Best Sellers

Best-Selling Design Books, United States: November 2013

December 9, 2013

This list of best-selling design books indicates the #1 seller for the month for a given store and is compiled from the individual best-seller lists for November 2013 provided by our U.S. featured booksellers, which appear immediately below. (Clicking on a link takes you to a bookseller’s complete best-seller list.)

Arcana: Books on the Arts, Book SoupCollected Works, Hennessey + Ingalls Art & Architecture Bookstore, Labyrinth Books (Princeton, NJ), Modernism 101Peter Miller Books, Powell’s Books, Rizzoli Bookstore, Skylight Books, William Stout Architectural Books, and Van Alen Books.

Classic Homes of Los Angeles Douglas Woods

# 1 Design Best Seller at Book Soup, Los Angeles (November 2013). From the Publisher. A luxurious showcase of the finest homes in the oldest neighborhoods of Los Angeles and environs. This volume offers an exclusive look into the classic homes and gardens in the legendary neighborhoods in and around Los Angeles. Famed for its lavish homes and celebrity residents, one finds here a panorama of richly detailed architectural styles, from Craftsman, Tudor and Georgian to Spanish Colonial and Tuscan examples. Shown here is the estate of the great Hollywood producer and director Cecil B. DeMille, the former Danny Kaye house in Beverly Hills, and the wonderful Arts and Crafts masterwork by Greene and Greene—the Gamble House—in Pasadena. These works and others illustrate the wide range of period-revival styles popular in Southern California during its "Golden Age of Expansion" from 1899 to 1932. Lush, all-new color photographs capture the grandeur of these homes and their exquisite gardens in the present day.

CLOG: Unpublished Clog editors

# 1 Design Best Seller at Hennessey + Ingalls Art & Architecture Bookstore, Los Angeles (November and December 2013). From the Publisher. Publications—both physical and digital—receive a constant stream of press releases, project updates, and photographs from architects yearning for the validation of having their work published. But still, the vast majority of buildings go unexamined by the critical press. How many times have we seen the same signature project reviewed? How many worthy unknown projects must, by extension, never receive an appraisal?

There are any number of factors to account for this. It seems undeniable, for example, that certain building typologies and regions remain underrep- resented in the mainstream architectural press, and it is perhaps too easy to imagine that this stems from a widespread editorial bias. It would be a mistake to discount the impact of logistics, however. The constraints of time, staff sizes, travel costs, image rights, formatting and layout requirements, and access to information simply cannot be ignored by publishers, editors, and writers. Equally important is the imperative to sell, or at least pay heed to the perceived interests of the readership. Sometimes a building falls by the wayside due to mere coincidence-another project was just published with the same exterior material, the press release came in on the day an editor was out sick, the photographer only took landscape-oriented images, the PDF was corrupted.

At a moment when new forms of publication are emerging and disrupting traditional models—and the definition of what it even means for a building to "be published" is an open question—it is time to analyze what is being published, why it's being published, and to examine what is being left out of the conversation.

Eames Gloria Koenig
Peter Gössel

# 1 Design Best Seller at Powell’s, Portland, OR (November 2013). From the Publisher. Nothing says modernist perfection like an Eames design. Though they are best known to the general public for their furniture, the husband and wife duo of Charles and Ray Eames (1907–78 and 1912–88, respectively) were also forerunners in the fields of architecture, industrial design, photography, and film. This book covers all the aspects of their illustrious career, from the earliest furniture experiments and molded plywood designs to the Case Study Houses to their work for Herman Miller and films such as the seminal short, Powers of Ten.

The Houses of Louis Kahn George H. Marcus
William Whitaker

From Yale University Press; #1 Design Best Seller at Van Alen Books, New York (November 2013). Richly illustrated with new and period photographs and original drawings, as well as previously unpublished materials from personal interviews, archives, and Kahn’s own writings, The Houses of Louis Kahn shows how the architect’s ideas about domestic spaces challenged conventions, much like his major public commissions, and were developed into one of the most remarkable expressions of the American house.

