What We Are Reading Today: The 99% Invisible City

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Updated 16 October 2020

What We Are Reading Today: The 99% Invisible City

Authors: Roman Mars and Kurt Kohlstedt

The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design by Roman Mars and Kurt Kohlstedt is a fascinating collection of stories and descriptions that explain all sorts of things associated with city infrastructure.
The 99% Invisible City “explains how different design features in cities have come about and why they are that way. These are short entries, only two or three pages long per topic. Rather than looking at the best design, we’re often told about a poor design that doesn’t work,” said a review in goodreads.com.
The 99% Invisible City is “fresh and imaginative when it comes to thinking about urban spaces,” said Kenneth T. Jackson in a review for The New York Times.
“In a time when we question whether it is perhaps the moment to tear down statues of flawed historical figures, to attach new plaques to buildings or to change the names of military installations and college dormitories, the authors are asking us to observe carefully the monuments and symbols that are everywhere around us,” Jackson said.

What We Are Reading Today: What Becomes a Legend Most by Philip Gefter

Updated 26 October 2020

What We Are Reading Today: What Becomes a Legend Most by Philip Gefter

This is the first definitive biography of Richard Avedon, a monumental photographer of the 20th century, from award-winning photography critic Philip Gefter.

“Balancing glamor with the gravitas of an artist’s genuine reach for worldy achievement — and not a little gossip — plus sixteen pages of photographs, What Becomes a Legend Most is an intimate window into Avedon’s fascinating world,” said a review in goodreads.com. 

“Dramatic, visionary, and remarkable, it pays tribute to Avedon’s role in the history of photography and fashion — and his legacy as one of the most consequential artists of his time,” the review added.

In his acclaimed portraits, Richard Avedon captured the iconic figures of the twentieth century in his starkly bold, intimately minimal, and forensic visual style. 

Concurrently, his work for Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue transformed the ideals of women’s fashion, femininity, and culture to become the defining look of an era. 

“As successful as Avedon became, he was plagued by doubts about his work not being taken seriously and tirelessly worked to make the critics look at his work as art,” said the review.