Bryan Lowder of Slate reports for NY1 on newly released book titles and the world of publishing in "The Book Reader."
New Yorkers have an insatiable curiosity about how their neighbors live. What's it like off the A train instead of the L, in the 15th floor condo instead of the fifth floor-walkup? In a city so dense with diversity, we can't help but imagine the lives playing out behind the locked doors and glowing windows that surround us.
In "Habitats: Private Lives in the Big City", New York Times City section editor Constance Rosenblum scratches that voyeuristic itch. Out in March from New York University Press, Rosenblum's series of mini profiles invites us into all manner of New York residences, from a 375-square-foot shoebox housing Southern transplants on the Lower East Side to a clowning couple co-op on St. Nick Terrace. This addictive anthology shows just how skilled New Yorker’s are at turning a house-any house-into home.
And if you have the cash, why not repeat that transformation? But this time, beyond the din of the city. In "Fire Island Modernist: Horace Gifford and the Architecture of Seduction", Christopher Rawlins presents an insightful and gorgeously illustrated account of the luminous mid-century modern vacation homes that architect Horace Gifford built during the 1960s and '70s in Fire Island's gay enclaves.
But this beautiful book, published in May from Metropolis and the Gordon de Vries Studio, contains more than blueprints: Rawlins fluidly merges a cultural history of New York's gay community with Gifford's personal biography and work, showing how his seductive designs were deeply connected to the newfound freedoms he and his clients enjoyed out on the beach.
For more homey titles, check out the Slate Book Review, slate.com/books.