Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Most checked out 2018 titles in the Art, Music & Recreation Center


The most popular 2018 books in the Art, Music & Recreation are an eclectic mix that show a diversity of subject matter and reading interests.

The top book of the year is a biography of the Bay Area's own Robin Williams.  A more surprising title is Why Art? by Eleanor Davis, an illustrated exploration of creativity and the creative process.  It's less of a surprise that actress Sally Field's memoir In Pieces has quite a readership, but All The Answers, a graphic memoir about the author, Michael Kupperman's father is not an obvious favorite.

The sheet music from film soundtracks is frequently popular and the songs from The Greatest Showman are currently in demand.  Our borrowers also find photographer Berenice Abbott's life story compelling. Astral Weeks commemorates the 50th anniversary of Van Morrison's legendary album, placing it within the context of its times.

Embroidery seems like the hot craft these days; Fashion Embroidery combines this art with the elegance of high fashion.  All The Pieces Matter is an oral history of The Wire, a powerful television drama from the early 2000s.  There is obviously local interest in Nathan Turner's I Love California, a book that mixes interior decoration, entertaining and recipes covering the length and breadth of the state.

Of course, there are more recent books that have not had time build up a large number of circulations.  (A couple of books from later in the year that are doing well include Mary Beard's new title How Do We Look and Ninth Street Women, a study of five important book overlooked New York artists of the Abstract Expressionism movement). This cross-section of titles is not exactly a best-seller list but it does reflect a range of our public's interests



1. Robin by Dave Itzkoff (Henry Holt and Company, 2018).

2. Why Art? by Eleanor Davis (Fantagraphics Books, 2018).

3. In Pieces: A Memoir by Sally Field (Grand Central Publishing, 2018).

4. All The Answers by Michael Kupperman (Gallery 13, 2018).

5. The Greatest Showman: Music from The Motion Picture Soundtrack / original songs by Benj Pasek & Justin Paul (Hal Leonard Corporation, 2018)

6. Berenice Abbott: A Life in Photography by Julia Van Haaften. (W.W. Norton & Company, 2018).

7. Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968 by Ryan H. Walsh (Penguin Press, 2018).

8. Fashion Embroidery: Embroidery Techniques and Inspiration for Haute-Couture Clothing by Jessica Jane Pile (Batsford, 2018).

9. All the Pieces Matter: The Inside Story of The Wire by Jonathan Abrams (Crown Archetype, 2018).

10. Nathan Turner's I Love California: Live, Eat, and Entertain the West Coast Way with Kerstin Czarra (Abrams, 2018).

Later titles:

How Do We Look?: The Body, the Divine, and the Question of Civilization by Mary Beard (Liveright Publishing Corporation, 2018).

Ninth Street Women: Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler: Five Painters and the Movement that Changed Modern Art by Mary Gabriel (Little, Brown and Company, 2018).