Two by Taschen

Taschen, for me, is a take it or leave it kind of publisher. Mark Ryden, Cars Now!... I'll leave it. I'm sure their "Big Books" of body parts, of boobs, butts, and all the more intimate, don't appeal to the majority (I happen to think they're charming). The take it though— when Taschen puts out a book that you love, it feels like it was made for you. Here are two I love...

The Book of Symbols: Reflections on Archetypal Images is a master encyclopedia of visual archetypes, symbols and signs from human history. Each entry, a few pages long, includes an original essay and representative visual sources, art, architecture and artifacts.

Helmut Newton: Polaroids is a collection of the reputable photographer's test Polaroids, instant pictures taken on set during his editorial assignments, from the early 1970s to the early 2000s. Most of my favourite images in the book are NSFW (most of the book is NSFW...) but here's a sample, which gives you a sense of the hues of the book at least.

New Books in Stores Now

Two great new books made their way to the D&Q store this week, courtesy of our friends at Fantagraphic Books. First there’s Tony Millionaire’s 500 PORTRAITS, a small hardcover book which offers exactly what the title says: five hundred portraits of various artists, musicians, and writers. Surely you can recognize a few comics superstars within these pages:

Then, there’s JACK DAVIS: A CAREER RETROSPECT, a large full-color book edited by Gary Groth. The book presents us with a thorough overview of Davis’ life, while showcasing some of his beautiful poster art, advertisements, album covers, film posters, and contributions to Mad Magazine. It's a beaut!


I feel like sometimes our food section gets a little neglected. So! I am devoting this blog post to a small portion of the wonderful food books we've got in shop.

Jane Hornby's What To Cook & How To Cook It is one of the most beautifully designed cookbooks I think I've come across. It carries simple delicious recipes and dynamite instructive photographs, making it something that really should be in everyone's kitchen.

In honour of  Charles "Joe-Beef" McKiernan, a "19th century innkeeper and Montreal working class hero," the Joe Beef Cookbook is full of recipes, anecdotes, and how-to's from the Montreal restaurant Joe Beef. I myself have never been to Joe Beef (because my bank account simply won't allow it), so this cookbook is a perfect way to have the world renowned restaurant come straight to my home, and sit neatly (messily?) on my plate. Plus, it includes a forward by your best Lucky Peach friend, David Chang. (Joe Beef)

Speaking of David Chang, we have two cookbooks from two David Chang restaurants, Momofuku and Milk: momofuku milk bar. All I'm going to say is, the recipes and photos in these books look so so SO good. I have to frequently stop myself from actually eating the books themselve.

Published by McSweeneys, Mission Street Food describes itself as such: "Mission Street Food is a restaurant. But it’s also a charitable organization, a taco truck, a burger stand, and a clubhouse for inventive cooks tucked inside an unassuming Chinese take-out place. In all its various incarnations, it upends traditional restaurant conventions, in search of moral and culinary satisfaction.

" (Mission Street Food) And the cookbook is a pretty good representation of their operation. It has recipes, of course, but it also gives us a look at their idealistic business plan and has essays on issues to do with food.

Food Trucks! Montreal doesn't really have any food trucks (save for the lone Grumman 78), so it's really fun to see the variety of food trucks happening throughout North America. I especially like this steel porky food truck. Warning: saliva all over this book. (not true, don't worry. I wiped it off. I'm a professional)

If you are looking for something a bit healthier, then I'll let Heidi Swanson swoop in here. Her two cookbooks, super natural every day and Super Natural Cooking are inspired by the recipes she features on her website (a favourite of mine), 101 Cookbooks. Trust me, this lady knows good food. I made this Brown Butter Spice Cake the other day, and it turned out fantastic. Rave reviews from a 17month old.

Need a kitchen reference book? The Culinarian has definitions and explanations for everything related to cooking and food. A must have.

We've mentioned the Great Food books before, but I just wanted to remind you how excellent this series is. Each author of the books are distinct and absolutely unique is their thoughts toward food, exemplifying how personal one's relationship to eating really is.

