2015 Holiday Gift Book Guide
Treehouses, and yurts, and cabins – oh my! Chock full of photos of wilderness dwellings, Cabin Porn purports to teach readers how to DIY themselves right off the grid. Each chapter tells a story of how someone created a wilderness retreat while purporting to impart the wisdom of their experience to the reader. Thus, nine instructional chapters with titles like “How to Live 30 Feet in the Air,” “How to Live Underground,” and “How to Convert a Grain Silo.” Cabin Porn is a truly inspiring book for anyone who has wanted to unshackle themselves from the city or the suburbs, or even just for those who’d like to ogle some incredible photographs of off-grid retreats from around the world.
At 32-years-old, climber, artist, activist, and long-time illustrator for a plethora of climbing magazines, Jeremy Collins had a vision. He would go north, south, east, and west to climbthe most challenging walls, meet interesting people, and fill his sketchbooks with pen and ink sketches, watercolor paintings, and intricate line drawings of his adventures. Drawn is an exquisite visual journal for climbers, artists, storytellers, and lovers of visual journaling.
With more than 250 of nature photographer Gerrit Vyn’s powerful photographs jumping off the page, The Living Bird is an gorgeous book and an excellent gift for anyone with a love of nature (or just excellent photography). Throw in compelling nature writing from the likes of Barbara Kingsolver and Jared Diamond, and you’re pretty much holding the coffee table book of the year.
The third in Scottish illustrator Johanna Basford’s series of inky adult coloring books, Lost Ocean is a subaquatic pirate’s treasure of pen and ink work just waiting to be filled in. Patterned kelp and coral reefs, ornate seashells, starfish and sharks await hidden amidst Basford’s signature intricate line work.
Plotted: A Literary Atlas by Andrew DeGraff
In Plotted: A Literary Atlas, illustrator Andrew DeGraff joins forces with writer Daniel Harmon to create this atlas of 19 maps, each of which is inspired by a literary classic. If, like me, you’re a book lover with a soft spot for maps, you’re going to really like Plotted. It will give you a whole new view on some of your favorite classics.
From The Odyssey to Hamlet,and A Wrinkle in Time to Watership Down, DeGraff tackles illustrating character voyages of all stripes. His work is hand-painted, but his isometric illustrations of place and architecture are reminiscent (for me, anyway) of the work of pixel artists like Eboy.
Check out some sample pages from Plotted here; it’s a great gift for the bibliophile in your life (even if that person is you).