10 Spring Reading Recommendations From Downtown

by | Apr 11, 2017 | Book Club, Culture

Photo courtesy of Pexels

During the fall and winter seasons, you are most likely doing all of your reading indoors, commute included. When the weather gets warmer in New York, reading is something that many people choose to do outdoors, whether at the beach, at a park or on a rooftop. In turn, Downtown has some books to recommend to its readers:

1) Beachside Bohemian: Easy Living By the Sea – A Designer Couple’s Refuge for Family and Friends by Robert Novogratz, Cortney Novogratz & Michelle Billodeau

Well-known to reality TV watchers of HGTV, Robert and Cortney Novogratz known how to redesign living spaces of all kinds. This hardcover book offers up plenty of design tips, no matter the size, locale and/or climate of your home.

2) Salad For President by Julia Sherman

A unique cookbook, Salad For President is a wonderful collection of inventive recipes and conversations with architects, musicians and all sorts of artists. Artist spaces all over the world are visited by Julia, as Laurie Anderson, photographer Willie Wegman, The Boredoms’ Shinji Masuko, and ceramicist Yui Tsujimura all participated.

3) Hal David: His Magic Moments: There Is Always Something There to Remind Me by Eunice David

Hal David co-wrote some of the biggest love songs of all time, including “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head,” “What The World Needs Now Is Love,” “There Is Always Something There To Remind Me,” and “To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before.” Hal’s wife Eunice has written a book in tribute to her late husband, offering insight into how some of his biggest hits were written and what it was like being married to the legendary lyricist.

4) Lonely Boy: Tales From A Sex Pistol by Steve Jones

It is often said that without The Sex Pistols, there would be no punk rock, and as the founding guitarist of The Sex Pistols, a lot of rock music’s roots go back to Steve Jones. In this memoir, the host of Jonesy’s Jukebox covers all facets of his life — he has done plenty as a musician, producer, actor and host since the Pistols disbanded for the first time in the late 1970s — and fortunately, for our entertainment, he writes just like he speaks.

5) Meat On The Side: Delicious Vegetable-Focused Recipes For Every Day by Nikki Dinki

Chef Nikki Dinki has a major fanbase as a result of her many appearances on television. But unlike many chefs, she has a wonderful story about learning how to eat well. Meat On The Side isn’t preaching for anyone to become a vegetarian — quite the opposite — but it does show how anyone can easily start eating more vegetables and wind up loving it.

6) Toys “4” Cheap: The Magic Of Toys Will Shut Up Your Child by Asterios Kokkinos & Jimmy Hasse

Asterios Kokkinos is a prolific podcaster and writer, and this faux-catalog has hundreds of jokes within its 56 pages. Anyone who read toy catalogs — or even classified ads — during their formative years will love the attention to detail shown in Toys “4” Cheap. As an aside, Asterios’ followers on Patreon can get a podcast made exclusively for them.

7) From Cradle To Stage: Stories From The Mothers Who Rocked And Raised Rock Stars by Virginia Hanlon Grohl

As the mother of Foo Fighters founder (and Nirvana drummer) Dave Grohl, Virginia Hanlon Grohl helped raise one of rock’s biggest names. For this book, Virginia speaks to the mothers of Dr. Dre, Amy Winehouse, R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe, Maroon 5’s Adam Levine, The Beastie Boys’ Mike D, and the Haim sisters, sharing a lot of heart-warming tales in the process. And of course Dave wrote the book’s foreword.

8) Total Excess: Photographs By Michael Zagaris edited by Dagon James

California native and photographer Michael Zagaris photographed nearly every big name in rock that came through San Francisco in the 1970s and 1980s, including The Clash, The Grateful Dead, Blondie, Eric Clapton, and Led Zeppelin. This collection — which awesomely-features Lou Reed on the cover — contains a lot of previously-unseen work and is said to be the first in a series of collaborations between Michael and Reel Art Press.

9) The Complete History Of Black Sabbath: What Evil Lurks by Joel Mciver

Black Sabbath may have recently wrapped its farewell tour, but the British quartet remains popular as ever in 2017. This coffee table book looks beautiful, containing over 150 photos within its glossy pages. The whole pre-farewell history of Black Sabbath is tracked in What Evil Lurks, which contains a foreword from Machine Head’s Robb Flynn.

10) Slayer: Repentless #1 by Jon Schnepp & Guiu Vilanova

If Black Sabbath isn’t as heavy as your metal goes, then check out the debut comic from the band Slayer. The story was based on Slayer music videos. Available in print, Kindle and comiXology formats; beyond this comic series, the band will be on tour with Lamb Of God and Behemoth this summer.

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