Wednesday, July 14, 2021

The Most Circulated Books - Fiscal Year 2020-2021

Often the lists of most circulated titles in the Art, Music & Recreation Center are dominated by celebrity artists and entertainers. Topping the list of the past twelve months we still have Trevor Noah's memoir Born A Crime -- a consistently very popular read for the past five years.  Other celebrity memoirs by the late Alex Trebek, embattled director Woody Allen and actor Matthew McConaughey also appear on this list of the 15 top circulating books in our department.

In this year of lock-down and limited library services our borrowers have made some other interesting reading choices.  The 99% Invisible City proved to be almost as popular as Noah's book. This volume is a companion to the 400+ episode podcast that originated in 2010 as 5 minute segments on KALW produced in collaboration with the American Institute of Architects. The series revealed design decisions embedded in the buildings and infrastructure all around us.  (One of our department's librarians was interviewed for episode #354).

A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction, published in 1977, complements The 99% Invisible City.  Instead of exploring an existing infrastructure, the authors of this work propose ways to make the constructed environment more livable. It covers elements of city planning, architecture plus interior design and decoration. 

Interior Design Master Class continues in this vein, collecting the thinking of one hundred designers who explore a multitude of topics and viewpoints to help the reader arrive at their own interior decorating solutions.  Further reflecting a focus on interiority brought on by our shelter in place, A Frame For Life from 2014 also explores a "human centered" approach to constructing and decorating a space.

Although it was published six years ago, the narrative art book Tales From The Loop has consistently circulated well, undoubtedly owing to the science fiction television series that it spawned.  Solutions And Other Problems is the companion Allie Brosh's 2013 humorous graphic memoir, Hyperbole And A Half.

Art critic Jerry Saltz's How To Be An Artist delivers on its title providing ideas for promoting and creating ones creative work. Maria Konnikova's memoir The Biggest Bluff describes her process of learning to master poker and through the process provide insights into achieving greater focus and self-mastery.

Happy reading.

Born A Crime: Stories From A South African Childhood by Trevor Noah (Spiegel & Grau, 2016).

The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide To The Hidden World Of Everyday Design by Roman Mars and Kurt Kohlstedt (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2020).

Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey (Crown, 2020).

A Very Punchable Face: A Memoir by Colin Jost (Crown, 2020).

Tales From The Loop, Simon Stålenhag editor (Design Studio Press, 2015).

A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction by Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, Murray Silverstein, with Max Jacobson, Ingrid Fiksdahl-King, Shlomo Angel (Oxford University Press, 1977).

Solutions And Other Problems by Allie Brosh (Gallery Books, 2020).

Interior Design Master Class: 100 Lessons From America's Finest Designers On The Art Of Decoration, edited by Carl Dellatorre (Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., 2016).

The Answer Is ..: Reflections On My Life by Alex Trebek (Simon & Schuster, 2020).

How To Be An Artist by Jerry Saltz (Riverhead Books, 2020).

Sing Backwards And Weep: A Memoir by Mark Lanegan (Hachette Books, 2020).

Apropos Of Nothing: Autobiography by Woody Allen (Arcade Publishing, 2020).

A Frame For Life: The Designs Of Studioilse by Ilse Crawford (Rizzoli, 2014).