December 18, 2010

20 (More) New Books for New York, New York

As soon as I finished compiling a list of books for the post, Required City Reading: 25 New Books for New York, New York, published in early November, many more titles presented themselves. Some were published later, but other notable books appeared earlier in the year. A few came out in 2009, but the paperback is now available. As with the former list, these are titles that involve New York as a prominent setting.

• Thomas Kramer, New York in Postcards 1880:1980: The Andreas Adam Collection (Scheidegger & Spiess; University of Chicago Press, October 2010). The 900 postcards, culled from an enormous personal collection, reveal historical changes, lost landmarks, and the modern cultural history of New York, from one style and art movement to another.

• Norval White, Elliot Willensky, and Fran Leadon, AIA Guide to New York City (Oxford, June 2010). The most indispensable guide to New York architecture, frequently cited on these pages, is now significantly updated to include new buildings and new thoughts on old buildings. Witty, opinionated and educational, required reading for anyone interested in the built environment of New York.

• The Staff of the New York Historical Society Library, When Did the Statue of Liberty Turn Green?: And 101 Other Questions About New York City. (Columbia University Press, September 2010). FAQs to the Library's staff and their answers. Humorous and informative urban history.

• Reuel Golden, NEW YORK: Portrait of a City (Taschen, September 2010). Coffee table book with 600 pictures by famous photographers and from several archives of the metropolis from 19th century days to the present.

• James Sturm and Brandon Elston, editors, Denys Wortman's New York: Portrait of the City in the 30s and 40s (Drawn and Quarterly, November 2010). Cartoonist Wortman is not well-known, but these vivid drawings of vintage New York are worth a full appreciation,

• Danielle Trussoni, Angelology. (Viking, March 2010). The story centers on fallen and bad angels, some of them living in Manhattan. When you're tired of vampires and zombies, try bad angels cavorting with the Rockefellers.

• Kenneth T. Jackson, editor, The Encyclopedia of New York City: Second Edition (Yale, December 2010). Epic work on the city includes 800 new entries. Its 1,584 pages address most all the questions about the city. With 700 illustrations, too.

• Mosette Broderick, Triumvirate: McKim, Mead & White: Art, Architecture, Scandal, and Class in America's Gilded Age (Knopf, October 2010) A new story and analysis of the one of the most influential architecture firms of the turn of the century, with emphasis on the differences among the three. The scandal mentioned in that title belongs to Stanford White.

• Larry Stempel, Showtime: A History of the Broadway Musical Theater (W.W. Norton & Company, September 2010). Beginning with the Astor Place Opera House riot of 1849, Stempel traces the evolution of one of America's best-known art forms, while illuminating the themes of the most important musicals. A hefty tome with 826 pages.

Jazz: Herman Leonard (Bloomsbury, October 2010). Photographer Leonard opened a studio in Greenwich Village the the years following WWII, a golden age for the neighborhood and for its jazz scene. HIs images of Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Billie Holiday, and more have become the iconic images associated with the jazz greats.

Patti Smith, Just Kids (Ecco/HarperColllins, November 2010, paper) Now in paperback, the memoir by rock legend Smith has won a National Book Award. Here's the New York of Hotel Chelsea, the punk scene, William Burroughs, and most of all, a friendship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe.

Edmund White, City Boy: My Life in New York During the 1960s and 20s (Bloomsbury, September 2010). Now in paperback, novelist White's account of his move to Manhattan in 1962, encountering a changing gay culture, the city's literati, and his own literary ambitions.

Jim Carroll, The Petting Zoo (Viking, November 2010). A posthumous novel from the writer best known for The Basketball Diaries centers on the story of a painter's emotional breakdown. The famous artist's first meltdown occurs in the Central Park's petting zoo. A visit from a raven will soon follow.

 • Sam Wesson, Fifth Avenue, 5 a.m.: Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and the Dawn of the Modern Woman (Harper Studio, June 2010). A social history of the making of a quintessential movie associated with glamorous New York. The film's director, Blake Edwards, passed away this week. (Walking Off the Big Apple's take on Capote's version of Holly Golightly appears here.)

• Amanda Hesser, Essential New York Times Cookbook: Classic Recipes for a New Century (Norton, October 2010). Those with the old Craig Claiborne New York Times Cookbook will get a whole new experience with this volume, though Claiborne appears, too. This is one ambitious cookbook, as much fun to read in the living room as in the kitchen.

Vivian Cherry's New York (powerHouse Books, November 2010). Fifty years of surprising photographs of New Yorkers. Sometimes, it's one thing to shoot New York scenes, and a whole other thing to capture the people who live here. Cherry, a former dancer, knows how people react to their spaces.

Alphaville: 1988, Crime, Punishment, and the Battle for New York City's Lower East Side by Michael Codella and Bruce Bennett (Thomas Dunne Books, November 2010). Back in the 1980s, the drug trade often made life difficult for longtime residents on the Lower East Side. Codella, a retired NYPD detective sergeant, writes a noir-ish account of the battle for the neighborhood.

• Patrice Farame, editor, AAD New York: Art Architecture Design (teNeues, November 2010). Great-looking guide to art, museums, art galleries, and architectural landmarks, listing the must-see stops for NYC cultural travelers.

• Phoebe Hoban, Alice Neel: The Art of Not Sitting Pretty (St. Martin's Press, December 2010). Artist Neel (1900-1984), best known for her uncompromising portraiture, is a good subject for Hoban's smart gaze. A 2007 documentary made by her grandson and a 2010 retrospective in Houston have sustained an interest Neel's art, politics, and personal life.

• Debbie Macomber, Call Me Mrs. Miracle (Mira, September 2010). Set in the only independent family department store left in New York, on 34th Street no less, the story involves greed and poverty and holiday wishes. Suitable for those who like Hallmark specials and tales described as "heart-warming."

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