Coloring Inside the Lines/Coloring Outside the Lines

My buddy Ian Lynam is simply one of the smartest people I know on this planet, and when he writes something, you should pay attention. His latest zine — which you can order online from his Wordshape webstore — acts as a guide to new graphic design graduates. I also highly recommend his Start Somewhere zine, which sorta inspired me to get writing again (which led to the rebirth of this here blog).

The Decagon House Murders

I mentioned that I was reading this book back in December, and although I was quite enjoying it, it got put aside for a while — as often happens when I read books, because of my shitty attention span. I picked it up again this past Sunday, and cruised through the final 100 or so pages, which I enjoyed immensely. This is a terrific mystery novel, and the trick was quite well done — I was far from guessing the ending. Yukito Ayatsuji is my wife’s favorite mystery author, and not only is this his first novel, but it also marked the birth of a return to classic whodunnits in Japanese mystery novel writing. The book also has a great intro that helps explain all of this, as well as an afterword that gives some context. It’s a great translation, and I’ve just started another book by the same publisher (The Moai Island Puzzle).

99+1 Japan

99+1 Japan is a beautiful new guide produced by the Japan National Tourism Organization that takes the form of a website and book (which is also available as a downloadable PDF). The focus here is on art, design, and architecture, and from the browsing I did on the website, the choices are, well, quite choice. I know that my buddy Said Karlsson participated in this, with some of his wonderful photography adorning a few entries. Here’s also a Spoon & Tamago post with more details.

Where They Create: Japan

A new book to lust over, Where They Create: Japan is a collection of what looks like fantastic photo shoots of creative spaces by photographer Paul Barbera. You get a peek inside the studios and work spaces of creatives like Anrealage, Kengo Kuma, Wonderwall, Nendo, Tadao Ando, Tokujin Yoshioka, and Toyo Ito. You can order it here — and here’s a radio interview with Barbera from Monocle.

Beams Beyond Tokyo

Not only does the new Beams Beyond Tokyo book from Rizzoli look fantastic — a celebration of the brand’s collaborations through the years — I’m also happy to see that my buddy W. David Marx is one of the contributors. These Rizzoli coffee table books tend to be incredibly well made (oh, you know, like that Tokyolife: Art and Design book), and this looks like another one I’d love to pick up.

Japandemonium Illustrated: The Yokai Encyclopedias of Toriyama Sekien

Hiroko Yoda and Matt Alt are a power couple when it comes to the localization game, and on top of all those books that Matt wrote in his Attack series (that initially shared the same trade dress and publisher as Arcade Mania), the two have now collaborated on a new book, Japandemonium Illustrated, that takes the form of a proper translation of the yokai encyclopedias of Toriyama Sekien. It looks like a fantastic book, and is available through Amazon.