Rachel read The Crafter's Companion edited by Anna Torborg:
Do you really need another book of projects? Have you even finished anything in the last few months? Do you have thoughts like, "Why am I doing this? Why make stuff when I can just buy stuff?"
If you're like me, your crafting eyes are bigger than your stomach (perhaps it's some form of Obsessive Crafting Disorder). I'll never actually finish everything I want to do and it can become overwhelming and seemingly pointless.
So it's refreshing to have a book of, yes, more projects, but more importantly, glimpses into the work habits and work spaces of well known crafters from all over the world who'll re-inspire you as tell you why they do it.
Eric read The Road by Cormac McCarthy:
A real page-turner, telling the story of a man and his young son, two of the only survivors of an unnamed (but presumably Bush-related) cataclysmic disaster that wiped out most life on Earth. Together the two attempt to survive a brutal winter, heading south and west as they scavenge for mushrooms, fruits, tins of food, clean sources of water, dry places to sleep -- and safety from the marauding gangs of scum who want to use the boy for food and sex. Dark, dark stuff along the lines of Saramago's Blindness, one of my other favorite reads this year; a perfect holiday gift for that friend or relative who loves literature but hates humanity.
Benn read An Anthology Of Graphic Fiction, Cartoons, & True Stories edited by Ivan Brunetti:
Do you want to read comics by the greatest cartoonists? Do you want to read examples of their best work? Maybe get a sense of who's who, who does what, and see what all the fuss is about? Ivan Brunetti creates the most comprehensive and exemplary comic anthology to date. Every established name in the alternative comics world is represented here (R. Crumb, Dan Clowes, Chris Ware, Charles Burns, Julie Doucet, Chester Brown, Jessica Abel, Adrian Tomine, Art Spiegelman), some of the new generation of young cartoonists (Gabrielle Bell, Jonathan Bennett, Jeffrey Brown, James Kochalka, David Heatley, John Porcellino), those who are pushing comics more into the art realm (Marc Bell, Mat Brinkman, Gary Panter) and even a few who influenced all of the above (Charles M. Schulz, George Herriman, Frank King, Henry Darger, Harvey Kurtzman). This anthology is a college course in graphic fiction, a college course in which you joyously do all of the reading and attend every class. Brunetti's Anthology Of Graphic Fiction goes a long way in establishing a canon for comics.