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Simone Rocha’s 10 Favorite Books

5 Books | by Vulture

District and Circle

District and Circle

Books

Seamus Heaney's new collection starts "In an age of bare hands and cast iron" and ends as "The automatic lock / clunks shut" in the eerie new conditions of a menaced twenty-first century. In their haunted, almost visionary clarity, the poems assay the weight and worth of what has been held in the hand and in the memory. Images out of a childhood spent safe from the horrors of World War II – railway sleepers, a sledgehammer, the "heavyweight / Silence" of "Cattle out in rain" – are colored by a strongly contemporary sense that "Anything can happen," and other images from the dangerous present – a journey on the Underground, a melting glacier – are fraught with this same anxiety. But District and Circle, which includes a number of prose poems and translations, offers resistance as the poet gathers his staying powers and stands his ground in the hiding places of love and excited language. In a sequence like "The Tollund Man in Springtime" and in several poems which "do the rounds of the district" – its known roads and rivers and trees, its familiar and unfamiliar ghosts – the gravity of memorial is transformed into the grace of recollection. With more relish and conviction than ever, Seamus Heaney maintains his trust in the obduracy of workaday realities and the mystery of everyday renewals. District and Circle is the winner of the 2007 Poetry Now award and the 2006 T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry.
Stitches in Time

Stitches in Time

Books

Riffling through the wardrobes of years gone by, costume historian Lucy Adlington reveals the rich stories underlying the clothes we wear in this stylish tour of the most important developments in the history of fashion, from ancient times to the present day. Starting with underwear – did you know Elizabeth I owned just one pair of drawers, worn only after her death? – she moves garment by garment through Western attire, exploring both the items we still wear every day and those that have gone the way of the dodo (sugared petticoats, farthingales and spatterdashers to name but a few). Beautifully illustrated throughout, and crammed with fascinating and eminently quotable facts, Stitches in Time shows how the way we dress is inextricably bound up with considerations of aesthetics, sex, gender, class and lifestyle – and offers us the chance to truly appreciate the extraordinary qualities of these, our most ordinary possessions.
Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame

Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame

Books

Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame is poetry full of gambling, drinking and women. Charles Bukowski writes realistically about the seedy underbelly of life.
Pony kids

Pony kids

Books

Ogden investigates the thrills and trials of horse ownership among the children of the urban dispossessed in Dublin--exploring the complex rituals and social forces that shape the lifestyles of these teens on horseback. 70 duotone photos.
Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon

Books

Francis Bacon (1909-1992) is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest British artists of this century. For over fifty years the intense emotions conveyed in his works have shocked and enthralled an ever-growing audience. David Sylvester, a leading Bacon scholar, brings together many of the artist's best paintings involving the human figure, the central subject of his work. Bacon's diverse body imagery can be seen in his self-portraits; nude studies; portraits of friends such as Henrietta Moraes, George Dyer, and Lucian Freud; and his series of Popes. Many of Bacon's prototypes were "found" images: reproductions of Michelangelo, Velsquez, Degas, Muybridge's photographs of the human figure in motion, film stills from Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin, magazine photos of politicians and boxers. Bacon disliked working directly from a model and therefore often commissioned photographs, especially from John Deakin. A prolific creator of self-portraits, Bacon painted dozens, mostly small canvases of his head. Usually three are put together to form a triptych; sometimes one appears as a solo canvas or as a unit in a triptych along with other people's heads. One of the most powerful is a full-length portrait, the Sleeping Figure of 1974, painted from a photograph of him stretched out on a hospital bed. Other paintings portray bodies wracked by violence--a wailing mouth, a cry of despair. Sylvester's observations show how certain images were linked to incidents in Bacon's life, such as childhood fear of his father and his lifelong devotion to his nanny. The catalog includes paintings that date from 1945 to the mid-1980s, including single canvases and triptychs from collections around the world. Francis Bacon (1909-1992) is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest British artists of this century. For over fifty years the intense emotions conveyed in his works have shocked and enthralled an ever-growing audience. David Sylvester, a leading Bacon scholar, brings together many of the artist's best paintings involving the human figure, the central subject of his work. Bacon's diverse body imagery can be seen in his self-portraits; nude studies; portraits of friends such as Henrietta Moraes, George Dyer, and Lucian Freud; and his series of Popes. Many of Bacon's prototypes were "found" images: reproductions of Michelangelo, Velsquez, Degas, Muybridge's photographs of the human figure in motion, film stills from Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin, magazine photos of politicians and boxers. Bacon disliked working directly from a model and therefore often commissioned photographs, especially from John Deakin. A prolific creator of self-portraits, Bacon painted dozens, mostly small canvases of his head. Usually three are put together to form a triptych; sometimes one appears as a solo canvas or as a unit in a triptych along with other people's heads. One of the most powerful is a full-length portrait, the Sleeping Figure of 1974, painted from a photograph of him stretched out on a hospital bed. Other paintings portray bodies wracked by violence--a wailing mouth, a cry of despair. Sylvester's observations show how certain images were linked to incidents in Bacon's life, such as childhood fear of his father and his lifelong devotion to his nanny. The catalog includes paintings that date from 1945 to the mid-1980s, including single canvases and triptychs from collections around the world.