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THE GIRL WITH THE LEICA

One of our recommended books for 2019 is The Girl with the Leica by Helena Janeczek

Gerda Taro was a German-Jewish war photographer, anti-fascist activist, artist and innovator who, together with her partner, the Hungarian Endre Friedmann, was one half of the alias Robert Capa, widely considered to be the twentieth century’s greatest war and political photographer. She was killed while documenting the Spanish Civil War and tragically became the first female photojournalist to be killed on a battlefield.

August 1, 1937, Paris. Taro’s twenty-seventh birthday, and her funeral. Friedmann, who would henceforth assume the moniker Robert Capa alone, leads the procession. He taught Taro to use a Leica. Together, they left for the Spanish Civil War to bear witness to fascist war crimes.

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HOME AFTER DARK

One of our recommended books for 2019 is Home After Dark by David Small

Since the publication of Stitches a decade ago, David Small has emerged as one of the seminal authors in the genre of graphic literature. Here, in Home After Dark, a Boston Globe Best Book of 2018, Small provides a “painfully honest” and “haunting work of unfolding surprise” (Jules Feiffer) that renders the brutality of adolescence in the 1950s. Through “gorgeous and expressive drawings” (Roz Chast), Small “recaptures the inchoate chaos of youth” (Jack Gantos), telling the story of thirteen-year-old Russell Pruitt, who, abandoned by his mother, follows his father to the sun-splashed land of California in search of a dream.

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THE BLESSING

One of our recommended books for 2019 is The Blessing by Gregory Orr

Hailed on its original publication as “eloquent testimony to the engaging power of art in a man’s life” (Washington Post), this deeply moving memoir, long out of print, is reissued with an illuminating new afterword.

When acclaimed poet Gregory Orr was twelve years old, he shot and killed his brother in a hunting accident. From the immediate aftermath—a period of shock, sadness, and isolation—it quickly became clear that support and guidance would not be coming from his distant mother. Nor would it come from his father, a philandering country doctor addicted to amphetamines. Left to his own devices,

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THE PAPER WASP

One of our recommended books for 1029 is The Paper Wasp by Lauren Acampora

An electrifying debut novel from the acclaimed author of The Wonder Garden, The Paper Wasp is a riveting knife-edge story of two women’s dark friendship of twisted ambition set against the backdrop of contemporary Hollywood.

In small-town Michigan, Abby Graven leads a solitary life. Once a bright student on the cusp of a promising art career, she now languishes in her childhood home, trudging to and from her job as a supermarket cashier. Each day she is taunted from the magazine racks by the success of her former best friend Elise, a rising Hollywood starlet whose life in pictures Abby obsessively scrapbooks. 

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IN THE FULL LIGHT OF THE SUN

One of our recommended books for 2019 is In the Full Light of the Sun by Clare Clark

Based on a true story, this gorgeous new novel follows the fortunes of three Berliners caught up in an art scandal—involving newly discovered van Goghs—that rocks Germany amidst the Nazis’ rise to power.

Hedonistic and politically turbulent, Berlin in the 1920s is a city of seedy night clubs and sumptuous art galleries. It is home to millionaires and mobs storming bakeries for rationed bread. These disparate Berlins collide when Emmeline, a young art student; Julius, an art expert; and a mysterious dealer named Rachmann all find themselves caught up in the astonishing discovery of thirty-two previously unknown paintings by Vincent van Gogh.

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FEAST OF ASHES

One of our recommended books for 2019 is Feast of Ashes by Sato Moughalian

Along the cobbled streets and golden walls of Jerusalem, brilliantly glazed tiles catch the light and beckon the eye. These colorful wares—known as Armenian ceramics—are iconic features of the Holy City. Silently, these works of ceramic art represent a riveting story of resilience and survival.

Feast of Ashes tells the story of David Ohannessian, the renowned ceramicist who in 1919 founded the art of Armenian pottery in Jerusalem, where his work and that of his followers is now celebrated as a local treasure. Ohannessian’s life encompassed some of the most tumultuous upheavals of the modern Middle East.

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