I saw a lot of good books this year. I went to 10 or so book fairs/zine fests and every one was a massively positive experience where I came into contact with exciting new art. I would never claim to know what the best book is but these were my favorite, the books I go back to over and over. I tend to collect a lot of diy books and zines so my list has a few more of those type of objects than I have seen on a lot lists. Anyway, thanks to everyone listed here and to many more folks for making really cool things. Please keep doing that.
Risograph zine featuring Midwestern landscapes. The colors of the risograph prints mixed with the innovative design create a fascinating and at times surreal look at the rural Midwest.
This work features pictures from Cohen’s years long exploration of basketball and basketball courts in the city of Chicago. The book combines work from several projects and zines that had been previous published (diy basketball goals, portraits etc.). The result is a beautiful photo essay that is not only about basketball but also the people of Chicago and their challenges faced and overcome.
I have followed Tara’s work for several years. Every film and book is delightful and full of surprise. The work in this book is no exception. The pictures are sometimes mysterious, sometimes dark, sometimes humorous. The pictures are never of the obvious or expected. It’s a great book that doesn’t lose its power with multiple readings. I should know, I come back to it all of the time.
Wonderful black and white photographs of the rust belt. Jacob really put the work in on this project and the book too. Also, the title is a Fugazi reference.
A delightful, small, artist book. The lovely poetic images in this collaboration really match the slight, handheld package of this book. I picked this one up at the recent Chicago Art Book Fair. I hope to see everyone reading this there next year.
Driftless - Jason Vaughn and Brad Zellar
The only reason this book isn’t on the list is because I don’t own this book yet. Jason and I had book signings at the NYABF at the exact same time. By the time I got upstairs to the TBW table to purchase one they had already sold out of the copies they brought for the fair. I did get to look over the display copy and it was fantastic. I will own this book very soon.
Nathan Pearce is a photographer in Fairfield,Il. He is also one half of Same Coin Press, a small book publisher in the midwest. We recently put out a split release with Nathan and Tim Carpenter called "Still Feel Gone" which you should get... When I mail him things I send it to Joe's Body Shop... that's pretty cool.