Read the Notable Book of 2013 review.

Margaret Esherick House, Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, 1959–62. From southeast. From The Houses of Louis Kahn (2013, Yale University Press). Photo: 2008 © Matt Wargo
How Architecture Works Witold Rybczynski

From Farrar, Straus and Giroux; #1 Design Best Seller at Collected Works, Santa Fe, NM (November 2013). In How Architecture Works, Witold Rybczynski, one of our best, most stylish critics and winner of the Vincent Scully Prize for his architectural writing, answers our most fundamental questions about how good—and not-so-good—buildings are designed and constructed. Introducing the reader to the rich and varied world of modern architecture, he takes us behind the scenes, revealing how architects as different as Frank Gehry, Renzo Piano, and Robert A. M. Stern envision and create their designs. He teaches us how to “read” plans, how buildings respond to their settings, and how the smallest detail—of a stair balustrade, for instance—can convey an architect’s vision. Ranging widely from a war memorial in London to an opera house in St. Petersburg, from the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., to a famous architect’s private retreat in downtown Princeton, How Architecture Works, explains the central elements that make up good building design. It is an enlightening humanist’s toolkit for thinking about the built environment and seeing it afresh.

Also see our interview with Witold Rybczynski on How Architecture Works.
Read the Notable book of 2013 review.

Seji Ozawa Hall, Lenox Massachusetts, designed by William Rawn. Photo: Photo: Daderot. Licesnsed under the terns of the GNU Free Documentationt License, Version 1.2. From How Architecture Works by Witold Rybczynski (2013, Farrar, Straus and Giroux) 
Humans of New York Brandon Stanton

#1 Design Seller from Skylight Books in Los Angeles (November 2013). From the Publisher. Based on the blog with more than a million loyal fans, a beautiful, heartfelt, funny, and inspiring collection of photographs and stories capturing the spirit of a city.

From the Land Daniel P. Gregory
Foreword by Diane Keaton
Afterword by Stanley Abercrombie

# 1 Design Best Seller at Rizzoli Bookstore, New York (November 2013). From the Publisher. Elegant rusticity meets unpretentious luxury in the work of this award-winning architecture firm. Howard Backen, principal of the architecture firm Backen, Gillam & Kroeger, is at the center of a popular movement in home design that emphasizes elegant simplicity and embraces the rustic charm of natural materials. This volume, the first on his work and that of the firm, is an artful exploration of this aesthetic, featuring farmhouses in the Napa Valley, hilltop homes, seaside retreats, and lakeside hideaways. Throughout the work, a sense of intimacy, warmth, and informality pervades. Natural materials, such as wood, stone, and brick, form the foundations, walls, and ceilings of these subtly luxurious spaces, while nature itself plays a considered role that is at once complementary and also intricately conjoined with the work. Sensitive, alluring, and wonderfully resonant with the suggestion of invitation, the work of Backen, Gillam & Kroeger is both thrilling to the eye and restorative to the soul. Photography by Erhard Pfeiffer.

The Library Text by James W. P. Campbell
Photographs by Will Pryce

# 1 Design Best Seller at Labyrinth Books, Princeton, NJ (November 2013). From the Publisher. A library is not just a collection of books, but also the buildings that house them. As varied and inventive as the volumes they hold, such buildings can be much more than the dusty, dark wooden shelves found in mystery stories or the catacombs of stacks in the basements of academia. From the great dome of the Library of Congress, to the white facade of the Seinäjoki Library in Finland, to the ancient ruins of the library of Pergamum in modern Turkey, the architecture of a library is a symbol of its time as well as of its builders’ wealth, culture, and learning.


Ruhlmann: Master of Art Deco Florence Camard

#1 Most Popular Design Seller at Modernism 101 (November 2013). From Modernism 101. This is still the major reference work on the renowned French modernist architect and interior designer Jacques-Emile Ruhlmann. Known as “The Master of Art Deco,” Ruhlmann created opulent, exquisitely designed furniture, homes and showrooms for the Parisian beau monde in the twenties and thirties.

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