On the year's last day, I look back on books that thrilled and enlightened me in 2009. 

Chris Ofili by Chris Ofili

Chris Ofili's work is often moving and inspired, and makes you feel connected to earthy and celestial spirits you didn't even know you possessed. This book from page to page is filled with loving gestures of the artist.

Street Level by Sue Kwon

Sue Kwon is one of the unsung heroes of New York City photography. Since the '80s, Kwon has been documenting urban culture with her candid and tender eyes. This book is her visual journal through the times and we are lucky to have a glimpse into it.

Love, Sex, Fear, Death: The Inside Story of The Process Church by Timothy Wilie

Whoa, what an eye-opener this book was for me! If you grew up reading Helter Skelter and were semi-obsessed with cults, LSFD is a total page-turner indeed. The Process Church of the Final Judgement was the '60s-era cuckoo organization that believed in Satan. Furthermore, they were hip enough to rub elbows with The Stones, Klaus Kinski and Miles Davis.  Great, fascinating stories with pictures to match!

Shovel in a Hole by Urs Fischer

Although it was published in conjunction with Urs Fischer's recent solo exhibit "Urs Fischer: Marguerite de Ponty" at The New Museum, the book is more of a survey of his work to date than a catalog, which is a much better testament of his vision and talent than the show alone. 

Who Shot Rock and Roll by Gail Buckland

Through the indelible images of gods and starlets of rock 'n' roll, the companion book to the spirited exhibit of the same title at The Brooklyn Museum of Art, "Who Shot Rock 'n' Roll," is a gem that makes you nostalgic and inspired. 

Happy New Year!

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