Books Worth Reading

  • Gwarlingo Salon with DJ Spooky-Photo by Michelle Aldredge-3

DJ Spooky Launches Gwarlingo Salon with The Imaginary App

By |04.09.15|


On August 5, 2008 a new app called I Am Rich appeared in Apple’s App Store. The app, created by Armin Heinrich, cost $999.99 and was a “work of art with no hidden function at all.” Instead, the app’s icon, […]

  • Twas Later When the Summer Went

The Gorgeous Nothings: The Envelope Poems of Emily Dickinson

By |07.18.14|


For Proust,” Susan Howe writes in her Preface to The Gorgeous Nothings, “a fragment is a morsel of time in its pure state; it hovers between a present that is immediate and a past that once had been present.”

The fragments […]

  • Lewis Wickes Hine, a construction worker at the Empire State Building, 1931. Gelatin Silver Print 7 1/2 X 9 1/2 in. (Photo courtesy the New York Public Library Digital Gallery)

Skyscrapers: A Cure For Loneliness & Overconsumption? Judith Dupré on the World’s Most Extraordinary Buildings

By |01.09.14|

Books Worth Reading
Skyscrapers: A History of the World’s Most Extraordinary Buildings
By Judith Dupré. Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, 176 pages

Architecture is the art form we spend the most time with in our daily lives, and yet it’s a medium that […]

  • Best-Books-of-2013-Gwarlingo-Collage

Gwarlingo’s 26 Favorite Art, Photography, Film & Design Books of 2013

By |12.12.13|


As an ex-librarian and book collector, one of my favorite things to do is to ferret out new publications and share them with readers. Whenever I’m traveling, I scour local bookstores and museum shops for interesting books. (Carting heavy art […]

  • The chefs of Sherry's restaurant at luncheon in 1902 (Photo courtesy the Museum of the City of New York, the Byron Company Collection. Click to Enlarge)

Chop-Suey, Automats, & Diamondback Terrapin: Michael Lesy & Lisa Stoffer on Dining in America

By |12.01.13|

Wisconsin Death Trip
My first introduction to the work of Michael Lesy was a chance encounter many years ago with his classic photography book Wisconsin Death Trip. Flipping through the images of children in coffins and grim-faced Midwesterners, I wasn’t entirely sure […]

  • Lisa Dahl, Aureolin, 20 x 30 inches, acrylic on color photograph, 2005. (Image Lisa Dahl courtesy the artist)

Writer Howard Mansfield on Clutter, Home Improvement & the Most Hated House on the Block

By |11.19.13|


“Everyone, rich or poor, deserves a shelter for the soul.” -Samuel Mockbee
The Click & Clack of Clutter

I am fascinated by how houses succeed or fail to shelter us, body and soul, ” says writer Howard Mansfield in his new book Dwelling […]

  • Photographer Thomas Neff took this photo of Caroline Koch on Mandeville Street after Hurricane Katrina. (Photo by Thomas Neff courtesy Lumiere Fine Art Photography Gallery)

A New Orleans Hospital Becomes Hell: Sheri Fink’s Five Days at Memorial

By |11.04.13|


How do we cope with a disaster on the scale of Hurricane Katrina? Do we learn the necessary lessons and adjust accordingly, or do we simply slip back into a state of denial? How prepared are we for the next […]

  • Daily Rituals-Click to Purchase

Daily Rituals: How Artists Create (And Avoid Creating) Their Art

By |09.25.13|


One Sunday in 2007 Mason Currey was sitting alone in the office of his employer—an architecture magazine—trying (and failing) to finish an article that was due the next day. Instead of getting down to business, he compulsively tidied his cubicle, […]

  • Prison Postcard-Auburn Prison, New York

Postcards from a Prison Teacher

By |09.11.13|


2.3 million people are currently imprisoned in the United States, that’s one out of every 100 adults—more per capita than any other country in the world. (Repressive China is a distant second, with one in 1,000 adults incarcerated.)

As Ayelet Waldman […]

  • Helena Almeida, Inhabited Painting, 1975.
© Helena Almeida, courtesy Serralves Foundation Collection, Oporto, Portugal

I Never Knew How Blue Blueness Could Be: Maggie Nelson’s Bluets

By |06.12.13|



One of the joys of Gwarlingo is meeting art lovers from around the world. Sigrun Hodne and I found each other early in Gwarlingo’s short history, and though she lives in Norway, and I in New Hampshire, I’m constantly amazed […]

  • This 1,000 square-foot weekend cabin designed by architect Tom Kundig is basically a steel box on stilts and can be completely shuttered when the owner is away. Situated near a river in a floodplain, the 20’ x 20’ square footprint rises three stories and is topped by the living room/kitchen. Large, 10’ x 18’ steel shutters can be closed simultaneously using a hand crank. (Photo by Tim Bies courtesy Olson Kundig Architects)

Architect Says: Less Is More. Less Is a Bore.

