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Category: Books (page 1 of 6)

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When a fire ripped through Deyrolle, the beloved taxidermy establishment here, early one morning last February, it was as if a dagger had been plunged into the heart of Paris.
Elaine Sciolino – From Ashes, Reviving a Place of Wild Dreams

After the Deyrolle fire took place, photographer Laurent Bochet was able to photograph the damaged specimens and published them through Assouline into a single volume. While it’s been long out of print, copies can still be found through 3rd party sellers though you will need some patience if you want to find one for a good price. A few are still available through Deyrolle as well, though you should inquire about shipping as the last thing you want to put in your luggage on your way back from Paris is a 5lb tome.

Related: Browse inside Deyrolle with Google Maps.

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Everest – The West Ridge

First published after the successful American Everest Expedition of 1963, Everest – The West Ridge documents the team’s journey with narratives by Thomas Hornbein and awesome photography by several other members of the group. Along with the paperback, there are a few different editions available, the most recent being a 50th Anniversary hardcover version (in a rare yard sale find, I lucked out and found a 1st Edition published by the Sierra Club, which features higher quality prints).

The 1963 expedition became an important part of Everest’s mountaineering history – not just for having Americans make the summit, but for showing that the summit could be made via the West Ridge. Along with the book, it was also documented for National Geographic’s magazine and video series.

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Late Winter Reading

Hoosh – a well researched and wonderfully written look into the history of Antarctic cuisine.
The Last Viking – the latest (and my most favorite biography) of Roald Amundsen.

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Afield, Whole Larder Love

Released last fall, Afield and Whole Larder Love both approach cooking with local sustainable foods, advocating home gardens, wild gathering, and game hunting. The recipes found in each are fairly simple to follow if you have basic kitchen experience, and it’s refreshing to see more education in an area where there is large disconnect between dinner tables and food sources.

Page layout wise, Afield has more of a traditional cookbook feel, while Whole Larder Love uses a trendier style (no doubt influenced by the general styles of the publishers – Afield is from Welcome Books, and Whole Larder Love is from powerHouse). Both are worthwhile to have though, and I think are among the highlights of last year’s otherwise stale cookbook industry.

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British Military Uniforms from Contemporary Pictures

More illustrations and paintings via British Military Uniforms from Contemporary Pictures, published in 1957 by author and historian W. Y. Carman.

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Vintage Menswear

Authored by the men who run the Vintage Showroom in London, Vintage Menswear showcases the highlight pieces of their collection in three main sections: Sports & Leisure, Military, and Workwear. Items are nicely photographed with focus on details that make them unique, and the page layout is similar to the books from Rin Tanaka (who has largely defined this niche area of publishing) – however the authors here improve on the style by expanding a bit on the history of items shown, which is often the largest draw for enthusiasts.

It is also welcoming to see a collection with items sourced mostly from Europe rather than rural America (one can only look at so many pictures of old barn jackets, sweatshirts, and jeans), and it seems every few pages there is an example of a design that has been adopted by Nigel Cabourn or RRL. If you’re interested in vintage clothing and history, this is another great resource to have around. Read more

Still Life

First published back in 2010, Still Life captures the preserved Antarctic huts left behind by the early explorers and Jane Ussher’s artistic photography sets a respectful tone which lets you focus on details which could otherwise be missed in other resources. The book has been in the spotlight lately with the resurgence of interest in Polar exploration history, and most recently was featured prominently in Nigel Cabourn’s Last Expedition exhibit for buyers and press.

Not to be missed, you can also now explore the insides of both huts and see many of the same objects shown in the book thanks to Google: Scott’s Hut and Shackleton’s Hut

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King of Vintage – Heller’s Cafe Part 2

Rin Tanaka has continued his King of Vintage series with another volume showcasing more pieces in Larry McKaughan’s collections – like the first volume, the book opens with a great section on workwear and then transitions through outdoor clothing, sportswear, and then motorcyle gear. The most interesting part however, is the last section on American military graffiti which features items that were painted, stenciled, and embroidered by servicemen.

Get it from InspirationLA.com or Self Edge.

Related posts: King of Vintage – Part 1, An Interview with Larry McKaughan

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Recent Publications for the Adventurers

The Ice Balloon, by Alec Wilkinson. In 1897, a Swedish man by the name of S.A. Andrée famously made an attempt to explore the Arctic in a large balloon – he and his team did not make it (perished) but the diaries and photographs later recovered from their last camp are pieced together with other source material by the author for a fascinating story.

Into the Silence, by Wade Davis. George Mallory only has a small role in this historical recount of early expeditions to Mt. Everest, as the author also writes about other mountaineering personalities of the time who were important in the exploration of the mountain and nearby regions. In an interesting approach, he also ties in the impact that WW1 had on each of the men.

South Pole: The British Antarctic Expedition 1910–1913, by Christine Dell’Amore. To coincide with the centenaries of several Antarctic expeditions, publishers have released a steady supply of related books over the past two years – in the photography category, Assouline’s book stands at the forefront for best page layout and design with great writing by the author summarizing Captain Scott’s attempt to reach the South Pole. Should money be no object, it’s also available in an oversized $1k edition, or $3k if you want it waterproofed (apparently publishers will do these sorts of things after members of royalty write the book introductions).

The Lost Photographs of Captain Scott, by David M. Wilson. This is a more than just a picture book, as the author writes extensively on the subjects of the photos and how they fit into the overall expedition. The photos are also published in the order which they were taken (sorted with the help of diaries recovered), and you can get an understanding of how bleak things increasingly become for Captain Scott and his men.

Side Notes

Into The Silence included a few pages of small photos, a few of which I hadn’t seen before. It would be great to see an author and publisher work together to release a photography book focusing on the pictures taken during the early Mt. Everest expeditions, as I’m sure there is lots of unpublished material available in the Royal Geographical Society’s archives.

A handful of the portraits shown in South Pole: The British Antarctic Expedition 1910–1913 which were among my favorite pictures included.


Gary Cooper – Enduring Style

Enduring Style is now out in stores as of today and I was able to find a copy after work. The team at Powerhouse did a great job on this one – aside from the nice slipcase and binding, the page layouts highlight the pictures perfectly without having to rely on text and even Boyer’s essay near the end of the book is short and succinct (if only more photography books were like this).

The one thing to take away from this book: there is much more to style than just clothing.


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