Men with Cats, Cabins, Fangirls and Purposeful Messes

New Books - Feb 4, 2016

Want to learn how to be the ultimate fangirl? Trying to figure out what the heck the KonMari Method is all about? Want to just stare at men with cats? Whatever you’re in the mood for, we’ve got it here. Here’s a roundup of the latest books at Backbeat:

– “Women in This Town” by Giueseppe Santamaria
In his follow-up to Men in This Town, photographer, art director, and blogger Giuseppe Santamaria brings together a unique photographic collection showcasing the styles of the modern woman on the streets of London, Tokyo, Paris, Madrid, LA, Melbourne, and New York. Alongside striking images snapped on the streets, Giuseppe has profiled a handful of women with sartorial flair, who reveal the inspirations for their distinct fashion choices and their thoughts on the modern-day fashion landscape.

– “Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock ‘n’ Roll Music (Sixth Edition)” by Greil Marcus
Catch a train to the heart of rock ‘n’ roll with this essential study of the quintessential American art form. First published in 1975, Greil Marcus’s “Mystery Train” remains a benchmark study of rock ‘n’ roll and a classic in the field of music criticism. Focusing on six key artists: Robert Johnson, Harmonica Frank, Randy Newman, the Band, Sly Stone, and Elvis Presley, Marcus explores the evolution and impact of rock ‘n’ roll and its unique place in American culture. This fifth edition of “Mystery Train” includes an updated and rewritten Notes and Discographies section, exploring the evolution and continuing impact of the recordings featured in the book.

– “The Cannabible Collection” by Jason King
At last, the choicest herb from renowned pot connoisseur Jason King’s popular Cannabible books is now rolled together in one potently psychotropic package. Asian Fantasy, Diesel, Haze, HP13, Mothership, Purple Urkel-all the legendary strains are here (plus hundreds more), illustrated with stunning photos of dank nugs, lush crop, and mind-blowing microscopic plant details. Packed with enlightened commentary on growing, smoking, and enjoying the Kind, as well as detailed notes on flavors, aromas, and effects, The Cannabible Collection is the perfect bongside companion.

This three-volume mini gift edition contains the greatest hits from the Cannabible series, housed in a slipcase box.

– “Men with Cats: Intimate Portraits of Feline Friendship” by David Williams
Countless books and blogs have extolled the virtues of the Cat Lady—now photographer David Williams celebrates cat-owning men and the precious kitties who have stolen their hearts. His subjects represent a cross-section of American society—musicians and artists, soldiers and CEOs, truck drivers and tattoo artists—with one very furry common denominator. These fun, fuzzy, and offbeat portraits are full of personality, and the accompanying stories share everything from “how we met” to how the cats earned their names. Men with Cats is a delightful gift book for anyone who appreciates the bond between pets and their people.

– “Bettyville” by George Hodgman
When George Hodgman leaves Manhattan for his hometown of Paris, Missouri, he finds himself—an unlikely caretaker and near-lethal cook—in a head-on collision with his aging mother, Betty, a woman of wit and will. Will George lure her into assisted living? When hell freezes over. He can’t bring himself to force her from the home both treasure—the place where his father’s voice lingers, the scene of shared jokes, skirmishes, and, behind the dusty antiques, a rarely acknowledged conflict: Betty, who speaks her mind but cannot quite reveal her heart, has never really accepted the fact that her son is gay.

As these two unforgettable characters try to bring their different worlds together, Hodgman reveals the challenges of Betty’s life and his own struggle for self-respect, moving readers from their small town—crumbling but still colorful—to the star-studded corridors of Vanity Fair. Evocative of The End of Your Life Book Club and The Tender Bar, Hodgman’s New York Times bestselling debut is both an indelible portrait of a family and an exquisitely told tale of a prodigal son’s return.

– “Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo
Marie Kondo’s unique KonMari Method of tidying up is nothing short of life-changing—and her first book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, has become a worldwide sensation. In Spark Joy, Kondo presents an in-depth, illustrated manual on how to declutter and organize specific items throughout the house, from kitchen and bathroom items to work-related papers and hobby collections. User-friendly line drawings illustrate Kondo’s patented folding method as it applies to shirts, pants, socks, and jackets, as well as images of properly organized drawers, closets, and cabinets. This book is perfect for anyone who wants a home—and life—that sparks joy.

– “Tinder Nightmares” by Unspirational
Tinder Nightmares is a hilarious look at some of the most epic fails of the often racy, always ridiculous, “romantic” exchanges on Tinder. The Instagram account of the same name has skyrocketed to popularity for its captivating—and sometimes titillating—ability to capture the real-life conversations between people who are looking to connect with that special someone. Tinder Nightmares is organized by theme, with chapters such as Bad English, Broetry, Strange Requests, Sneak Attacks, and more. This book explores everything from pickup lines to breakups, and all the moments that come in between. It’s the perfect gift for anyone who has ever suffered through online dating.

– “Cabin Porn: Inspiration for Your Quiet Place Somewhere” by Zachery Klein
Rural escapes for those yearning for a simpler existence, by the creators of the wildly popular tumblr Cabin Porn.

Created by a group of friends who preserve 55 acres of hidden forest in Upstate New York-Cabin Porn began as a scrapbook to collect inspiration for their building projects. As the collection grew, the site attracted a following, which is now a huge and obsessive audience.

