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10 Books to Begin 2019

Posted on 06 Jan 2019

Happy New Year! We hope 2019 brings you much joy, fulfillment, and inspiration. To help you on your way, we’ve compiled ten of our best new books to see you into the new year – and beyond.

Modernists and Mavericks
The Sunday Times’ Art Book of 2018 is the ideal dose of verve, colour, and Swinging London spirit to see you through any January blues. From acclaimed critic Martin Gayford, this brilliant book draws on extensive first-hand interviews to trace the development of postwar painting in London and the friendships, shared experiences, and artistic concerns that united its leading practitioners, including Frank Auerbach, Gillian Ayres, Francis Bacon, Frank Bowling, Lucian Freud, David Hockney, Howard Hodgkin, and Bridget Riley.

Imagine John Yoko
If ever there was a collective moment in humanity’s hope for a harmonious future, it’s the dawn of a new year. Imagine John Yoko, compiled and introduced by Yoko Ono herself, reveals the inside story of her and Lennon’s ultimate anthem of love and peace. With unpublished photos and footage sequences, lyric sheets, artworks, and vivid personal testimonies from those who were there – including Julian Lennon, Klaus Voormann, and David Bailey – this is an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at an iconic song.

The Unfinished Palazzo
We all like to start the New Year with grand plans and unshackled ambitions. You’ll find some great mentors in The Unfinished Palazzo, Judith Mackrell’s brilliant, and often hilarious, account of the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni in Venice, and three remarkable women who made it their home — Luisa Casati, Doris Castlerosse, and Peggy Guggenheim. From legendary Belle Époque parties to controversial lovers, defiant fashion to astonishing art, this is a fabulous homage to beauty, eccentricity, and independence in a surreal and exquisite city. Read an extract here.

History Day by Day
A unique calendar companion of 366 historic voices, each tied to a key historic anniversary, from the foundation of Imperial Rome to Mandela’s March to Freedom, from the last entry in Anne Frank’s diary to the fall of the Berlin Wall. With a wide range of moods, registers, and political persuasions, these succinct and vivid eyewitness accounts will illuminate 2019 with compelling insights into the past, and all that it teaches us about human hope, despair, destruction, and daring.

Is Gender Fluid?
Part of our new ‘Big Idea’ series, Is Gender Fluid? provides the ideal primer for anyone interested in gender and its growing discussion and debate. Scrutinizing gender from a variety of angles, it’s packed full of intricate perspectives while remaining accessible in style. A favourite with DIVA magazine, this richly-illustrated book is your go-to reference on gender as biological sex, as social construct, as media coding — and on the rich array of gender activism.

I am Ashurbanipal
The British Museum’s major exhibit on Ashurbanipal runs through February 24 2019. Whether you’re able to make the show in person or not, our book is the ultimate exhibition companion, charting the tumultuous reign of this this ancient King of Assyria. Ruling from his massive capital at Nineveh, in present-day Iraq, Ashurbanipal inherited the world’s largest empire in 559 BC. His legacy included the conquest of Egypt, a crushing defeat of his own brother in Babylon, as well as elaborate building and scholarship projects. Beautifully illustrated and written by an international team of experts, this is a vividaccount of momentous imperial power, which also highlights the rich cultural heritage of Iraq.

The Writer’s Map
It’s always helpful to know where you are going — or to imagine where you’d like to be. In this beautifully-illustrated tribute to map-making and imagination, leading writers describe the maps they love, the maps they use, and the maps that set them dreaming. Find Robert Macfarlane on Treasure Island; Joanne Harris on her fascination with Norse maps of the universe; Miraphora Mina on creating ‘The Marauder’s Map’ for Harry Potter, and Sandi Toksvig on forgotten female mapmakers.

