Indie Café: Culture books
Books about everything under the sun
Books made with Blurb can be a little unexpected. A little weird, even. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.
With no gatekeepers, there are no rules—just your imagination and creativity.
Blurb is the perfect home for books about anything—and we mean anything at all. That’s the beauty of the thing—the democratization of professional-quality publishing. Books about button collections not hot right now? Who cares? Someone in Marketing doesn’t think a book about your high school band would sell coast-to-coast? Not your problem. People all over the world are making amazing (and we mean amazing) books with Blurb about everything in the universe every single day. We believe there’s a fan base for everything—check out this piece about how everything has a long tail of 1,000 true fans to see what we mean.
Come on in and find your place among rock stars, crackpots, unknown geniuses, artists, and everyone in between.
People’s Park | Kurt Tong
People’s Park, by Hong Kong-born photographer Kurt Tong, explores recreational spaces in China. In 1958, when private land ownership was banned, many parks in China were renovated and new parks were built for the people, renamed People’s Parks. Over the years, they became main focal points of cities, where families have their outings and couples meet. People’s Park explores this unique urban institution through Tong’s award-winning photography.
Flower Love | Yana Mikho-Misho
Where do you find love? For photographer Yana Mikho-Misho, it seems to be everywhere. Mikho-Misho’s book, Flower Love, is composed of Instagram photos of the word “love” spelled out in flower petals, grass, ferns—even a butterfly. It’s amazingly inventive, as each page reveals a startlingly new arrangement. Perfect inspiration for the Instagramer in your life.
Sara Story Design | Sara Story
Stuck on what to do with your space? Ask Sara Story. Story is a New-York-based designer whose life and travels have cultivated a chic, urbane, and comfortable aesthetic. With an active interest in contemporary art and fashion, and a rigorous lifestyle, Sara wields a keen eye to exact her aesthetic vision. Sara Story Design is both a portfolio of the designer’s best work and a book of design inspiration.
Lori Andrew Interiors | Lori Andrews
A self-described “insanely happy” designer, Lori Andrews brings her chic and clean design aesthetic into 75 pages of non-pretentious interiors. It’s an ideas book for the eclectic decorator. A sock-monkey portrait above the bed? A bird on the nightstand? A child’s truck in the shag carpet? These are the things that make Andrews’s designs inspiring, approachable, and insanely happy.
Refueled Issue No. 9 | Chris Brown
Refueled writer and designer Chris Brown says his small personal circle of friends consist of artists, designers, makers, musicians, hoteliers, publishers, photographers, bikers, hot-rodders, surfers, and adventurers, so he never has to go far for inspiration. His mission is pretty simple: To explore and share the American dream and the people, ideas, and things he finds inspiring.
Around the World with a Toy Camera | Giorgio Giussani
Sure, Giorgio Giussani could have shot London street art with a digital camera, but then it would never look quite like this. Around the World with a Toy Camera is a fun, vibrant, gritty, and grainy exploration of the joys of shooting analog. More than just a photo safari through London’s back alleys, it’s also a handy demonstration of the interaction between camera, film, and environment.
Cramp Slash & Burn | John Scarpati
If you grew up listening to rock in the 80s, chances are you had more than a few albums with covers by John Scarpati. From metal bands like Poison and Warrant to goth punks TSOL and 45 Grave to 90s alt-stars Fishbone and Jane’s Addiction, he photographed them all. The book is a well-designed package of lipstick-drenched photos and reminiscences by the rock stars themselves.
Duck's Diaries | Cibele Vieira
Brooklyn-based artist Cibele Vieira’s book takes a seemingly childish game—floating an inflatable golden duck down a river—and creates a work that is funny, strange, and profound. As the duck floats and bobs through bodies of water from Brooklyn to Brazil, it becomes both a witness and a catalyst to interactions between humans, their environment, and even Vieira herself. It’s a travelogue of the most unusual sort and commemorates an artwork that can never be reproduced.
Turning a crazy trip into a great book: An interview with the creators of a very special book
Okay, drop everything and check out NYC Costume Trip, a chronicle of a trip some friends took to New York City. What’s special about it? Let’s see…they spent six full days in full costumes. A bunch of different costumes. Seriously, this is some amazing stuff. The friends took time out from a very serious meeting (seriously. Okay, not so much) at the patio bar of the Rainbow Room in Hollywood recently to tell us about their book. Meet Jeffrey More and Dale Tidy (of Canberra, Australia), and Peter Andersen (of Toronto, Canada).
Blurb: How did you get the idea to make the book?
Jeff/Dale/Pete: The outline in the first few pages was an actual conversation Pete and I had. Very spontaneous. We have limited filters that restrict our actions. It literally happened as you read it.
Blurb: How did you choose which photos to include?
Jeff/Dale/Pete: From a total of 6,112 photos it seemed like a daunting task to start the cull. We started by rounding down to images that were sharp, dynamic, and just straight-up absurd. That broke it down to about 1,000 shots. After multiple edits we managed to get it to about 300 shots and then worked those into a 90-something-page book.
Blurb: Did you have specific shots in mind when you were on the trip, or was it spontaneous?
Jeff/Dale/Pete: We had an ongoing shot list that grew as we went along. It was more of a guideline than a "how to." The actual sheet is in the book, but I can’t remember the page. There's a clown looking at it. (Guys, it’s pages 20 and 21—Blurb remembers everything)
Blurb: Did anything surprise you about the process of making the book? How was the experience in general?
Jeff/Dale/Pete: The overwhelming number of images to try and trim down was daunting to say the least, but when we narrowed our focus to basic storytelling it became relatively easy, so to speak. The experience was amazing...something we will try to recreate for the rest of our existence, ideally successfully.
Blurb: What's the book for? Did you have a particular audience in mind?
Jeff/Dale/Pete: The immediate audience was anyone stupid enough to pay attention, but somehow it got a little bigger. It's pretty surprising the feedback we've received. We honestly made up the book to trick Dale into showing up to take photos because we somehow had the presence of mind to realize that Lycra suits have a distinct lack of pockets for cameras and wallets. Then we felt obligated to put the book together because we are accountable for our actions. Somewhat, anyway.
Then we asked them for some anecdotes:
Jeff: spent most of his morning on departure day stressing about Pete missing his flight. Then Jeff went on to miss his flight from Toronto to Vancouver and he almost had to sleep at the airport.
Pete: Being a pilot, my favorite moment was being able to sit in the cockpit after we arrived at the gate in Toronto. No chance they would have ever allowed it to happen if they had any inkling of what we had been up to the previous six days.
Jeff: I had a broken back for the whole time so I hated the trip. If I could do it again, I wouldn't. Smiley face, send.
Dale: As a 23-year-old at the time, it was without a doubt the worst and best time of my life. If I had the chance to do it again, I would climb out of the coffin Jeff, Pete, and Peppe put me in and go rock another NYC Costume Trip.
There might have been more, but apparently just then “Cynthia” kicked them out of the bar. Good luck, guys!
We like this book so much, we featured a few spreads on our blog a while back too. Enjoy!
Featured books on this page:
John Scarpati, Cramp Slash & Burn | Giorgio Giussani, Around the World with a Toy Camera