By |06.05.13|



Philadelphia is a city awash with memorable architecture, so it’s fitting that I stumbled across The Architect Says: Quotes, Quips, and Words of Wisdom at the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s store, which offers a well-curated assortment of books inside of Horace Trumbauer’s […]

  • Sister Donata (Mary Johnson) with Mother Theresa (left) at her first profession of vows, in Rome, June 8, 1980 (Courtesy)

“Naughty Nun” Mary Johnson on Existential Crisis & Mother Teresa

By |03.07.13|





When Mary Johnson left Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity after 20 years of service, she had to learn to pump her own gasoline, to use a microwave and ATM, and to make her own decisions. For […]

  • aiweiwei with book

Ai Weiwei’s Little Black Book

By |02.06.13|



I didn’t expect a publication that has been touted as one of the “Best Art Books of 2012” to stand just six inches tall and contain only two photographs. But as Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s new book Weiwei-isms proves, small can […]

  • Soaring High Book01

Soaring High: The Art of Auto-Giros, Rocket Planes, Airships, & Strange Aircraft

By |01.18.13|



It’s Friday and another week has almost come and gone without a mid-week post on Gwarlingo. Apologies to Gwarlingo readers for neglecting everyone but the poets the past 14 days. I’ve been traveling on business and working on […]

Comments Off on Soaring High: The Art of Auto-Giros, Rocket Planes, Airships, & Strange Aircraft
  • Jenny Holzer,  “Protect me from what I want,” 1982. Times Square, New York City

The Complete Creative Part 4 : Christian McEwen on the Art of Happiness

By |12.18.12|



The holidays have their bright spots: the homemade bourbon balls, the annual viewing of Charlie Brown and the Grinch, the twinkling lights, spending quality time with family and friends, the Messiah performances and sing-a-longs.

But for most of us, the holidays also mean […]

  • Joan Wickersham-Nicholas Latimer

What is Love? Joan Wickersham’s The News from Spain Has Some Surprising Answers

By |11.28.12|



“A story . . . can become close, airless. You cannot stay shut up in your own head anymore; you need a break, some fresh air. Let’s go outside: We’ll take a walk, down a New York City side street. […]

Comments Off on What is Love? Joan Wickersham’s The News from Spain Has Some Surprising Answers
  • A Nancy Drew collection at Hello Hello Books in Rockland, Maine (Photo by Lacy Simons)

15+ Books Worth Reading from Hello Hello Books in Rockland, Maine

By |09.19.12|


I do quite a bit of traveling for Gwarlingo these days and one of the best things about being on the road is discovering out-of-the way, independent bookshops. For me, walking into a deftly run, well-curated bookstore is almost as […]

  • I Am An Executioner-Click To Purchase

Rajesh Parameswaran’s Dazzling Tales of Captivity & Freedom : I Am An Executioner

By |06.28.12|



If like me, you find most summer reading lists too beachy and lacking in inspiration, Rajesh Parameswaran’s I Am an Executioner: Love Stories is the perfect antidote. (After all, our brains don’t go on holiday just because […]

Comments Off on Rajesh Parameswaran’s Dazzling Tales of Captivity & Freedom : I Am An Executioner
  • Love and Fatigue in America-Click to Purchase

What Makes a Healthy Life? Writer Roger King Explores Love & Fatigue in America

By |06.11.12|


What does it mean to live in between?” writes novelist Andrea Barrett of Roger King’s latest book. “Not only between geographical locations, but between health and illness, commitment and freedom, love and loss?”

It is the promise of the […]

  • ADD Caption

Believing is Seeing: Errol Morris Uncovers the Mysteries of Photography

By |01.16.12|



What makes an “honest” photograph—a “true” photograph? Is the medium of photography more factual and authentic than other art forms? What makes a photograph “a fake”? Can a photo be objective or does it always have a point of view? […]

Comments Off on Believing is Seeing: Errol Morris Uncovers the Mysteries of Photography
  • Maurice Sendak - Where The Wild Things Are_Page_20

“Hugo” Author Brian Selznick Shares 20 Favorite Children’s Books with Gwarlingo

By |11.27.11|

Martin Scorsese’s film adaptation of Brian Selznick’s The Invention of Hugo Cabret is out in theaters today.

Selznick’s remarkable book won the 2008 Caldecott Medal (the first young adult novel to win the award for children’s book illustration), was a finalist for […]

  • Slinkachu's street-art miniatures were a favorite of Gwarlingo readers. "They're Not Pets Susan" by Slinkachu

Little People in the City: The Street Art of Slinkachu

By |11.17.11|

In recent years the London street art scene has been dominated by the brash, satirical, crowd-pleasing work of Banksy. His 2010 film Exit Through the Gift Shop, which I’ll be writing about in the coming weeks, made Banksy […]

  • Writer Jeff Sharlet (Photo by Greg Martin)

Writer Jeff Sharlet: Faith, Faithlessness, and the Country in Between

By |11.02.11|

If you follow the subject of American religion, you have likely heard of author Jeff Sharlet.

Sharlet has published five books on the subject, including C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy and The New York Times best seller The […]

Comments Off on Writer Jeff Sharlet: Faith, Faithlessness, and the Country in Between
  • (Untitled) #3839, 2000 © Bill Jacobson

Photographer Bill Jacobson: A Rare Look at the Evolution of an Artist

By |10.19.11|



If you’re in New York be sure to stop by Julie Saul Gallery to catch Bill Jacobson’s new photography show. Into the Loving Nowhere (1989 till now) opens Thursday, October 20th with a special reception from 6-8 p.m. and will be on […]

  • The same manhole covered as pictured above, but in color (Photo by jpellgen via Flickr Commons)

Drainspotting: 61 Amazing Manhole Covers from Japan

By |08.14.11|


One of my favorite book discoveries this summer is Drainspotting by Remo Camerota. The book celebrates an array of fascinating manhole cover designs from Japan. According to Camerota, nearly 95% of the 1,780 municipalities in Japan have their very own customized manhole covers. […]