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Arts & Photography

New Coffee Table Book Goes Behind the Scenes of Woody Allen’s Films

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Woody Allen is a critically-acclaimed film maker, and a controversial public figure. Known for his films that, while considered romantic, have a tendency to be psychoanalyses of the modern world, his films are instantly recognizable for their motifs and style, often full of self-deprecation. In leading film critic Jason Solomon’s coffee table book Woody Allen Film by Film, the themes, styles, and cultural impact of Allen’s films are discussed in detail, providing a comprehensive view of the films beyond more than just what’s seen on the screen. In addition, each and every Woody Allen film, from the first film in the 1960s, to 2015’s Irrational Man is given an in-depth history, of inspiration, influence, and impact. The coffee table book not only gives…

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Kunstler’s The New Nation recreates Washington’s most famous Christmas

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What was your most memorable Christmas night? If you’re George Washington, it was probably the evening of December 25, 1776, when you made a nighttime crossing of the Delaware River in order to launch a surprise attack against Hessian forces in Trenton, New Jersey the next morning. The operation helped turn the tide of the Revolutionary War. Merry Christmas, General Washington! Now, there’s a new book that faithfully and accurately captures that scene, and you can put that book under the Christmas tree of your favorite hard-to-shop-for history buff. The New Nation: The Creation of the United States in Paintings and Eyewitness Accounts: The Art of Mort Künstler (Sterling 2014) is a meticulously researched account of the birth of our…

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Harry Potter: The Creature Vault reveals the origins of J.K. Rowling’s fantastic beasts

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(Beware: Ahead spoilers be!) Ladies and gents, it’s honesty hour. I am a fraud of a Potterhead. Dobby forgive me, I watched the movies before I read the books. In fact, I did not see the light until very late, like Deathly Hallows Part I late. Do not judge me. I did not endure the heartbreak that was the Battle of the Department of Mysteries for you to judge me. A great part of the allure of the world of Harry Potter is its mystical, majestic and sometimes menacing creatures. Dame J.K. Rowling painted vivid images of creatures like the grindylows and their fellow lake dwellers the merpeople.  The books’ illustrations gave us just a glimpse into the magnificence of…

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Rocking around the holidays with groovy photos of music icons

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I love holiday music—ALL holiday music, from the schmaltzy versions of 50s and 60s pop artists singing carols to the revered orchestral renderings of The Messiah. When it comes to music around the holidays, the more “sing we joyous all together, heedless of the wind and weather,” the better. But at heart, the music that’s imprinted into my DNA, the music that’s formed the soundtrack of my life, is rock ‘n’ roll. Fortunately, there are three new, beautiful coffee table books out this season that will jingle the bells of anyone who loves their music with a heavy backbeat. With any luck, the Big Guy in Red will take a long look at these books when he’s deciding whether I’ve…

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Retronaut: A wild journey aboard a photographic time machine

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H.G. Wells had his time machine, and Doctor Who has his TARDIS, but now comes a book that actually allows you, the reader, to do the time-travelling. The book is Retronaut: the Photographic Time Machine, a collection of 350 images that, in the words of its author, “is about seeing the past through different lenses.” Think of the book as a compilation of the most delightful and astonishing pictures from the massive photo album of our shared worldwide cultural heritage. The photos come from Retronaut.com, a website celebrating some of the most intriguing, amazing and amusing images ever captured on film.  Retronaut (both the book and the website) are the creation of Chris Wild, a British blogger who describes himself…

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Style that knows no age: Ari Seth Cohen on the muses of Advanced Style

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Walking down the street in New York City is always a unique experience. The clichés are true—it really is a melting pot of culture, fashion, and age. But for Ari Seth Cohen, founder of the popular blog Advanced Style, it’s also his workplace. Cohen spends his days photographing the unique and creative older set—a demographic so often overlooked in today’s society. His subjects are always impeccably dressed, often daring, and clearly confident. It’s no wonder his blog has morphed into a book as well as a soon-to-be released documentary. The trailer is almost too charming for words: Advanced Style is out September 26, and we can’t wait to hear more about these women’s lives, inspirations and unflagging spirits. In the…

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Living for summer’s musical moments

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You know that feeling you get at a concert when your soul is singing the lyrics and your heart is playing the beat? You’re praying the music never stops, wishing you could stay in the moment forever. As I am sure you know, you are not alone. Erin Feinberg knows the feeling and so do Neil Peart of Rush and Bruce Springsteen. They have found a way to make it last forever. This familiar musical sensation is creatively shown in Feinberg’s Diehards, a book of black-and-white photos that invites readers on a journey to the spiritual world of live concerts. Including personal essays from Peart and Springsteen, it perfectly illustrates the universal power of a live music show. The combined…

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How will YOU celebrate National Library Week?

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April 13th marks the first day of National Library Week, a celebration sponsored by the American Library Association that has been observed since 1958. The week-long celebration is aimed at promoting the use and support of libraries. According to the “State of America’s Libraries Report” released last year during National Library Week, 53% of Americans reported visiting a library or book mobile in the past year. Whether you count yourself among those 53% or not, this week is a good time to step back and appreciate what our public libraries have to offer. Robert Dawson’s new book, The Public Library: A Photographic Essay (Princeton Architectural Press, April) is a good place to start. The book includes photographs taken by Dawson over…

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So, what is it really like to serve in Afghanistan?

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Through glossy photos, pull-out literature, and writings by Steven Hartov, readers start from the outset of servicemembers’ deployment and finish not only with the service members’ heartfelt return, but with a deeper understanding of their experience in Afghanistan. Robert Cunningham’s high-gloss, high-definition photographs will inspire readers through his portrayal of what our brave servicemembers feel and see every day, on and off the battlefield. With detail, emotion, and conviction, the narrative illuminates everything from the tears left on the tarmac as a service member deploys, their downtime, life beyond the protection of the base, iron horses (helicopters, planes, and armored trucks), the military chaplain, what happens to wounded soldiers, how fallen service members are brought home, and other aspects of…

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