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Best Books of 2014: Reviews and Interviews Part 2

Books Best Books of 2014: Reviews and Interviews Part 2 A collection of reviews and interviews on some of the Best Books of 2014.
By Andrea Botto

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2014 by:
Eric Miles
"Andrea Botto produced this book in memory of the journey his grandfather made, travelling from Northern Germany back to Tuscany after his release from Nazi captivity at the end of World War II. As Andrea states, the book is dedicated to all the Italian Military Internees who shared this terrible experience with his grandfather. By interweaving images from the internet, relating to the dates and places of the journey, with astonishingly accurate reproductions of his grandfather documents and letters, the book invites the reader to follow a personal path along the journey rather than outlining a sequential narrative."—Picked as Book of the Week by Nicol√≥ Degiorgis

8 Women
Photographs by Collier Schorr

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2014 by:
Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin

"In her new bookwork 8 Women, Collier Schorr has abandoned the German countryside and has moved inside the studio. What’s not been lost is the fundamental landscape of desire that continues to permeate her work, where the reader inevitably questions the nature of the relationship between Schorr and her subjects. These profoundly enigmatic photographs deal with identity, power and issues of gender and sit on the edge of knowing and not knowing. Unsettlingly, the work picks at the scabs of our own past relationships. This is a loaded and layered series that leaves the reader never quite knowing what is going on and what they are looking at. Richard Prince says that this is Schorr’s best bookwork, I think he may well be right."—Picked as Book of the Week by Harvey Benge 

Entre Entree
Photographs by Stephan Keppel

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2014 by:
Roger Willems

"The concept of Entre Entree is quite clear, to try to reproduce the suburbs of Paris. This research on both suburban structures and reproduction reads like an ongoing translation, back and forth, between the 2- and 3-dimensional: One of the cores and most difficult aspects of photography. Keppel's previous book Reprinting the City (Fw: Books, 2012) drew upon the same process with a similar density. His body of work and methods can be compared to Jochen Lempert: An understated and meticulous use of photography and reproduction, where idea and form are inseparable."—Picked as Book of the Week by Erik van der Weijde

Gomorrah Girl
Photographs by Valerio Spada

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2014 by:
Laia Abril

"Gomorrah Girl combines Neapolitan landscapes and portraits by Spada with rephotographed pages from the police investigation of Annalisa’s death and exists as two intermingled books. The worn pages of the police report — printed on something akin to newsprint — are interspersed with Spada’s own smaller, glossy photographs. You cannot view one without seeing the other. As a result, the lives of these young women and the landscape they occupy can only be viewed within the somber context of Annalisa’s death, producing a disquieting overtone regarding the future of the young women depicted."—From the review by Allie Haeusslein

In This Dark Wood
By Elisabeth Tonnard

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2014 by:
Ruth van Beek

"Each portrait captures a nighttime wanderer, in a space that could pass for Times Square, Piccadilly Circus, Shinjuku, or any gaudily-lit amusement zone. Each wanderer seems entirely self-absorbed; a return gaze is an exception in this collection. What are these people translating, aside from a particular iteration of the human race, genus urban dweller? What is Selle translating in his photograph? This is a catalogue of migrating souls, transporting themselves through a transient space, all the same and all different. Like the figures in Miyazaki’s film Spirited Away, ghosts without proper homes."—From the review by George Slade

By Paolo Woods and Arnaud Robert

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2014 by:
Laia Abril
Ramon Pez

*Leta is a low-cost Creole language edition of Wood's and Robert's book State produced specifically for the people of Haiti. The following is an expect from a review of the English edition of this book, State.

"State is standout collaboration; photographs and texts are made better in their pairing and add up to a cogent and stirring exploration of the Haitian State, as a touchstone for the nation’s aspirations and disappointments. Woods and Robert have also deftly unpacked the concept of attention itself in a place under the arguably benevolent gaze and guidance of a legion of outsiders — how it’s both an extraordinary circumstance and one more thing woven into the Haitian normal."—From the review by Karen Jenkins

The Beats
By Larry Fink

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2014 by:
Marco Delogu

"...But it’s when I received Larry Fink’s e-mail showing me his work 'Beats' that I realized that everything that attracts and always has attracted me to the Beats is the general sense of community with no hierarchies, that sense of freedom, of openness, flanerie, the trees, small guitars, handwriting, typewriting, sleep on the floor together, walking around together. This books brings all of this back in its almost tactile sequencing and is filled with beauty, a simple yet pure and deep beauty. Somehow this is a 'pre-' book: pre- stupid fashion photographs, pre tricks and make up, pre- smartphones, pre- beefy bodies, pre- electric guitars, pre- all on the net. In fact, a post- all on the net perhaps, because this was probably the last net in the sense of a community where people were deeply connected to each other."—From the Book of the Week pick by Marco Delogu

Something Like a Nest
By Andy Sewell

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2014 by:
Eric Miles

"A frozen turkey, a field of pine trees and a kitchen with a poinsettia mark the return of winter and we’ve come full circle. And that’s Something Like a Nest. It’s a quiet, sophisticated book that somehow manages to tick all the boxes of what rural England means in the twenty-first century. With its multi-layered approach, it’s neither predictable nor didactic; a book that takes you on a journey around contemporary England and lets you get on and off wherever you please."—From the review by Colin Pantall

Disco Night Sept 11
Photographs by Peter van Agtmael

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2014 by:
Laia Abril
Christopher J. Johnson
Ramon Pez
Mark Power

"van Agtmael’s Disco Night Sept 11 attempts to give us our gravity back and remove the abstractness from our understanding of current events by providing us with such a corpus of images as to essentially fill the gap of more brutal, more realistic media images over the last decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan. This book is an accomplishment to stand in awe of and a work of art to inspire, though the inspiration may be fear, sadness, or even anger the discovery of this other, more honest dimension of the realities of war on soldiers, on the native citizens where war is waged, and on the families those soldiers return to."—From the review by Christopher J. Johnson

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