What I Read in January

24905371In Progress by Jessica Hische

Jessica Hische is one of my favorite designers, so this was on my Christmas wishlist. (Thanks, Grandma W!)

In Progress was excellent. It’s incredibly informative and packed full of helpful tips. I expected it to be full of great sketches, but the amount of details regarding her process and all the technical tips were a wonderful surprise.

Oh, and it’s a gorgeous book. It’s not just the featured work that’s attractive, it’s the layout and color choices for the actual book. I especially love the silvery ink used for the pencil sketches.

13536591Grace: A Memoir by Grace Coddington

Grace Coddington is the creative director of Vogue magazine. I don’t know much about the fashion industry, but mom and I watched The September Issue last year, and Grace seemed like a fascinating character.

I loved the first part of the book where she wrote about her childhood and early modeling career. But after the first hundred pages, it started to drag pretty badly. At certain points it seemed like a recitation of name after name (of fashion people I don’t recognize) without many interesting details. However, I did think her sketches added some charm!

24019187Humans of New York: Stories by Brandon Stanton

Another Christmas gift! A lot of these photos and stories were already familiar to me from the HONY blog, but they were worth the re-read/look.

HONY is very much a 21st century project. The photos are seen and shared all over the world, which is only possible because of the internet. It’s thought provoking to hold the photos in the form of a physical book and think about all the possibilities the internet holds . . . but also about the value and permanence held by traditional media and physical objects (like books!).

Jane, the Fox & Me by Fanny Britt and Isabelle Arsenault: Short and sweet graphic novel about a girl who copes with life by reading Jane Eyre. It was written for a much younger age bracket, but the illustrations were lovely (particularly the use of color to convey the main character’s emotions).

New York Drawings by Adrian Tomine: This was mostly a collection of illustrations that the author did for The New Yorker. I liked his looser sketches, but overall his style isn’t one I particularly enjoyed.

Old Men at Midnight by Chaim Potok: This book contained three short stories that were loosely tied to Potok’s book Davita’s Harp, which is one of my favorites. They weren’t his best work, but the little glimpses of Davita’s adult life were nice.

14577533Elegantissima by Louise Fili

What a beautiful, beautiful book! I requested this from my library after reading In Progress, because Jessica Hische spent her early years working for Louise Fili.

It’s worth reiterating: this book is gorgeous! Louise does vintage and Italian inspired typography, and her designs are very classic with just the right dash of originality and modern taste. She specializes in book covers, food packaging, and restaurant identities. Delicious!

Comment below: What did you read in January? Any recommendations?