Emma Orlow makes up one half of “The Do Not Enter Diaries”, a website that allows teenagers to show display their bedrooms in Vimeo clips. Already praised by The New York Times and Rookie, Emma and Emily are an inspirational duo who are a pillar of the current teenage online revolution. Emma’s book choices are hilarious, passionate and very cool. I’ve pre-ordered the Suze Rotolo book on Amazon already.
Mortified by David Nadelberg
The Mortified Sessions is a project started by Dave Nadelberg, which began in a live stage setting where celebrities and amateurs alike are asked to bring a shoebox full of all the songs, poems, art, love letters from their adolescence, to chip away at our exterior and expose our inner geek. The Mortified book is great because it tells the histories of adults who had very different growing up experiences; however through a compilation of their embarrassing diary entries, Instant Messenger chats, old photographs and drawings, we see that the seeds of awkwardness transcend all cultural boundaries. It makes me wish I kept more comprehensive accounts of my own adolescence, so that one day I can have my own Mortified Session.
David Nadelberg: Mortified
The Guerrilla Girls’ Bedside Companion to the History of Western Art by The Guerrilla Girls
If you’re not familiar with them, the Guerrilla Girls are rad organization seeking to redefine the depiction of females in the art world. They operate through performances and eye-catching flyers that say things like “Do Women Have to Be Naked to Get Into the Met. Museum?” to demonstrate the inequity of opportunities for women in seemingly liberal fields. I picked up a copy of their most recent book at one of my favorite independent bookstores in NYC called Printed Matter. Through satirical cartoons, drawings, and essays, The Guerrilla Girls’ guide takes you on a journey through the history of western art. And while their medium may seem fun and upbeat, after finishing the book you will see what little space for women has been made at the artists’ table. It’s a must-read for any female who owns, makes, or appreciates art and its history….and, you know, men who also care.
The Guerrilla Girls’ Bedside Companion
Record Collecting for Girls by Courtney E. Smith
This book was one that I read, quietly in the backseat of my family roadtrip this past summer. It is the first non-academic read that I whipped out a highlighter for, because there were just too many moments that I didn’t want to forget. An MTV alum, Smith weaves personal experiences into the lyrics from the music that has influenced her most. She asks women to think more critically about their personal top 5 album lists and where to draw the line with boys who love The Smiths too much, and what being a Beatles vs. The Rolling Stones fan says about women. By the end, it’s hard not to have her rules influence the way you debate about music, and empower you to start making lists of your very own.
Courtney E Smith: Record Collecting for Girls
A Freewheelin’ Time: A Memoir of Greenwich Village in the 60’s by Suze Rotolo
This book can be found on my New York City-themed shelf, but in truth, I have enough books of its genre to create a sub-shelf that just feeds my obsession with learning about the culture of New York in the 1960’s. You probably know Suze Rotolo as the chick on the Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan album cover. But while Rotolo is often known just for being Bob Dylan’s muse, she is so much more than just that. In her memoir, you see the other side of Bob Dylan’s success through the lens of someone who was often hidden behind the stage’s curtain. But the book is even more than just an exposé on Bob Dylan—it’s about the culture and politics that constructed the place the two called home.
A Freewheelin’ Time: A Memoir of Greenwich Village in the Sixties
Andy Warhol’s New York City by Thomas Kiedrowski
The book takes you on 4 self-guided walking tours that stop at hallmarks of Andy’s time eating, sleeping, shopping, and created art in New York City—from Serendipity to Truman Capote’s place.
Andy Warhol’s New York City: Four Walks, Uptown to Downtown
Plastic Bag As Humble Present by Josh Blackwell
Once a year I travel to Woodstock for some magical quiet time tucked away in the woods. In town, one of my favorite things to do is visit the Woodstock Byrdcliffe gallery, curating local Catskill work. One of my all-time favorite installations put on there was called “Beautiful Garbage” —-a show that lived by the motto of “another man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” Josh Blackwell’s work in particular stood out to me, as he weaves and collages into old trash bags, making them look like delicate fabric wall-hangings. After viewing them I bought this book to commemorate the experience.