Daniel Berrigan/Adrianna Amari
Prayer for the Morning Headlines (Apprentice House)
Pairing activist Berrigan's big-hearted poems with Amari's haunting photographs, this volume exudes a sense of reflection and contemplation. Berrigan, of Catonsville Nine fame, neither flaunts nor stifles his anti-war stance, opting instead for gently moving cadences and images that, while leaving no question where he stands on the issue, reflect thoughtful determination more than strident finger pointing. As such, they're excellent matches for Amari's poignant study of graveyards and tombstones, a gorgeous body of work that includes amazing shots of Green Mount Cemetery. In her afterword, Amari refers to the cemeteries as "surprising sanctuaries of silence, curve, and light amidst urban chaos." It's a succinct characterization, one that aptly underscores the overall effect of this timely, affecting, and ultimately unsettling book.
Ellen and Julia Lupton
D.I.Y. Kids (Princeton Architectural Press)
Something of a companion volume to Ellen Lupton's 2006 D.I.Y. Design It Yourself, this book (co-authored by the MICA professor and her twin sister) focuses on design projects for children. Like its predecessor, the new book is brimming with hands-on expertise, intellectual buoyancy, and a tangible sense of empowerment. It shows parents and children how to transform everyday objects—which might be headed for the trash—into well-designed, functional, and fun items. That cereal box in the recycling bin could be a photo file, or cardboard castle. That scrap piece of fabric could be a notepad holder. The book also includes ideas for making stuffed animals, pop-up cards, magnets, t-shirts, party supplies, and other items. Not all of the projects are tidy, and the intent here isn't about being particularly chic, trendy, or fashionable. It's more about creating individual, unique designs that stand out from what's available at the mall—a concept that, thanks to this book, is as fun as it is practical.