Tag: non fiction

The Keepers of Light

by William Crawford

It is subtitled “A history and working guide to early photographic processes”.

When I was in art school, at the University of Washington, this was my primary guide. It is no bible, because it is flawed in many respects—it contains many poor formulas, but it did get me experimenting with chemistry and making prints, and working out the key formulae for myself.  I made very many cyanotypes and salted paper prints.…

Everyday Life in Ancient Egypt

by Jon Manchip White

I love ancient history, and Egypt’s is as bizarre and beautiful as any on earth. I am sure there are better books than this curious little thing, but it captivates me nonetheless.…

American Small Sailing Craft

by Howard Chappelle

I am endlessly fascinated by sailboat design. How to drive a boat upwind with sticks and canvas? What makes a boat fast? And, being a 19th Century guy, I like wooden sailboats, not the shiny hi-tech plastic things that race about these days.
Boat design is something America can be uniquely proud of. As the global melting pot all during the 18th and 19th centuries, fishermen, boat builders from the entire world contributed to the variety and excellence of American small sailing craft.…

The Ship

by Bjorn Landstrom

This is such an amazing book: a tour de force, the result of thoughtful research and great art. This is an illustrated history of shipbuilding spanning most of the global history.
Keep the River on your Right

Keep the River on your Right

by Tobias Schneebaum

This is one of the most extraordinary travelogues I’ve ever read. It makes me wonder if in Schneebaum’s mind homosexuality and cannibalism are somehow linked?

Schneebaum went from the art scene in Manhattan, to the Amazon rainforest, on a Guggenheim fellowship. He was on a quest to find the most primitive tribe possible.…

Age of Steam

By Lucius Beebe and Charles Clegg

A books of lovely vintage black and white photography of steam locomotives, shot from early to mid twentieth Century. And some vintage illustration and engravings.

Find a vintage copy, if you can, of this ode to steam locomotives. The rotogravure printing is worth it.…

The Forgotten Man

By Amity Shlaes

Revisionist history of the Great Depression, and timely considering the multivariate crises America is facing these days. Both political and polemic, it gives a jarring view of the Roosevelt administration. The parallels to Obama are all too clear.…

The End of Oil

by Paul Roberts

If Peak Oil, national and global energy policies, and infrastructure, is something you can read about on an empty stomach, then this is a good book. It is readable and rational, and not (overly) alarmist.…