A bright spot in the midst of a rainy day yesterday was the arrival of a box of books. Even though I ordered these myself, cutting open the cardboard box felt like opening a gift. Here is what I found inside:

Hundreds and Thousands: The Journals of Emily Carr
I discovered this book from reading Keri Smith’s Blog. Artist journals, especially those by women, have deeply intrigued me. This one seems like a great companion to others I love like Anne Truitt’s Daybook.

The Education of a Photographer
I am about to start teaching a new class at JFK University next week and bought this book thinking it would be about photographic education. I was a little dismayed to find it is really about photography in general – another compilation of essays by famous photographers and writers about the medium. Still useful, but not quite what I expected.

Bookworm by Rosamond Purcell
I first learned of Rosamond Purcell in graduate school at UNM when one of my peers there was researching her penchant for photographing scientific specimens. Being a book junkee myself, I could not resist the title. From my first quick glance, the images in this book offer a visual feast – many depict books in various states of decay and alteration while others are eerie photo-collages.

So the Story Goes: Photographs by Tina Barney, Philip Lorca di Corcia, Nan Goldin, Sally Mann, and Larry Sultan
“Personal experience and photography are indelibly linked” the back cover reads, and these five photographers explore this theme in their own unique way. Sally Mann has always been a source of particular fascination for me, and my library was missing representation of these other well-established artists.

Francesca Woodman by Chris Townsend

A wonderful fat, hardcover book dedicated to this immensely talented young photographer who tragically died young. In her short career, she made some stunning images – rich in emotion and surrealist overtones. Her work was a revelation to me when I first saw it over 12 years ago. It was work like hers that illuminated for me the possibility of using the body to reveal emotional depths. In addition to many images and a long intro essay, this book also includes excerpts from her journals.