain, “Why can’t you be… Normal?” But, everything in life has its risks including (and especially) being ‘Normal.’ Most of us understand there’s risk when taking the chance and aspiring to something more. But even more are ignorant of the cost of Normal, the cost of not taking chances, and the risk of complacency.

– James Victore writes a stunning piece on 99U about the undeniable benefits of being weird. More than anything Victoire speaks about the courage it takes to take your own path and finding like-minded people along the way.

Current Reading: You Are The Friction, The Manual, Printed Pages

Current Reading: You Are The Friction, Printed Pages, The Manual

I wanted to share a few of the books/magazines I’ve been reading lately that I found pretty influential. These might not be super recent or anything but you can still buy them, which I totally support.

You Are The Friction
216 pages / $20 / Buy It

Twelve short stories inspired by illustrations, twelve illustrations inspired by short stories, all collected in a handsome paperback edition. It’s a really clever idea and it totally works, pushing the creativity of both the artist and writer. My favorite story is Soap Opera, a tale of a young man with OCD who goes through a tragic but hilarious series of events, written by Richard Milward and illustrated by Adrian Johnson.

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The Manual – Issue #3
90 pages / $25 / Buy It

The Manual focuses on the stories of both the well-known and the quietly working designers, as they bring clarity to the why of web design, share their visions, break our hearts, stretch our minds, and move us to deeper, smarter, richer work. You don’t often see books about web design and that’s why this book is important. My favorite chapter comes from Duane King and his story Hyper, which looks at our hyper connected world and how it’s changed us and how we’re utilizing it. It’s deeply thought-rpovoking and one of the best things I’ve read in the last year.

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Printed Pages – Winter 2013
£4.00 / Buy It

The folks at It’s Nice That are constantly pushing the boundaries of publishing, and I’m quite thankful for that. They deeply love the printed page, and thus they named their new magazine Printed Pages. They’ve got interviews with museum director Ralph Rugoff, graphic novelist Joe Sacco, an illustration spread by Edward Monaghan, a feature on Scandinavian product design, and obviously lots more.

Current Reading – Port, Wilder Quarterly, Afterzine, Bon Appétit

Current Reading - Port, Wilder Quarterly, Afterzine, Bon Appétit

Port / $16.95
Port is one of our favorite men’s magazines. It’s well made and well put together: it is always sharp. Their Summer 2012 issue is “The Food Issue.” It covers everything from the practice of food making to suggesting must have items for your own kitchen. The two biggest standouts in the issue is a Juergen Teller photographed story on Nigella Lawson and Giles Revell’s beautiful, painterly fish photography. Port’s usual mix of fashion editorials, lifestyle articles, and smart recommandations are still present in the issue but have a food slant to them.

Wilder Quarterly / $18.95
This is always a great read and is becoming one of those sexy publications that people brag about at dinner parties, qualifying statements with, “Oh, yes, I read it in Wilder.” It’s wonderful and very reflective of how active we are becoming with our food. The magazine always mixes beautiful photography with very interesting inside looks at farmers and food makers, making it very accessible for everyone. Marc Alt’s desert farming interview with Stephanie Smith of Joshua Tree’s Wanna Start A Commune? was particularly interesting as it seems impossible to grow anything beyond cactuses in the desert. Joanna McClure also adds some great photos to Addie Han’s Smell The Roses piece as well as Cari Vander Yacht’s illustrations for the Seasonal Beneficial (the White-Lined Sphinx Moth) and Seasonal Pest (the Woodchuck) articles.

Afterzine / $10
Hamish Robertson’s Afterzine is always a welcome read as it represents such a diverse world of writers, artists, and more speaking on one topic. This third issue is all about records. From Theodora Allen’s paintings of records to a Q&A with Levi’s historian Lynn Downey to actress Dianna Agron explaining how one of her bathrooms is covered in writing, the word and concept of recording is expounded upon in so many fascinating ways. The magazine is also so nice looking, too.

Bon Appétit / $4.99
There really is no reason why Bon Appetit–an internationally sold, grocery-store-check-out magazine–should be as good as it is. First things first: it looks so great. Led by art director Elizabeth Spiridakis, there are so many delightful details this issue that bring the entire issue together. Case in point? The simple recurring dots throughout The 10 Best New Restaurants In America article. Very well done. In the past few months, they’ve seemed to turn up their cool a lot and are catching food and drink trends faster than we can partake in them. Bon Appétit is always a great read and is proving to be one of the most visually interesting mainstream magazines, too.

