12.26.15
Adam Harrison Levy | Books

The Observer Decameron—Seventh Day

book cover Bacon in My Blood
Michael Peppiatt
An astonishingly vivid memoir recounting the glamorous, seedy and enthralling art world of London's Soho in the 1960s and the complicated friendship between Francis Bacon and his eventual biographer.


book cover Brooklyn: A Personal Memoir
Truman Capote, photographs by David Attie
Capote's 1959 ode to his Brooklyn Heights neighborhood now reunited with the photographs, found in a wooden box, meant to accompany the original article (including a Hitchcock-like portrait of Capote).


book cover Portraits
John Berger
Much more idiosyncratic than straight criticism these are personal, subjective stories about art and artists written by a master.


book cover In the Mind Fields
Casey Schwartz
For those of us who worry about the functioning of our brains, this is a deft journey through the seemingly opposing camps of neuroscience and psychoanalysis (with the hope of a reconciliation) that blends reporting, the history of science, and memoir.


book cover Frank Sinatra Has a Cold
Gay Talese
Although it costs a bomb, this stylish limited edition letterpress book celebrates Talese's groundbreaking 1965 work of literary non-fiction journalism (with striking photographs by Phil Stern). The Penguin reissue is available, too


book cover The Mr. Porter Paperback: The Manual For Stylish Life, volumes, 1, 2, 3
An unapologetic guide to all things male: how to wear a pea coat like Robert Redford in Three Days of the Condor or Serge Gainsbourg in Paris; a visual essay about stars in their cars including an impossibly cool Steve McQueen in his Jaguar XKSS, helpful hints including how to revive old shoes, how to be a man in a bear encounter, how chose a suit, and to top it off brief riffs on Le Corbusier, Picasso's dress style, and desk lamps.


book cover Magnificent Obsessions: The Artist as Collector
Barbican Art Gallery
Artists' collections ranging from Martin Parr's memorabilia of Laika and Belka, the Russian Space dogs, to Peter Blake' elephant figurines, to Hiroshi Sugimoto's fifty glass eyes from 1811–88.


book cover H is For Hawk
Helen McDonald
Who would have thought that a book that is part meditation on grief, part an account of the taming of a goshawk, and part literary history, could be so ferociously moving, so lyrically written, and so compelling?


book cover Reporting Always
Lillian Ross
Both affectionate and wry, this is reporting at it's best: Hemingway uncomfortably shopping for a coat at Abercrombie & Fitch, and then bantering with "the Kraut" (Marlene Dietrich) over champagne; observing the Bean Blossom Senior Class from Indiana as they tour New York City, circa 1960; chronicling the turbulent making of John Houston's The Red Badge of Courage in a series of five New Yorker articles that are now recognized as the progenitor of the non-fiction novel.


book cover Keeping an Eye Open
Julian Barnes
With the grace and finesse that characterizes the best of his fiction, these essays explore the emotional interstices between artist's lives and their work. He is especially astute on Cezanne and Braque.


book cover Go the Fuck to Sleep
Adam Mansbach illustrated by Ricardo Cortes
This is in addition to my top ten but it is far and away the most hilarious book I’ve read in 2015: perfect for those who have suffered and gloried in the struggle of putting a kid to bed.




See all the Top Ten Books from our contributors here

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