Sunday, January 10, 2016

Recommended Read: Humans of New York: Stories by Brandon Stanton

This is the kind of book to read when you're looking for something sneakily soulful. Photographer Brandon Stanton has put together a fascinating book based on his blog. Stanton went around New York City and took portraits of people and includes a usually short, often very personal, quote from the subjects. He elicits some intimate information from these people. Although the book isn't laid out in a particular order, he often juxtapositions entries that are connected by theme of the subjects' statements or because the subjects have similarities in life circumstance.

The photos are lovely, but it is the quotes that ultimately resonate. Some statements are devastating ("I found my mom's meth stash when I was four." "What'd you do with it?" "I ate it."). Some statements are insightful ("My ex-girlfriend seemed to love me a lot more than I loved her, so I made the mistake of thinking I didn't love her." or "For the longest time, I was so focused on being deaf in my left ear that I almost forgot my other ear was perfectly fine."). Some statements are complicated and lengthy, others are simple and to the point (an older gentleman states "It takes a hell of a lot of pills to keep me going."). It doesn't matter that these people live in New York. These are lives and stories one could find in any city or town. It's good to be reminded of our humanity sometimes.

Humans of New York: Stories by Brandon Stanton
Find it in the catalog!