The Greatest Not-Fit-for-TV Sports

For his new book The Renegade Sportsman, Zach Dundas spent years seeking out and chronicling fringe sports, from Bike Polo to the Cresta Run. The result is a fascinating read that explores the many eccentric sports that promise more broken bones than money, yet somehow get to the heart of that mad, single-minded competition that makes sports worthwhile. We caught up with Zach to get his picks for a video gallery of his favorite not-fit-for-TV sports. … Read More

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Assigned Reading: The Ultimate World Cup Reading List

While the hype for this Saturday’s USA v. England match may be at a rolling boil, relatively speaking, soccer isn’t exactly in America’s DNA. If you just want to know who’s who in the World Cup, you can always check out the group guides and team profiles over at ESPN, the Guardian, or Bolas and Bandeiras. But what if you want to know what to watch for and what all the excitement is about? Well, you might just have to dig a bit deeper. To that end, we’ve selected a half dozen soccer reads that are perfect companions for the June madness that is upon us. … Read More

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What’s Special About These Crazy Bikes?

Velo: Bicycle Culture and Design is a lovely new book from German publisher Gestalten. It’s chock full of glossy images of all sorts of amazing bikes, artwork inspired by bikes, and shots of the people who ride them. Of course, there are photos of fixie fanatics drooling over their babies, but what makes the book worthwhile is the way it goes beyond the merely trendy to explore the diverse aspects of bicycle culture and fabrication. … Read More

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The Evolution of Travel Ads

A new book from Taschen, 20th Century Travel: 100 Years Of Globe-Trotting Ads, looks back at travel advertisements of the 20th century. If you’re heading somewhere this somewhere (but more especially if you’re not), it’s a handy and fun way to mainline some nostalgia and wanderlust. Think of it as a window into another world — when Amtrak and even Greyhound were classy, airplanes had lounges, and Conrad Hilton wanted to build a hotel on the moon. … Read More

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Examining Books with the Caustic Cover Critic

On his blog the Caustic Cover Critic, James Morrison tracks down, posts, and comments on beautiful and bizarre book cover design — from current titles to finds from years past. We caught up with him to hear what originally sparked the idea, and asked him to rate some recent covers.

“I’m a fairly lowly writer/editor/designer/illustrator in the real world,” James told us. “My most recent job included designing a children’s book about hepatitis, weirdly enough, so I have a professional interest in design. Couple that with an overpowering obsession with books, and an interest in book design is the natural outcome.” … Read More

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Photo Gallery: Hair’em Scare’em

Lady Gaga isn’t the only one experimenting with fringes of hair design. Hair’em Scare’em is a gorgeous new book that explores hair as a trend in contemporary art, graphic design, illustration, interior design, and even fashion. From Björk’s weirdest creations to marvelously cultivated mustaches to the furry creations of the avant-garde, editor Robert Klanten’s collection showcases the aesthetic possibilities of hair as muse and medium. … Read More

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Malcolm Venville’s Lucha Libre Portraits

Lucha Loco collects Malcolm Venville‘s stunning portraits of luchadores, the masked fighters of the Lucha Libre wrestling circuit. Their elaborate outfits and masks range from the kind-of-intimidating to the simply mind-melting, with personas to match. Venville was the child of deaf parents, and became interested in the Luchador masks as a kind of unspoken language. The portraits were made with large-format film in a Mexico City studio and are reproduced in eye-popping color.

The book offers a bilingual and respectful take on the sport, with each portrait clearly identified and paired with a quotation from the wrestler. You can read longer interviews with the wrestlers on the Lucha Loco site, where the burly Dr. Death talks about making love with his mask on and gladiator Maxímo talks about the multi-generational wrestling feud that brought him to the sport. … Read More

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Collect ‘Em All: 6 Paperback Series Worth Fetishizing

We’ve been taught it’s wrong to judge a book by its cover. But surely we can all agree that it’s OK to covet a book for its cover? Or, better yet, to drool over a series of colorful spines? The recent release of Penguin’s Clothbound Classics series reminded everyone od the pleasures of a whole row of shelf-candy, but what if your tastes run to smart paperback design (and cheaper prices)? After the jump you’ll find a gallery of our favorite paperback series that look as good on the shelf as they are worth reading.… Read More

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A Is for Anarchy: ABC Books for Hipster Spawn

Forget about Baby Mozart, it’s time for Baby Angus Young. Does that send a shiver of revulsion or a twinge of delight down your spine? If it’s the latter, then you may be the target audience for Soundscreen Design‘s twist on the classic children’s ABC books. They come in three musical flavors — metal, country, or punk.

Get a headstart on teenage rebellion with Never Mind Your Ps and Qs — Here’s the Punk Rock Alphabet. Nurture the next frontman for your Morbid Angel tribute band with M is for Metal. Or cultivate that high lonesome sound in your wee one with ABC&C: The Country and Western Alphabet. Billed as “perfect for every hipster child,” they’re just as appropriate for the aging music obsessive who wants to remember how to read. Each volume is filled with charming illiustrations and 2-year-old-ready doggerel. See a selection of our favorites after the jump. … Read More

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10 Awesome and Inappropriate Books for Kids

Curious Pages is a blog that scans and posts strange and wonderful children’s books that time forgot. Browsing through its archive, we were reminded of just how weird kids’ books could be — in a good way this time. We caught up with the site’s editors to hear what sparked the idea, and find out their favorite inappropriate and incredible books for kids young and old. … Read More

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