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Wabi Sabi: The Japanese Art of Impermanence
Wabi Sabi: The Japanese Art of Impermanence
by Andrew Juniper
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.63

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction to the subject, 1 Jan. 2013
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This book gives quite a thorough (though readable) history of wabi-sabi as a concept, and its development. It's illustrated with matt black-and-white photos, in keeping with the aesthetic. The author takes the subject seriously (unlike some western writers and designers who confuse it with minimalism or folksiness).

I read it as part of my research into my fine art dissertation on the differing Japanese and western attitudes to perfection and permanence in art and artefacts; and found it very useful background.


A Tractate on Japanese Aesthetics
A Tractate on Japanese Aesthetics
by Donald Richie
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.19

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quirky and learned, 1 Jan. 2013
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I bought this as part of my research on a Fine Art dissertation about differing Japanese attitudes to perfection and permanence as evidenced in art and artefacts.

It proved very useful. It's short and, despite the forbidding title, not at all hard to read. It has also been set out in an unusual but effective fashion, so that you can read different aspects of the arguments separately if you choose.

I would certainly recommend it to anyone wanting to know more about Japanese aesthetics, wabi-sabi etc.


Lark Studio Series: Handmade Books
Lark Studio Series: Handmade Books
by Ray Hemachandra
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £4.99

4.0 out of 5 stars nice little stocking-filler, 1 Jan. 2013
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I bought this as a Christmas present for an artistically-inclined young girl, and at the price I paid (£3.74) it was good value.

What it doesn't do is show you how to make a handmade book; but there are other books around that do.

What it does is show a variety (though nearly all American) of handmade books in different styles. It made a nice little stocking-filler and I hope will give her some inspiration to try a handmade book or two of her own.


American Caesars: Lives of the US Presidents, from Franklin D. Roosevelt to George W. Bush
American Caesars: Lives of the US Presidents, from Franklin D. Roosevelt to George W. Bush
by Nigel Hamilton
Edition: Hardcover

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down, 26 Sept. 2010
I bought this as a present for my son, but couldn't resist a quick look myself - and then just had to read the whole thing before I gave it back.

It's well written, with a very dry, understated sense of humour at times. It gives a fascinating and often startling insight into the personalities of the twelve presidents, and a vivid picture of politics in the last two thirds of the twentieth century. Some revelations too - I certainly hadn't realised that Lyndon Johnson was interested in improving welfare and really didn't want to go to war in Vietnam, but did so mainly to avoid defeat by more right-wing opponents (a recurring, and pretty depressing, theme in the stories). Also shows how intelligence and good motives won't necessarily make a good president (they did for FDR, but Jimmy Carter, probably the "best" human being of the twelve, was an ineffective president, while Reagan succeeded largely by being charming, laid-back and an excellent delegator). The parallels with the Roman Empire are telling and well-drawn.

I recommend this to anyone who has the slightest interest in world affairs, or indeed to anyone who fancies a book of immensely readable mini-biographies.


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