Things I Love, (April &) May 2017

Well, I missed a month of my new monthly column, so this will be a bonus two-month edition of Things I Love. Without further ado, here are somewhat random things that I have loved over the last two months, both photographic and non-photographic:

  1. Favorite article for photo book geeks: This New Yorker feature on the publisher Steidl. Of course, if you are a photo book geek, you probably have already seen this.
  2. Books I loved, non-photographic. These last two months were great for reading with a bit of travel and good luck on choosing books as well. The best book I read was Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, which was gripping and brutal and depressing. Other great books for me from these last two months were:
    The Night Ocean by Paul La Farge (entertaining novel very loosely based on the life of H.P. Lovecraft)
    Lab Girl by Hope Jahren (fascinating memoir about botany and the life of a scientist)
    The Book of the Unnamed Midwife by Meg Elison (great female protagonist in this post-apocalyptic novel)
    Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman (as entertaining as Gaiman’s work always is)
    Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (beautifully written, of course, because it is Saunders)
    Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler (I finally read this great and influential post-apocalyptic novel)
    Born a Crime by Trevor Noah (much more interesting than I expected, it is the story of growing up in South Africa during apartheid)
    The Hour of Land by Terry Tempest Williams (a love letter to life and the U.S. National Parks)
    Borne by Jeff Vandermeer (wonderfully written and includes a giant flying bear in a post-apocalyptic landscape – I’m in)
  3. Best bookstore: Any trip to Powell’s City of Books in Portland, OR is a good one, and spending five nights in a hotel a few blocks away was heavenly. One of the world’s happy places.
  4. Photobook you should buy if you can swing it: Ravens. Perhaps the greatest of all photobooks back in print by Mack Books — and if this edition is like any of the previous ones, it will be out-of-print and very expensive soon. Good reviews here and here.
  5. Favorite political satire: Winners and Losers of the Recent Nuclear Holocaust.
  6. Awesome podcast: S-Town. This podcast has been massively popular in 2017, and deservedly so. I won’t say much because I don’t want to spoil things, but if a podcast about a fascinating character in a small Alabama town sounds intriguing, you should absolutely seek this out.
  7. Promising photography podcast: The Halftone. His first eighteen guests have been pretty spectacular (I’ve just started listening to this, but it is an impressive guest list).
  8. Movie: Moonlight. Ok, it won Best Picture at the Oscars, so it is not really under the radar, but it is still amazing.
  9. Rocks I Loved: Painted Hills (see above with image leading this section). I’ve wanted to go the Painted Hills in Eastern Oregon for many years and finally was able to do so after Photolucida in April.
  10. Exhibit that I wish I could see: Linden Frederick’s Night Stories at the Forum Gallery in NYC through June 30th. Luckily for Mainers, Linden’s exhibition will be traveling to the CMCA in Rockland on August 19th.
  11. Best new exhibit that I will find some way to see as soon as I can: James Turrell at MassMoCa. You can read about the giant new addition to the museum here.
  12. Photography quote: “The less descriptive the photo, the more stimulating it is for the imagination. The less information, the more suggestion: the less prose, the more poetry.”  ~ Ernst Haas
  13. Most powerful song & video: Cry No More.
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