Current Reading – Fantastic Man, Mark, Apartamento, Day Job Magazine

Weekend Reading

Fantastic Man / $14.95
The Spring/Summer 2012 issue turned out to be a really good one. They’ve got a surprising interview with Perry Chen, found of Kickstarter, a short conversation with Jean Touitou, the man behind APC who’s always an interesting character, as well as a fashion spread that was shot in Palm Springs. Rounding things out is a wonderful interview with Piet Oudulf, the man responsible for the plants that adorn the High Line.

Mark / $19.95
Mark is always a good read, as well as having some of the best editorial layout around. There’s a nice piece on Sou Fujimoto’s House NA (which we previously covered here) though Im still not sure where the bathroom is. They also have a look at apps for architects, I’ve become smitten with the Grünerløkka Apartments in Oslo, and they focus on the use of light in architecture, like a house where all the windows are on the ceiling.

Apartamento / $19.95
I’m a big fan of Apartmento, no one does it quite like they do. I snagged a copy while I was at Ooga Booga yesterday, so I’ve briefly looked through but haven’t dived in yet. I saw that one story had photos by Wolfgang Tillman, so that’s pretty rad. There’s also a conversation about the perfumication of products, as in all products will one day have their own unique scent, certainly interesting to think about.

Day Job Magazine / $25
I received a special, #0 sneak peak of the first issue of Day Job and I’m really enjoying the idea and execution. Based out of Brooklyn, the magazine is simply about jobs.

Day Job is a publication for anyone who has ever had a job they’ve loved, a job they’ve hated, a life-long calling or a way to make an easy buck. In short, it’s about work, a celebration of the everyday ways in which we spend our time and energy. As the inimitable Studs Terkel describes working, “It’s about a search, too, for daily meaning as well as daily bread, for recognition as well as cash.”

The also have funs sections like Lunch Break, which are recipes for making a great lunch, as well as local street vendors in New York. The aesthetics of it all feel great, and it’s a really smart idea. You can help Day Job get off it’s feet by investing in their Kickstarter. I’m about to donate as soon as I post and share this.

Current Reading – Wilder Quarterly, How To Steal Like an Artist, SPIN, Kinfolk

Current Reading

Wilder Quarterly / $18.95

Over the weekend I picked up Wilder Quarterly, along with Kinfolk, at Skylight Books, my favorite local bookshop here in Los Angeles. They have a fantastic selection of independent publications that are curated by one of their staff. Wilder is a magazine dedicated to nature, which includes gardening and food and pretty much anything related. It’s a broad subject but their content is top notch, think of it as Apartamento for nature buffs. This is only their second issue but I’m already hooked!

How To Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon / $10.95
I received a copy of Austin Kleon’s book How To Steal Like an Artist, and I was really surprised at how great it was. It’s 160 pages of insightful quips that should keep your creativity flowing (and the paper stock of the cover feels amazing). There’s way too much good stuff in the book, but I particularly like this note:

It helps to live around interesting people, and not necessarily people who do what you do. I feel a little incestuous when I hang out with only writers and artists, so I enjoy the many filmmakers, musicians, and tech geeks who live in Austin. Oh, and food. The food should be good. You have to find a place that feeds you – creatively, socially, spiritually, and literally.

Even if you set up a new home, you need to leave it now and then. And at some point, you just need to move on. The good news is that nowadays, a lot of your peers are right where you left them – on the Internet.

You can actually snag a copy for $6.57 on Amazon right now, get to it.

SPIN magazine / $4.99
The guys over at Everything Type Company have redesigned SPIN magazine and it’s never looked more amazing. They moved to a bi-monthly print run, got better paper stock and have taken a new approach to their content. I wasn’t sure if I’d actually like the content, but I started reading parts to Kyle who turns to me and says, “Look at all the time stuff you’ve learned from reading SPIN.” Well what do you know.

Kinfolk Magazine / $18
From their bio page, “Kinfolk is a growing community of artists with a shared interest in small gatherings.” It’s a beautifully shot magazine, the paper is wonderful to hold, though the overall vibe is kind of… unrealistic. As my friend Michele noted, the people in the magazine seem too perfect and pretty, and the content is kind of odd, like about wool socks and jarring. And there are QR codes on certain pages, which I don’t know where they go because I abhor QR codes. Not sure it’s entirely for me, but I’m sure some of you will dig it.