Humans of New York is the brainchild of Brandon Stanton, who set out to create a photographic census of New York City. Originally a photo blog, the project now boasts its first eponymous printed collection of street portraits. The idea is simple: Stanton approaches strangers on the street, takes their photo, and occasionally asks them a question, like, “What was the happiest moment in your life?” Yet Humans of New York (St. Martin’s, $29.99) is more than a simple collection of snapshots. Even without captions, each photograph tells a short story and gives the viewer a glimpse into the life of a stranger. Taken together, these four-hundred arresting and inspiring street portraits form a celebration of humanity in all its diversity and quirkiness.
If you need something to tie you over until the next installment of Song of Ice and Fire or Kingkiller Chronicles, Anthony Ryan’s Blood Song is here to rescue you from boredom! Here you will find all things that make great epic fantasy: conflict, mysterious religious orders, strange magic, fast-paced plot, fantastic world-building, and a coming of age story. Best reason to get it? Originally self-published, it was picked up by Penguin on recommendation from one of Politics and Prose staff members!