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Monday, 7 December 2020

2020: My End-of-Year List of Books I have enjoyed


It is end-of-year booklist time. At the end of a terrible year, they are an escape. I haven't seen so many books, but of the ones I have seen, there are some brilliant ones. Some have sold a handful, some have sold a few thousand, some are superbly crafted examples of paper engineering, some are pragmatically made, some have a rough shine about them. There is humour, anger, intelligence, wit, doubt, pride, and beauty in this selection. 

And there is real pleasure. 

Enjoy your books. 

Ukrzaliznytsia– by Julie Poly

This is a book of staged situations in the carriages of the Ukrainian Railway System. Photographed by former Carriage attendant (and graduate of the Ukrainian Railway Academy) it is a fun journey through space, time, gender, and sexuality.

Galerna– by Jon Casenave

Jon Casenave takes us into a beautiful heart of darkness in images where his homeland ( the Basque Country) is elemental, ancient, and wild.

Rabbit/ Hare – David Billet and Ian Kline

This is a roadtrip of a book (the destination is Texas) with one of the great cat pictures of all time, and a level of ambiguity that can befuddle the careless reader.

Woman GoNo’gree – by Gloria Oyarzabal

This is a considered, thoughtful, and beautiful rumination on the dangers, prejudices, and responsibilities (past and present) in representing African women. It doesn’t have any answers, but it does ask questions through both word and image.

A les 8 al Bar Eusebi – by Salvi Danes

A bar, a street, a prison, a panopticon, Salvi Danes wraps them all into a superbly sequenced flow with nods to film, fashion, and masculinity.

1528 – by Rohit Saha

A book styled after a dossier that is titled after the 1528 people murdered by Indian government forces in Manipur, one of the eight states of Northeast India. It’s dark in every way.


Human Territoriality – by Roger Eberhard

This is a book of maps, borders, and the arbitrary ways in which our world is shaped; economically, geographically, politically, and on the back of a cigarette packet, it’s all in this book.

Zaido – by Yukari Chikura

This is a beauty of a book, with multiple papers, transparencies and moods taking us on a journey into the snow country of northern Japan.

Erna Helena Ania - by Tomasz Laczny

A handmade publication from the Reminders Photography Stronghold workshop, this tells the story of Laczny’s German grandmother and how she fell in love with his Polish grandfather. In 1945.

Post -  a newspaper publication by Tim Williams, Callum Humphreys and Philip Jones

This is the wild card of the selection which was the most heartfelt publication of the year for me. It tells the story of growing up, and being Welsh, in north Wales. It’s direct, it’s political, and it’s a scathing read.

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