Books

A New Book Reveals the Secrets of North Korea's Would-Be Film Industry

Paul Fischer has uncovered a story about a film producer who would make any Sony exec look warm and fuzzy: In 1978, unimpressed with the quality of North Korean cinema, dictator-in-training Kim Jong-il kidnapped South Korea's most famous director and actress and, over the next eight years, forced them to make seven movies. Here, a few secrets about Dear Leader the Cinephile that Fischer reveals in his exhaustively researched new book, A Kim Jong-il Production. see more
Books

Mark Zuckerberg Wants to Be Oprah Winfrey

The first thing we thought when we read the news about Mark Zuckerberg's book club was, Does Oprah know? Because while we're all about literacy, being a part of the cultural conversation, and advancing new ideas, we couldn't help but think that the Facebook founder's New Year's resolution to read a book every other week (and to get the legions of people who use his social-networking site to follow suit) might step on the toes of the reading project that his fellow billionaire Winfrey has been running on and off for almost 20 years. If you want to start reading see more
Books

Celebrity Photographer Mario Testino on Instagram, Shooting Royals, and His New Whisky-Inspired Project

There's a reason why Mario Testino's new book costs $3,500. It's not just because he's among the most powerful and celebrated photographers in the world and he can charge whatever he likes. Nor is this merely a limited-edition kind of thing, though there are only 1,000 (collectible) copies available. The Macallan Masters of Photography Book is actually kind of a hybrid coffee-table-book-cum-liquor-cabinet in a black lacquer box. In addition to the photos captured at a Beijing photo shoot and one signed color print, it's filled with precious whisky—samples from six of the best casks at Macallan. We spoke to the see more
Design

Can We Get These Harry Potter Book Concepts on Sale Before the Holidays?

There's not really much we ask for during the holidays. Decent weather, a good time around the table with our families at various holiday meals, and less conflict in the world in general. But man, oh man, do we really want these designs for all seven Harry Potter books to go into production. see more
Books

Put Your Stamp (or Someone Else's) on One of These Great Notebooks

Maybe you know someone who really tried to go paperless this year. Maybe he failed, because he's one of those poor souls for whom not much eclipses the feeling of putting an actual pen to physical paper. And maybe, in this instance, you should stop crying about green living and get him a stack of beautiful notebooks for the holidays. see more
Books

Inside Kurt Cobain's Last Photo Shoot

Kurt Cobain died a little more than eight months after Jesse Frohman haphazardly photographed Nirvana in the basement of a midtown Manhattan hotel. Instead of the multilocation shoot he was expecting, Frohman was forced to grab a roll of film he had in his car and set up in a basement conference room barely large enough to hold the band. Kurt Cobain: The Last Session, which is out this week, chronicles the few hours Frohman spent with the band in that basement (and a rehearsal later that evening at the Roseland Ballroom). Below, Frohman talked with us about waiting for see more
Books

Holiday Entertaining Tips From the "Sheik of Chic," Valentino

With the holidays right around the corner, the release of Valentino's new book At the Emperor's Table, which details how the legendary designer entertains at his homes around the world, couldn't be better timed. see more
Books

Chuck Palahniuk: "To Have Sex and Death Placed as Close to One Another as Possible Is Always a Goal of Mine"

Mr. Palahniuk, do you think that the world is getting better or worse? Better. Ultimately, everyone is acting out of what they feel is the best choice. In a way, they're all trying to improve the world. And I think that those basic choices make the world a better place. I wouldn't have necessarily guessed that from the guy who wrote Fight Club. Do you think that attitude is reflected in your fiction? To me, it's a choice: whether to focus on the way things work out beautifully, or to focus on the way things work out miserably. I always see more
Books

A Very Sexy Book Comes Back to Print

Today isn't just Halloween, or a Friday, or the last day before you have to get serious about your Movember strategy. Today is also famed photographer Helmut Newton's birthday, and to mark the occasion, Taschen has brought back his book Sex and Landscapes, which has been out of print since 2008. see more
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Fashion

How a Camera Malfunction Became Fractured, a New Photo Book

Photographer Jeremy Kost has become known for his moody, sexually-charged photos that document chiseled models and habitués of the downtown New York club scene, images which were compiled into the books We Were All Innocent Once and It's Always Darkest Before Dawn. His latest outing, Fractured, builds upon a career that has focused on the male form, but, thanks to a happy accident, suffuses it with a meditative, dreamlike energy. see more
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