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Monday, 8 December 2014

Staff Picks 2014: Kate

This has been a very special year for me since I started working at my favourite bookstore: Librairie Drawn & Quarterly! Being surrounded by so many beautiful books can make it hard to choose but in no particular order, here are my ten favorite books of 2014:

The Peripheral, William Gibson

With his latest Gibson really proves that he's still got it! The granddaddy of cyber punk is back in action with a kick ass crew of miscreants and while you might have jet lag when you arrive in the future, acclimatization is half the fun!

Syllabus, Lynda Barry

A few pages of Lynda Barry's Syllabus will probably make you want to throw it down and start drawing - her spirit's pretty infectious - but when you make it through an extended sitting her profound vision becomes clear. Her inimitable method of automatic drawing, generously offered here through class notes, plans and doodles, will help you excavate your unconscious. Dig it!

Edgewise: A Picture of Cookie Mueller, Chloe Griffin

From her days as a Dreamlander on set with John Waters in Baltimore through to her time in NYC, Cookie's free spirited life is recounted through extensive interviews with the people who knew her and an amazing assemblage of photographs. With Edgewise, Mueller finally gets the canonization she deserves among the legends of 1970's bohemia.

 Wendy, Walter Scott

It's impossible not to fall in love with Wendy on her many misadventures as she seeks personal and artistic fulfillment. Especially because Scott tells it like it is: you've been to these parties and openings - but they've never been as vivid as seen through Wendy's eyes!

  E! Entertainment, Kate Durbin

In E! Entertainment hours of reality TV are transcribed from the popular "Wives Shows" to "Kim's Fairy Tale Wedding" and "Lindsay's Necklace Trial". Durbin puts everything - details of what's being eaten, their clothes, traffic, the weather - into deep focus. Think of it as a contemporary analogue to Kenneth Anger's cherished Hollywood Babylon although Durbin's comes with a disclaimer: "This is a work of fiction."

 Distance Mover, Patrick Kyle

Distance Mover is a strange and compelling science fiction that has a visual language all its own. Shape, space, colour and line do amazing things in these pages and you will be transported to a fantastic realm.

 Comradely Greetings: The Prison Letters of Nadya and Slavoj, Nadya Tolokonnikova & Slavoj Zizek

Member of Pussy Riot, Nadya Tolokonnikova, was sent to Penal Colony 14 in Mordovia after being charged with "hooliganism" for staging a punk prayer in Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Savior. During her incarceration, she sustained a correspondence with Slovenian philosopher (rockstar) Slavoj Zizek, who reveals he can in fact be concise when he needs to while Tolokonnikova proves to be a talented sparring partner with a brilliant voice.

The Hospital Suite, John Porcellino

John Porcellino keeps it real with The Hospital Suite, an introspective journey into a really trying period of his life. This slice of life-with-OCD is subtly optimistic and quietly uplifting and the accompanying appendices round out the experience with supplementary comics (True Anxiety, Mercy), Zen stories and a full reading list offering a care package to readers.

  Consumed, David Cronenberg

If there's a place for exploitation cinema in your heart then there's room for Consumed on your bookshelf. This reads like a Videodrome for the 21st century. The Arosteguys, the superstar French philosophy couple at the heart of this story, may say that the only authentic literature in our time of consumerism and techno-fetishism is the owner's manual; well, Consumed is definitely a lot more enticing than that! Cronenberg's token theoretical smut does not disappoint.

Ant Colony, Michael DeForge

From the first page when one ant asks, "Why does everything have to be so tiny?" you know Ant Colony is going to get deep. This is, without a doubt, my 2014 desert island book!

Honourable Mention:

 Polyamorous Love Song, Jacob Wren,  Beautiful Darkness, Vehlmann & Kerascoet,  The Miraculous, Raphael Rubinstein

 10:04, Ben Lerner, Anna & Froga: Thrills, Spills & Goosberries, Anouk Ricard, Second Sex, Michael Robbins 

Check out Jason's, Julie'sDaphne's, Saelan's, Alyssa's, Marcela's, Kira's & Helen's lists too!

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