Searching for the Lost Tombs of Egypt
Part thriller, part archaeological study, Chris Naunton’s Searching for the Lost Tombs of Egypt is a gripping account of the quest to find Ancient Egypt’s as-yet undiscovered burial sites, not least those of Alexander the Great and Cleopatra. After last month’s tomb discovery in the Saqqara pyramid complex, this is a fascinating portrait of the Valley of the Kings, and the many secrets it likely still holds.

Marc Jacobs Unseen
The first publication dedicated to Marc Jacobs is a “real revelation”, says Vogue. Revisiting the designer’s most iconic creations, it is packed full of previously unseen backstage photographs of models, stylists, and Marc Jacobs himself. Expert contributions from Iain. R Webb accompany Robert Fairer’s stunning images to explore just what makes Jacobs’ reimagined classics and exquisite meeting of couture and grunge so magic.

Civilization: The Way We Live Now
Rarely has a photo publication had the scale and scope of Civilization,a book lauded by Wallpaper as “a global family album”. With close to 500 images, this epic publication features the work of some 140 photographers to document the material, spiritual, and political threads that make up 21st-century human existence. Under key thematic chapters including ‘rupture’, ‘hive’, ‘flow’ and ‘escape’, these powerful images provide an unprecedented overview ofhumankind’s ever-changing, frenetic, and connected life across the globe. Read an extract here.

Modernists & Mavericks

Bacon, Freud, Hockney and the London Painters Martin Gayford

Imagine John Yoko

John Lennon, Yoko Ono

The Unfinished Palazzo

Life, Love and Art in Venice Judith Mackrell

History Day by Day

366 Voices from the Past Peter Furtado Out of stock

Is Gender Fluid? (The Big Idea)

A primer for the 21st century Sally Hines, Matthew Taylor

I am Ashurbanipal

king of the world, king of Assyria Gareth Brereton Out of stock

The Writer's Map

An Atlas of Imaginary Lands Huw Lewis-Jones

Searching for the Lost Tombs of Egypt

Chris Naunton Out of stock

Marc Jacobs: Unseen

Robert Fairer, Iain R Webb


The Way We Live Now William A Ewing, Holly Roussell Out of stock

Author Interviews

Klaus Voormann - Jamming With John

Klaus Voormann, designer of album artwork for 'Revolver' and bass player for 'Imagine' recalls the atmosphere on the recording sessions.
Author Interviews

Beyond the Camera with Robert Fairer

American Vogue’s renowned backstage photographer, Robert Fairer, takes us behind-the-scenes of one of the most influential fashion houses in the world.

The Writer's Map - Read an Extract

Robert Macfarlane reflects on his cartophilia in an extract of the new book bringing together writers' thoughts on the geographies they describe and the wild landscapes of their imagination.

Podcast: Can Painting Change the World?

Jasper Rees speaks to Martin Gayford, art critic for The Spectator, about Bacon, Freud, 'the school of London Painters', and his book, 'Modernists and Mavericks'.
Author Interviews

Interview: Iain R Webb Uncovers the Unseen Marc Jacobs

What’s the secret to Marc Jacobs? Fashion writer and professor Iain R Webb explores the designer’s all-American pragmatism, reimagined classics, and that exquisite meeting of couture and grunge.

Who Was Ashurbanipal?

Warrior. Scholar. Empire builder. King slayer. Lion hunter. Librarian. The major exhibition at The British Museum in November was about one of history’s greatest forgotten kings – Ashurbanipal. Never heard of him? Don’t worry, you aren’t alone! Here is a quick guide to this powerful and fascinating ancient ruler.

The Clear Mirror from 'Civilization' - Read an Extract

'Civilization' shows how contemporary photography, notably art photography, is fascinated by — and attempts to decode and communicate — the way we live today.

The Unfinished Palazzo – Read an Extract

The Palazzo Venier was intended as a testimony to the power and wealth of a great Venetian family in 1750, but the commission was abandoned with only one story complete. Empty and decaying, “il palazzo non finito” was an eyesore for over a century until it came to be inhabited by three very different women. 'The Unfinished Palazzo' tells their stories.