Graham has been a bookseller for over 20 years.
Reviews & Recommendations
Collects John Berger's essays on photography written between 1967 and 2007, with an insightful introductory essay by editor Geoff Dyer. Understanding a Photograph deserves to be read alongside those works on the medium by Walter Benjamin, Roland Barthes, and Susan Sontag.
If you haven't picked up Walden since you were in high school or in college, I urge you to do so. Walden is not merely a journal recording the two years, two months, and two days Thoreau lived beside Walden Pond, as is commonly taught. It is also a carefully considered response to Ralph Waldo Emerson's essay "The American Scholar." Thoreau demonstrates, in a manner Emerson never quite could, the ways in which the influence of both nature and books can be transformed into action.
Although it's set on a "long still hot weary dead September afternoon" in Jefferson, Mississippi in 1909 (and, later, on a frozen night in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1910), Faulkner's novel provides an insightful history of nineteenth-century America. If one seeks to understand American culture today, a good place to begin is with Faulkner's novel.
The most compelling aspect of Operative Design is that it successfully works on two levels at once: the visual and the verbal. If you're interested in the language of design, then take a look. This is the coolest book in the store. I mean it.
Di Mari's first book, Operative Design, introduced the use of spatial verbs as a way to think about the formation and manipulation of basic shapes. His new book, Conditional Design, extends the practice to fundamental architectural shapes. Di Mari describes his approach as "elemental architecture." As with his first book, Conditional Design will appeal to anyone interested in language and in design.
"Sometimes the young — discouraged, overwhelmed — ask me incredulously: 'You mean you still have hope?' And I hear myself saying, yes, I still have hope: beleaguered, starved, battered, based hope. Through horrors, blood, betrayals, apathy, callousness, retreats, defeats — in every decade of my now 82-year-old life that hope has been tested, affirmed. And more than hope: an exhaustless store of certainty, vision, belief — which came to me first in the time of my youthhood, the Depression '30s." from "A Vision of Fear and Hope" (1994)
The nonfiction prose works collected in Lorde's Sister Outsider are works of genius, of uncompromising insight and analysis, from which we will always have much to learn.
An aspect of hooks' thought I find welcoming is her unswerving belief that an end to "sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression" — the goal of feminism as hooks defines it in Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center (1984) — only will come about through the combined efforts of both women and men. In the wake of Tarana Burke's "Me Too" movement — and its latest iteration as social media's #MeToo — Feminism Is for Everybody deserves to be read by anyone seeking to understand our current moment.
Reading Wendell Berry’s book on William Carlos Williams in the spring of 2020, following the death of George Floyd, I was struck by the many ways in which the practical, ethical, and aesthetic dimensions of a poet’s “local commitment” — Berry’s to his native, Kentucky farmland and Williams’s to his native, New Jersey industrial landscape — parallel those of a reader as she learns to interpret the works she reads. The tools poets use to place themselves imaginatively, and therefore effectively, in their lives are the tools readers use to do the same. If one is interested in the relation between art and politics, Berry’s book is the place to begin.
Eavan Boland reflects upon her growth as both a poet and as a woman writing poems, providing insightful perspective into the historical boundedness of each category. This book is a brilliant example of an artist working at the peak of her career, bringing the imaginative resources of her medium to bear on the materials of her own life.