Books | A Continuous Lean.

Take a Trip….To the Magazine Store.

Jul 9th, 2014 | Categories: Books, Jake Gallagher, Magazines, Travel | by Jake Gallagher

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As anyone who has recently taken, planned, or even considered a trip can attest, travel is not the glamorous pursuit that it once was. And yet, despite (or perhaps in response to) the endless string of headaches that can stem from taking a vacation in 2014, this year has also been marked by a resurgence of the travel magazine industry. As many household names have finally received some much needed facelifts, and the indie vacation publication world has surged, there has never been a better time to live vicariously through the glossy pages of a travel magazine. Here’s our list of the most exciting travel titles on the stands today, just think of it as your chance to actually enjoy a getaway, minus the endless TSA lines, infinite flight delays, and locker-sized Economy seats.

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Goldeneye | The Estate That Bond Built

Apr 22nd, 2014 | Categories: Books, History | by Jake Gallagher

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While Ian Fleming himself never liked to be compared to the fictitious secret agent that he wrote to life during his twilight years, Mr. Fleming and James Bond were kindred spirits through and through. Fleming, much like 007, was wealthy, well-educated, and even served as a British intelligence officer during WWII. It was during this stint in the service that Fleming first visited Jamaica, the island destination from which he would pen all fourteen of his James Bond novels. Having fallen in love with the tropical atmosphere, which was unlike anything he had encountered during his English upbringing, Fleming returned to Jamaica at the conclusion of the war and purchased a plot of waterfront property on northern coast of the island. Dubbing it “Goldeneye,” a name borrowed from a covert plan he had developed during the war, Fleming constructed a modest house overlooking the Caribbean where he would spend each winter for the following decades.





Willy Vlautin Tells It Like It Is.

Mar 20th, 2014 | Categories: Al James, Americana, Books | by Al James

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Has the recent finale of HBO’s True Detective left you jonesing for more pulpy American grit? Do you like your heroes broken-hearted yet courageous, desperate but loyal? Does your hard luck story require just the thinnest beam of light to pierce the looming darkness? Then author Willy Vlautin is your guy.

A Reno, Nevada native, Vlautin moved North to Portland, Oregon in the nineties to paint houses. When he wasn’t up on the ladder he wrote and played in bands. He founded, and still fronts, Richmond Fontaine, one the most-loved rock bands to come out of the Northwest. Starting with The Motel Life in 2007, he has published four novels that fit on the shelf next to Steinbeck’s Cannery Row, Denis Johnson’s Jesus’ Son and Larry Brown’s Big Bad Love. Immensely talented company, but Vlautin’s work is at home with these greats.

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Rude Shoes | Jamaica’s Love Affair With Clarks

Mar 11th, 2014 | Categories: Books, England, Jake Gallagher | by Jake Gallagher

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There is nothing offensive about a pair of Clarks. Desert Boots, Mountain Treks, and Wallabees, these are the simple suede chukkas that your mother probably bought you for your first day of elementary school, and what could be offensive about that?

And yet, in Jamaica, the one word most associated with Clarks is “rude.” As in rude boys, the rebellious subculture that emerged amongst Jamaica’s lower class during the 1960’s. Driven by a reggae backbeat, Jamaica’s disenfranchised youths became enamored with the skinny suits, raucous music, and devil-may-care demeanor that defined England’s counterculture movement. The interplay between youth cultures in Jamaica and England was a mutually beneficial relationship that ultimately gave Rude Boys a chance to separate themselves from slum-life in a way that simultaneously audacious and aspirational.

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Man of the Hour: The Michael Hainey Interview

Feb 20th, 2013 | Categories: Books, David Coggins | by David Coggins

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You may know Michael Hainey from GQ, where he’s the deputy editor, a writer and resident wise man. He’s an elegant and reassuring presence in a menswear world that can breed exhaustion. You may also see Mr. Hainey on television, walking in the West Village or on your favorite street style site. He carries himself with a sense of courtliness that makes him seem approachable, which is very much the case. Prepare to get to know him much better—his new book, the memoir “After Visiting Friends”— is deeply personal and incredibly moving. It’s also a brilliantly reported, completely absorbing mystery about the death of his father, which happened when Michael was a boy. It’s a genuine accomplishment by one of New York’s dapper men of letters.

We spoke recently at the Spotted Pig.

David Coggins: The title of your book is “After Visiting Friends.” Can you explain what it means? It’s a good introduction to what the book’s about.

Michael Hainey: It’s the reason the mystery begins. You could say it’s a euphemism, but really it’s a line inside of a couple of the obituaries that ran after my father died. One said he died after visiting a “friend” and the other said “friends.” It gave an address in Chicago, so as a young guy I said “who are these friends?” So it’s the engine of the mystery.





Hero’s Welcome: The Return of Lucky Jim.

Oct 11th, 2012 | Categories: Books, David Coggins, England | by David Coggins

Lucky Jim, Kingsley Amis’s first novel, was published in 1954 and promptly entered the pantheon of British postwar literature. It’s just been reissued by the invaluable New York Review Books Classics, which is the literary equivalent of receiving a case of Laphroaig. Our hero, Jim Dixon, a young university lecturer, grapples with a stream of improbable academic cranks, pretentious artists, neurotic women, a vengeful oboist and his own self-destructive streak. The novel is trenchant, knowing and audaciously misanthropic. It may be the funniest book ever written.

Yes, that’s an absurd statement (Jim himself would surely raise an eyebrow at such a sweeping claim). But Lucky Jim remains the benchmark for satire, misbehavior and the absurd demands of adult life. Strangely, some Lucky Jim partisans struggle through the book’s opening the first time they read it. In fact, it’s not uncommon for people to take pause before they plow their way through it. Why is that? Like watching Shakespeare’s plotting villains or early episodes of Deadwood, it takes some time to acclimate yourself to the incredibly specific, rarefied language. But that makes it sound as if it’s an exalted enterprise: it’s not.





The Greatest Brand Book Ever Made.

Sep 13th, 2012 | Categories: Books, Craft, Paris | by Michael Williams

Normally the watch companies are the ones who release the finest books documenting the history and heritage of their brands. Though it wasn’t until recently when confronted with the history of iconic french trunk maker Goyard that I realized just how exceptional a company archive book can be.

In releasing the book, Goyard partnered with the storied Parisian publisher Devambez to release 233 editions, which will each set you back a healthy sum of 6000€ (not including shipping or VAT tax or any customization that you do to the case). The 233 number is symbolic because it is the address of the original Goyard store on rue Saint-Honoré in Paris. Each book is painstakingly made by hand by the finest artisans in France and comes in its own individually numbered, fully custom Goyard case.