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 2015: Crafts & DIY

By Heather Halliday, Nanette Donohue, Karen Ellis, and Gayle A. Williamson

art before breakfastArt Instruction

Gregory, Danny. Art Before Breakfast: A Zillion Ways To Be More Creative No Matter How Busy You Are. Chronicle. ISBN 9781452135472. $19.95; ebk. ISBN 9781452140582.
Gregory helps readers take back a little time for art-making in their lives by offering ample short project ideas that can each be done in under half an hour. He provides encouragement and advice to make this sort of quick art a healthy daily habit. This friendly guide reminds readers that the time is now to express their visual creativity. (LJ 4/15/15)


Schepper, Anna & Lene Schepper. The Art of Paper Weaving: 46 Colorful, Dimensional Projects. Quarry: Quarto. ISBN 9781631590399. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781627883160.
The authors bring paper weaving from their native Denmark to the United States in this collection of projects ranging from simple woven hearts (commonly made by Danish schoolchildren) to an intricate paper palace. The finished items are so delightful and colorful that it’s hard to believe that most of them are made with humble copy paper. (LJ 10/1/15)


Smith, Nathan & Michael Snyder. Color Concrete Garden Projects. Timber. ISBN 9781604695397. $19.95; ebk. ISBN 9781604697322.
Concrete is not just for building construction—there are so many more possibilities. Smith and Snyder have compiled a focused collection of DIY projects taking advantage of colored concrete, including planters, ornamental pieces, and furniture. The step-by-step illustrations are fantastic and highly detailed; the projects are unique; and materials and molds are easily obtained. Innovation and instruction make this a real standout. (LJ 6/15/15)

Fiber Crafts

Gilleland, Diane. All Points Patchwork: English Paper Piecing Beyond the Hexagon for Quilts & Small Projects. Storey. ISBN 9781612124209. pap. $19.95; ebk. ISBN 9781612124216.
Contemporary quilters have embraced English paper piecing as a way to make quilting portable. Gilleland makes an exhaustive study of the ins and outs of this technique, teaching quilters the skills they need to use a variety of common shapes, including triangles, diamonds, tumblers, and hexagons, to draft and create their own designs. A must for quilters considering the millefiori quilts that are all over Instagram. (LJ 6/15/15)

Interior Design

Miller, Judith. Vintage Home: Using 20th-Century Design in the Contemporary Home. Firefly. ISBN 9781770856127. $49.95; ebk. ISBN 9781770856127.
Miller presents the history of modern design from the early-20th century to the present, focusing on the important designers and manufacturers of furniture, glass, ceramics, metalware, and textiles. Illustrated with close to 500 photographs, which include contemporary interiors that embody each design movement, this volume is an excellent reference that will be useful to collectors, design professionals, and students. (LJ 11/1/15)