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Banker to the Poor

Banker to the Poor is an amazing book for anyone looking to learn more about microfinance, how it got started, and how the industry is developing. It's really amazing how much of a difference a few dollars can make in the lives of people living in developing nations! It talks a lot about building sustainable fixes to struggling economies and it's a really interesting read! 

Ed418885 tiny Marianna Breytman for economics and microlending
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The Year of Living Biblically

The Year of Living Biblically is such a great book for anyone looking to learn more about investigative/experimental journalism (& the Bible! in an objective way, of course. This is *not* a religious book that preaches anything). It's also ridiculously funny, so that helps.

Ed418885 tiny Marianna Breytman for journalism
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Creative Time: The Book

Creative Time has played a key role in the evolution of public and participatory art in New York City. This book provides an overview of the organization's history and projects, which span several decades. 

3c0c6f9b tiny Elizabeth Abbarno for new york city and public art
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City Art: New York's Percent for Art Program

Showcases the public art projects funded by the City of New York, including documentation of projects inside schools and government buildings the general public does not necessarily have access to. 

3c0c6f9b tiny Elizabeth Abbarno for new york city and public art
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Plop: Recent Projects of the Public Art Fund

Nice history of Public Art Fund and overview of their projects. 

3c0c6f9b tiny Elizabeth Abbarno for public art
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Mapping the Terrain: New Genre Public Art

A seminal text dealing with contemporary public art. 

3c0c6f9b tiny Elizabeth Abbarno for public art
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100 Years of the American Female from Harper's Bazaar

More than just about the clothes women wore, this book of essays, artwork, articles and tidbits gives a great overview of women's history, through the lens of the oldest fashion magazine in America. If you like to learn from primary sources, this is a great book for you. 

Missing Katie for fashion history
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High Style: Masterworks from the Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

As far as I know, this show was the first, and only, comprehensive collection of American fashion history. Beautifully photographed and filled with names you probably don't know, but should. 

Missing Katie for fashion history and met museum
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Cunt-Ups

My favorite book of cut-up poetry. Warning: you probably don't want to read this anywhere where someone could be looking over your shoulder. 

B04bc900 tiny Abigail Green-Dove for poetry
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Rub Out the Words: The Letters of William S. Burroughs 1959-1974

If you're a Beat junkie like me (no word-play intended, I swear), you might find this extensive collection of letters written by Burroughs to Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, his partner in cut-ups, Brion Gysin, etc. quite fascinating. 

B04bc900 tiny Abigail Green-Dove for beat poetry and william burroughs
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Dada & Surrealism: A Very Short Introduction

The "A Very Short Introduction" books are a great way to gain a little more knowledge about topics you'd otherwise have to pay a couple hundred (or thousand) to take a course in at Columbia or NYU or whatever your NYC-overpriced-school-of-choice is. This one is about Dadaism and Surrealism, which I talked about in my Cut-Up Poetry course. Also, I'm partial to anything put out by Oxford University.

B04bc900 tiny Abigail Green-Dove for surrealism and dada
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The Lean Startup

Takes away the hype around buzzwords like "lean," and outlines a concrete methodology for launching a business without spending tons of money and time on planning. 

35be7b2f tiny Toby Franklin for business and start ups
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Vogue History of 20th Century Fashion

To read how fashion reflected the changing lives of women (and how women reflected the changing nature of fashion) through the Vogue editorial lens is delightful. 

Missing Katie for fashion history
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Fashion Today

A great overview of 20th - 21st century fashion. Fantastic photography from all the decades. If you have only one book on fashion history, I vote for this one. 

Missing Katie for fashion history
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One Place After Another: Site Specific Art and Locational Identity

This text deals with some of the issues of site specificity, and while Kwon's approach also deals with land art, I think it's still a worthwhile read. 

3c0c6f9b tiny Elizabeth Abbarno for public art
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Public Art: Theory, Practice and Populism

This is a great overview of public art from a populist perspective, and also has a great bibliography-lots of additional resources! 

3c0c6f9b tiny Elizabeth Abbarno for public art and critical theory
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The Story of English in 100 Words

Lovely prose on all things language and linguistics. All of his books are great. 

F424b004 tiny Susan Behrens for grammar and english language
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The Lexicographer's Dilemma

Puts grammar in historical context. Standard English changes, folks, so loosen up a bit.

F424b004 tiny Susan Behrens for grammar
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Still Life: Adventures in Taxidermy

Milgrom's book is a fantastic account of her journalistic travels through the world of taxidermy and its eccentric inhabitants. Ranging from the American Museum of Natural History to the workshop of Damien Hirst, it also includes fascinating descriptions of the now-defunct Mr. Potter's Museum of Curiosities. 

61f07ac6 tiny Michelle J. for journalism and taxidermy
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The Tipping Point

Neat view of the social makeup of people in a society, and how connectors operate. 

E1cfefc8 tiny Jen Bokoff
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Winning Grants

Perfect step-by-step guide to writing a great grant proposal. It's very accessible and DIY. Good for anyone from a beginner to a seasoned development associate. 

E1cfefc8 tiny Jen Bokoff for grantwriting
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Thai Food

Thompson has done more homework on Thai cuisine than many native chefs, and this book is a convenient compendium of well researched recipes. They're largely true to their origins--definitely not Thai-by-way-of-[Insert "hip" American city here]--making it a trustworthy English-language guide for those who like their Thai food unfiltered. 

534579f7 tiny Pitchaya Sudbanthad
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Stories in Stone New York: A Field Guide to New York City Area Cemeteries & Their Residents

"Stories in Stone New York" is sort of like an AIA Guide to NYC for cemeteries. It's a cohesive almanac of cemeteries in the city with compact, but well-researched, descriptions for each. 

A75c0216 tiny Allison C. Meier for new york city and cemeteries
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Brooklyn's Green-Wood Cemetery: New York's buried treasure

"Brooklyn's Green-Wood Cemetery" is where I would recommend starting if you're interested in exploring cemeteries in NYC, as Green-Wood is definitely the most beautiful, as well as the best documented in terms of walks and famous graves, cemetery in the five boroughs. The history of the place and how ties into New York's development as a metropolis is fascinating.

A75c0216 tiny Allison C. Meier for brooklyn and cemeteries
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Silent Cities: the evolution of the American cemetery

"Silent Cities" is a great place to start if you're interested in how cemeteries in America have transformed from churchyards to the sprawling rural gardens to the modern memorial parks we see today. It has intriguing details about individual cemeteries in the States, as well as an intelligent general overview. Lots of nice creepy cemetery photography, too.

A75c0216 tiny Allison C. Meier for cemeteries