And let's not forget the kids. We've got some great food books for little ones, making cooking fun and encouraging healthy tasty eating. Eat yer veggies, kiddies! And then you can have a red velvet cupcake...

Bossypants now in paperback!

The paperback edition of Tina Fey's bestselling book was just released in time for your (our) last minute holiday shopping!

Click here to see the NYTimes' raving review of Bossypants: one the year's funniest memoirs, I mean why else would its audiobook be nominated for a Best Spoken Word Album Grammy?

Photography books

This is one of my favorite photography books from the past year. Store Front is packed with what seems like hundreds of photographs (including several gatefolds) documenting all kinds of independent storefronts, the kind that are slowly disappearing from the urban landscape.

Store Front is also a fascinating archive of the golden age of commercial signage and it's almost surprising that so much of it still survives in New York.

This kind of beautiful signage used to be ubiquitous in Montreal as well, but is almost all gone now. What happened? Harsher winters? The Bill 101 sign law in 1977 effectively scrapped most of the old signage?

And then there's this new book on the photographs of Teenie Harris, one of my favorite mid-20th century photographers, along with Fred Herzog. Like Herzog, Teenie Harris specialized in photographing everyday life in his city and both were largely overlooked by the art establishment until recent years.

Harris documented African American life in Pittsburgh from the early 1940s to about the late 1960s, from the famous (photos of visiting Jackie Robinson, Joe Louis, and Lena Horne) to people going about their daily lives in their neighborhoods, in bars, restaurants, at church, and so on.


For all you map fanatics out there, we have got a book for you!
For all you people who know map fanatics, have we got a gift idea for you!

MAPS is a beautiful book by painter Paula Scher, filled with super detailed map paintings by the artist. Cluttered with text and colour, Scher illustrates how completely hectic and claustrophobic our cities have become.


We just received two books at the Librairie that made me blink a couple times and say, "OH!" These are two books that totally fit within the D+Q vibe, so I'm pretty sure you guys will fall in love with them. I am hands down smitten.

First up, Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler and illustrated by Maira Kalman. I kind of love novels that are sprinkled with illustrations; the visuals along with the narrative really work to brighten up the book. If Daniel Handler doesn't sound familiar to you, perhaps LEMONY SNICKET will? Yes, he is the author of A Series of Unfortunate Events teaming up with Kalman, his 13 Words partner in crime.

Why We Broke Up is described as such: This novel tells the story of Min Green and how she and Ed Slaterton met at a party, saw a movie, followed an old woman, shared a hotel room, and broke each other's hearts. (via The Why We Broke Up Project)

Breakups are universal. Everybody goes through them. Perhaps this books will remind you of yours, and make you realize yours wasn't so bad after all.

Next up! Unpacking My Library: Writers and Their Books. Ever wonder what some of your favourite authors keep in their library? Well, lucky for you, this book is exactly that! Not only does it present photographs of authors with their books, but also gives us individuals interviews with them and lists their prized top ten books.

Alison Bechdel has a really beautiful looong horizontal library. Included on her top ten: Tintin in Tibet, On Photography by Susan Sontag, and The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac.

Junot Diaz has bookselves scatterd all throughout his house, including smack dab in the middle of his kitchen! Included on his top ten: Love and Rockets, no. 12, Poison River by Gilbert Hernandez, The Lord of the Rings, and Planet of the Apes as American Myth: Race, Politics, and Popular Culture by Eric Greene.
Jonathan Lethem's library seems to be a second job for him, constantly organized, arranged, and rearranged. Oscillating between alphabetical, genre, subject, size, colour, and publisher, it seems like the state of his library is dependent on how he feels on a certain day. On his top ten: Two books by Charles Willeford, The Cockfighter and A Guide for the Unhemorrhoided, and Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov.

Gary Shteyngart admits to being big on sniffing books. At first I thought he was talking about scratch & sniff books, but quickly realized he was discussing his fondness for the distinct smells that some books naturally carry. These are things that ebooks can't compete in, people! In his top ten: Barney's Version by Mordecai Richler, The Sopranos (season 1), and Pnin by Vladimir Nabokov.

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