By Gavin Blair
A visual journey through Zen’s influence on Japanese life, from calligraphy to the martial arts
Formed by a convergence of the Buddha’s teachings with Taoism and local tradition, Zen has had a profound impact on the art and culture of Japan. As a philosophy, Zen promotes a recognition of emptiness and impermanence. As an aesthetic, it is marked by striking simplicity and a reverence for space. It operates on the principle of wabi-sabi, the harmony found in all things transient and imperfect. Countless Japanese artists, artisans, and designers have engaged with the Zen tradition, their work the fruit of its wisdom.
Author Gavin Blair has spent nearly two decades as a writer and journalist in Japan. In these pages, he shows how Zen has found expression in all aspects of Japanese culture, be it the tea ceremony, origami, or bonsai. Gorgeous full-color photographs highlight the simple beauty of the Zen aesthetic, from the hanging noren curtains that adorn entrances and doorways, to the intricate craftwork of a wagasaumbrella. Together these images speak to the quiet power of Zen.
Above all, Zen is an invitation to contemplate the mind, to cultivate harmony with nature and ease through understanding. This book is for any reader who is curious about Japanese culture and the Zen tradition.
Elegant Entrances and Ingratiating Ingresses to Apartments for the Affluent in New York City
An illustrated tour of the elegant entrances to New York City’s most celebrated apartment houses
This handsome, oversized book introduces us to the grandest entrances of New York City’s residential buildings. These posh portals come in an array of forms and styles, such as the porte cochere, with a passage to admit carriages or motor cars; the classic awning, originally meant to be retracted in good weather; and Neoclassical, Romanesque, and Gothic revivals.
Architectural historian Andrew Alpern highlights approximately 140 entrances, from the nineteenth century to the present, including those of the Dakota, the first true luxury apartment house in New York; San Remo, one of Central Park West’s most impressive apartment houses; and the Ansonia, at one time the largest hotel in the world. Each entrance is accompanied by a description of its signal features and the history of the building that surrounds it. All are represented in splendid color photographs, and many by charming watercolor drawings.
These ornate entrances offer a glimpse into New York’s past, as well as its future―for today, once again, entryways have begun to feature heavily in the marketing of residential buildings. Posh Portals will be an inspiration for architects and a delight for city dwellers.
An abundantly illustrated journey through one of the world’s most diverse and fascinating regions
Although India’s northeastern administrative region makes up only eight percent of India’s land area, it is home to some 140 indigenous tribes, each with its own unique culture. The terrain, predominantly hilly, ranges from snow-capped peaks to tropical rainforests. Now, for the first time, noted authors and filmmakers Dipti Bhalla Verma and Shiv Kunal Verma provide a comprehensive introduction to this little-known yet captivating part of the world. Verma and Verma conduct us from the towering Kanchenjunga massif in Sikkim to the tea plantations of Assam, to the astonishing biodiversity of Arunachal Pradesh, to the martial tribes and Baptist churches of Nagaland, to the birthplace of polo in Manipur, to the living root bridges of Meghalaya, to the farms nestled among the hills of Tripura and Mizoram. They take us into the lives of the many peoples of these eight states, who maintain their traditional customs and beliefs even in the face of growing ecological threats. Featuring more than three hundred color photographs and several detailed maps, Life and Culture in Northeast India will be an essential volume for anyone interested in the peoples and places of Planet Earth.
Portrait of a Vanished Era
Beautiful black-and-white photographs of Santorini taken between 1954 and 1964―depicting idyllic landscapes and traditional island culture
Today Santorini is visited by some 2.5 million people a year. But when Robert McCabe and his brother arrived there in 1954, they were the only visitors on the island. In this collection of stunning photographs from the 1950s and 1960s―reproduced as tritones of surpassing quality―McCabe has recorded the hardscrabble, yet often romantic, life of a vanished era. Picturesque whitewashed houses dug into the volcanic pumice; the harvest of the island’s famous cherry tomatoes; the winding road to the ruins of ancient Thera―all this was captured by his lens..
McCabe’s photographs are complemented by two essays from the noted Greek journalist Margarita Pournara, one poetically evoking her grandmother’s childhood on Santorini and the other explaining the geological forces that have given this volcanic island its dramatic form.
A companion to McCabe’s recent volume on Mykonos, this book will fascinate modern-day visitors to Santorini, as well as those who trace their roots to the Greek islands.
A Corkscrew Collection
A splendid (and giftable) visual guide to the beautifully convoluted world of corkscrews
Ever since the standardized wine bottle came into use in the eighteenth century, thirsty people have sought a convenient means of removing its cork stopper. At first they employed whatever was at hand―including the helical gun screws used to clean out firearms―but the patent corkscrew emerged by 1795 and soon multiplied into more permutations than the proverbial better mousetrap.
In Uncorked, Marilynn Gelfman Karp uses her own collection of corkscrews―carefully chosen both for their inventiveness and for their decorative qualities―to trace the history and evolution of this curious tool. She establishes a taxonomy of the corkscrew, based on the fundamental characteristics of handle, shaft, and screw, and then presents more than 650 individual specimens by category. They range from the simplest “basic T” models to the most whimsical flights of fancy (a folding pair of legs, a seahorse) and the most elaborate mechanical contrivances. Each example is illustrated with superb color photography and fully described.
Uncorked is at once a serious contribution to the history of material culture, and a delight to page through. It will be an essential reference for helixophiles (as collectors of these gadgets are called) and an agreeable gift for any corkscrew-wielding wine lover.
The Ultimate Guide for Dads-to-Be (Fifth Edition)
The Expectant Father is the best-selling pregnancy guide for men, trusted by millions of dads-to-be and their partners.
This reassuring month-by-month overview gives you the facts and advice you need to understand your baby’s development, support your partner, and prepare for the joys and challenges of fatherhood. It concludes with two special sections: one on labor and delivery, and the other covering the first few months after your baby’s arrival.
The fifth edition of this New York Times best seller is updated from cover to cover with the latest information about fertility, prenatal care, and delivery; work-life balance (including the lessons learned from COVID-19); financial planning; and much more. It incorporates the expertise of leading OB-GYNs and researchers, and the real-life experiences of hundreds of dads and moms.
Illustrated throughout with stress-relieving cartoons, The Expectant Father is a friendly, readable, and inclusive companion for all dads-to-be. (Moms will love it, too!)