it’s a no-brainer why this one stole my heart immediately. swiss designer Jean Robert finds a ‘face’ in a padlock 20 years ago and then goes on a quest with his little brother Francois to take photos of more objects that have faces. 130 of them to be precise. such a simple and lovely idea and so well executed. five stars to the creative geniuses. and five stars to shabs for knowing that this book must have been lovingly created with weirdos like me in mind.
2. handmade nation
an entire book filled to the brim with crafty people showcasing their craftiness. there is no type of person i love more than those who create opportunities to express their creativity. i know that i probably shouldn’t have favorite ‘types’ of people. i know that the diversity of types of people we have in the world is important and keeps the world spinning. blah blah blah. but i’ll be honest, the people i’m most drawn to are those who embrace their creativity. so sue me.
side note: when a friend not only gifts you an inspiring book that makes you want to start 17 creative projects at once but ALSO a camera obscura kit for your birthday, you know that friend is soul mate. i love you ashley ludwin.
so elizabeth gilbert, of Eat, Pray, Love fame, penned a sequel to her bestseller and calls it ‘Committed’ – with the subhead: a skeptic makes peace with marriage. i’d read Eat, Pray, Love while I was in the throws of a 7 year relationship ending and gilbert’s re-telling of her journey ‘spoke’ to me. lo and behold, Eat, Pray, Love became a bestseller a few months later and, surprise surprise, there were others who also felt the book ‘spoke’ to them. and i guess this is a pretty telling indicator of the world we live in. a world where broken relationships and broken people are dime a dozen and we’re all flailing about wondering if we perhaps need to trek to india and find a spiritual guru to set us straight.
in Committed gilbert explores, untangles and rallies with her conflicted feelings about the institution of marriage because getting married to her brazilian lover is the only way he can stay in the states a la green card. as they roam around the globe together waiting for the paperwork to go through and to finalize visas etc, gilbert embarks on her research of wedlock–the union that she had zero interest in entering in again.
halfway through the book i texted every friend who is considering marriage, considering never marrying, scared about their own marriage, or deliriously happy with their choice either way, and told them to read this book. and please keep in mind, i don’t usually do this. i’m not a ‘recommend-er’. if i see a movie and love it, i’ll tell you (if you ask) how i felt about it, but i’m not going to barrage you with my review and pester you to see it. the risk of let down is too great. but this book was different. and not because it’s the most profound thing i’ve ever read (because it’s not). or because elizabeth gilbert is my favorite author (because she’s not). but because i finally felt like someone was putting into words things that i (and i believe many others) have felt and rarely had the opportunity to explore openly. gilbert talks about the contradictions of marriage. she discusses her concerns frankly. and they are valid concerns. concerns i shared at one point. she explores how the institution of marriage came into existence and how it has played out in our society. she addresses her own issues with conformity in a refreshing and real way. she is part cynic, part optimist, part explorer, part adventurer and part terrified of making the wrong decision.
now i feel like i’ve built it up too much and you’re going to pelt me with your amazon receipts when you buy the book and it doesn’t change your life. so for now, go borrow a copy and read it with low expectations. and blame andy grammer if it doesn’t do anything for you, since he was the one who talked it up and then gave it to me.