The site features photos of the most remarkable handmade homes in the backcountry of America and all over the world. It has had over 10 million unique visitors, with 350,000 followers on Tumblr. Now Zach Klein, the creator of the site (and a co-founder of Vimeo) goes further into the most alluring images from the site and new getaways, including more interior photography and how-to advice for setting up a quiet place somewhere.

With their idyllic settings, unique architecture and cozy interiors, the Cabin Porn photographs, are an invitation to slow down, take a deep breath, and feel the beauty and serenity that nature and simple construction can create.

– “The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Handbook for Girl Geeks” by Sam Maggs
Fanfic, cosplay, cons, books, memes, podcasts, vlogs, OTPs and RPGs and MMOs and more—it’s never been a better time to be a girl geek. The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy is the ultimate handbook for ladies living the nerdy life, a fun and feminist take on the often male-dominated world of geekdom. With delightful illustrations and an unabashed love for all the in(ternet)s and outs of geek culture, this book is packed with tips, playthroughs, and cheat codes for everything from starting an online fan community to planning a convention visit to supporting fellow female geeks in the wild.

– “They Left Us Everything” by Plum Johnson
After almost twenty years of caring for elderly parents—first for their senile father,and then for their cantankerous ninety-three-year-old mother—author Plum Johnson and her three younger brothers experience conflicted feelings of grief and relief when their mother, the surviving parent, dies.

Now they must empty and sell the beloved family home, which hasn’t been de-cluttered in more than half a century. Twenty-three rooms bulge with history, antiques, and oxygen tanks. Plum remembers her loving but difficult parents who could not have been more different: the British father, a handsome, disciplined patriarch who nonetheless could not control his opinionated,extroverted Southern-belle wife who loved tennis and gin gimlets. The task consumes her, becoming more rewarding than she ever imagined.

Items from childhood trigger memories of her eccentric family growing up in a small town on the shores of Lake Ontario in the 1950’s and 60’s. But unearthing new facts about her parents helps her reconcile those relationships with a more accepting perspective about who they were and what they valued.

They Left Us Everything is a funny, touching memoir about the importance of preserving family history to make sense of the past and nurturing family bonds to safeguard the future.

– “Sweetland” by Michael Crummey
From the award-winning, bestselling author of Galore comes another unforgettable novel. By turns darkly comic and heartbreakingly sad, Sweetland is a deeply suspenseful story about one man’s struggles against the forces of nature and the ruins of memory.

For twelve generations, when the fish were plentiful and when they all-but disappeared, the inhabitants of this remote island in Newfoundland have lived and died together. Now, in the second decade of the 21st century, they are facing resettlement, and each has been offered a generous compensation package to leave. But the money is offered with a proviso: everyone has to go; the government won’t be responsible for one crazy coot who chooses to stay alone on an island.

That coot is Moses Sweetland. Motivated in part by a sense of history and belonging, haunted by memories of the short and lonely time he spent away from his home as a younger man, and concerned that his somewhat eccentric great-nephew will wilt on the mainland, Moses refuses to leave. But in the face of determined, sometimes violent, opposition from his family and his friends, Sweetland is eventually swayed to sign on to the government’s plan. Then a tragic accident prompts him to fake his own death and stay on the deserted island. As he manages a desperately diminishing food supply, and battles against the ravages of weather, Sweetland finds himself in the company of the vibrant ghosts of the former islanders, whose porch lights still seem to turn on at night.

– “A Little Life” by Hanya Yanagihara
When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they’re broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome—but that will define his life forever.

– “Enchanted Forest” Postcards by Johanna Basford
20 detachable postcards to decorate, color in, and send to your friends. That’s if you can bear to part with them!

– “Everything is Connected: Reimagining the World One Postcard at a Time” Postcards by Keri Smith
From the creator of Wreck This Journal, comes an imaginative new project: fifty postcards that send you on a quest to reanimate everyday life.

Leave notes in public for strangers, dream up a tiny imaginary world, summon magic powers, draw a portrait of yourself as a hero, create your own treasure map, or access a secret portal whenever you wish.

Don’t you just love getting something unexpected in the mail?

– “Mess: The Manual of Accidents and Mistakes” by Keri Smith
Your whole life you’ve been taught to avoid making a mess: Try to keep everything under control, color inside the lines, make it perfect, and at all costs, avoid contact with things that stain.

This book asks you to do the opposite of what you have been taught. Think of it as your own personal rumpus room. A place to let loose, to trash, to spew, to do the things you are not allowed to do in the “real world.” It’s time to make a mess.

The only three rules you’ll find in this book:
1. Do not try to make something beautiful.
2. Do not think too much. (There is no “wrong.”)
3. Continue under all circumstances.

– “The Pocket Scavenger” by Keri Smith
From the creator of Wreck This Journal, an exploration into the creative process and chance…

Within the pages of The Pocket Scavenger, you’ll be instructed to go on an unusual scavenger hunt, collecting a spectrum of random items: something that is miniature, a stain that is green, something from the year you were born, a used envelope, and more. Once your quarry is in hand, you’ll apply an alteration dictated solely by chance: create a funny character, make it into a building, conceal it, add polkadots, remove a section, add stripes, scribble on top, fold, turn into an article of clothing, make it “pretty,” and so on.

The results: you’ll be forced out of habitual ways of thinking or acting, discover new connections, and try things you might not have done on your own, creating a version of The Pocket Scavenger that is unique, dependent on time, place, experience, and you.

Recent Posts

Join us on Facebook