Stuart’s Bookshelf // 02

Stuart’s Bookshelf: A monthly column dedicated to the finer publications influencing the work of Melbourne design practitioner, Stuart Geddes (http://chaseandgalley NULL.com/).

So I thought it best to get this off my chest early in the piece. This edition of Stuart’s Bookshelf is about the shame of having books sitting on your shelf that you haven’t read. Well, really it’s about me having books on my shelf that I haven’t read. I just hope I’m not alone. But here’s my promise – in the next edition I’ll include one of these again, and I’ll have read it.

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Letter to Robin Kinross (http://www NULL.truetruetrue NULL.org/#andy)
Andy de Fiets

This one is the most pathetic. Look at it, it’s a pamphlet–it’s 24 pages long! And it’s still just sitting there in its plastic sleeve. But the worst bit is, the whole idea is so close to my heart. Robin Kinross is one of my publishing heroes too, and Andy de Fiets has done the opposite of my silent professional crush, he’s written Robin a letter, asking for and (boldly) giving advice. Maybe I don’t yet want to know how it went.

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The Badder Meinhoff Affair (http://www NULL.erincosgrove NULL.com/ASR/bma NULL.html)
Erin Cosgrove

I have a couple of artifacts like this. It’s a novel, but it’s also an artwork. As in, it comes from the world of contemporary art, not contemporary literature, and I think that’s why I keep stalling. I love the idea in an art context, but I have too much respect for writers to completely buy into it. I think about what appalling writers designers generally are, and I just hope it’s not going to be the same. Also there’s a spelling mistake on the first page.

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Eating Animals (http://www NULL.eatinganimals NULL.com/)
Jonathan Safran Foer

This one I just chickened out on. I love Jonathan Safran Foer. The handsome, talented, younger-than-me and thrice published Jonathan Safran Foer. I’m even in the rare camp that believes that Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is a finer book than Everything is Illuminated. I saw this in the bookstore and just immediately bought it. Didn’t even read the back. Then someone told me that it’s an Incredibly Convincing and Persuasive Argument for Vegetarianism. Which I respect. I’m just not sure I’m up for that right now. And I know the power Jonathan has over me.

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Anthony Froshaug: Typography & texts / Documents of a life (http://www NULL.hyphenpress NULL.co NULL.uk/books/978-0-907259-09-1)
Robin Kinross (Editor)

It’s a bad day for my love of Robin Kinross. But to be honest, I’ve dipped into this one, and I’m very glad I own it. Unlike Andy de Fiets’s letter, this one isn’t about my shyness in the face of one of my heroes. Froshaug was clearly a big influence on Kinross, and this time it’s about allowing space to fully appreciate his work. This set of books was an epic undertaking, an exhaustive account of Froshaug’s life and work. Since I bought it, I haven’t had a long enough holiday to dedicate to reading it.

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Book design of graphic designers in Japan (http://www NULL.amazon NULL.com/Book-Design-Graphic-designers-Japan/dp/4894445158)
Mikado Koyanagi

This one I have more of a straightforward excuse for. I can’t read Japanese. Normally I hate design books that give you no context, that are 99 and a half percent pictures. But the content of this little book is just so painfully beautiful that I couldn’t bring myself to not buy it. It collects Japanese book design work from the 50s to the 70s, from the most famous designers of the day. And, well, if I haven’t sold it for you, have a look over here (http://books NULL.youworkforthem NULL.com/book/P0842/Book-Design-of-Graphic-Designers-in-Japan) for some internal shots.

Written by Junior
Originally posted on: 02/02/2010