LJ Best Books 2017

It's time again for LJ’s annual Top Ten Best Books of the year, selected by our editors, as well as Top Five lists for genre fiction, nonfiction, poetry and literature, graphic novels, and SELF-e titles.   SEE WHO MADE THE LIST

Best Books 2013: Crafts & DIY


HEATHER HALLIDAY, American Jewish Historical Soc., New York

 Birch, Helen. Freehand: Sketching Tips and Tricks Drawn from Art. Chronicle. 2013. 224p. illus. index. ISBN 9781452119779. pap. $18.95. ART INSTRUCTION
Sharing a wealth of drawing techniques and subject matter executed by dozens of working artists, this work is small in size but dense in possibilities. Detailed views of drawings in progress explain techniques and processes well, while category and visual indexes allow readers to zero in on what interests them most. There is something for nearly every visually creative reader here. (LJ 10/1/13)



Godfrey-Nicholls, Gaye. Mastering Calligraphy: The Complete Guide to Hand Lettering. Chronicle. 2013. 288p. ISBN 9781452101125. $40.00. CRAFTS
Hand lettering can invigorate everything from wedding invitations to scrapbook pages, and this gorgeous introduction to calligraphy technique features as much information as eye candy. There’s more to calligraphy than formal Old English or script, and Godfrey-Nicholls provides contemporary alphabets, allowing calligraphers to choose—and to master—the style that best suits the occasion. (LJ 8/1/13)

do it yourself


Brown, Amanda. Spruce: A Step-by-Step Guide to Upholstery and Design. Storey. 2013. 400p. illus. index. ISBN 9781612121376. $35; ebk. ISBN 9781603429030. DIY
Brown’s hip and trendy,handbook is impeccably done. Reupholstering is not an easy craft, but thorough instructions make these projects accessible to novices. While there are only five projects demonstrated, they are well covered and go into great detail. This fresh and vibrant work is not your grandmother’s upholstery book. Essential for any collection. (LJ 9/1/13)



fiber crafts


Pink, Tula. Tula Pink’s City Sampler: 100 Modern Quilt Blocks. David & Charles. 2013. 256p. illus. index. ISBN 9781440232145. pap. $27.99. FIBER CRAFTS
Sampler quilts are nothing new—the Dear Jane quilt, originally sewn in 1863, is the grandmother of them all—but fabric and quilt designer Pink brings her unique aesthetic and modern flair to this collection of 100 modern quilt blocks that can be customized, mixed, matched, remixed, and reimagined. Most of the blocks are easy enough for beginners, and the finished quilts, which include all or most of the blocks, are heirloom worthy. (LJ 6/1/13)

interior design

GAYLE A. WILLIAMSON, Fashion Inst. of Design & Merchandising, Los Angeles

Cregan, Lisa. House Beautiful Color: The Perfect Shade for Every Room. Hearst: Sterling. 2013. 336p. index. photos. ISBN 9781588169792. $40. INTERIOR DESIGN
This title provides DIYers with a wealth of practical advice about selecting colors for household interiors. Professional tips from interior designers, more than 400 color photographs, examples of various color schemes, and color use for different design styles combine to supply a variety of inspiring ideas. (LJ 10/1/13)