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Real Review

Real Review

Surprise Subscription #18

Here at do you read me?!, we are blessed with all sorts of interesting customers. Tourists from all over the world in search of unusual publications (and lots of tote bags); awkward couples on obvious first dates searching our shelves for books as well as a basic thread of conversation; the occasional gigantic dog roaming in with its owner and promptly sprawling over a sizable section of our little shop. But in the end, nothing tops the simple pleasure of seeing a customer derive visible, almost tactile joy, when they finally hold the latest issue of their favourite magazine in their hands. This month’s installment of our Surprise Subscription is a prime example of this particular phenomenon. We are excited to share with you… Real Review!




In this case, the eternal words of Jerry Lee Lewis are particularly apropos: “It’s all killer, no filler”. Real Review is a highly condensed gathering of vital ideas and images concerning contemporary society.



Noted for its strikingly unique and economical design (similar to a newspaper that has been folded to fit inside your pocket), Real Review’s self-described mission is to elaborate on “What It Means to Live Today”. To meet such an ambitious goal, the magazine works within a vast and open interdisciplinary framework, incorporating interviews and essays from a wide range of thinkers, artists, architects, and other free-minded spirits.



And this issue is no exception. With the compelling theme of “absolute proximity”–namely, the feeling that every aspect of contemporary life for individuals is either much too close or entirely unattainable, resulting in a gradual collective abandonment of public space–it features interviews and articles from illuminating figures such as Cao Fei, Tacita Dean, David Wengrow, and Slavoj Zizek. We guarantee that its contents will enrich your thinking, as well as expand your list of books to read in the future.


And if you want to add more to the to-read pile, we asked editor-in-chief Jack Self for his book recommendations:

It’s Freezing in LA
“In an era of climate doom (fatalism, nihilism and pessimism), IFLA is an amazing magazine finding unusual approaches to help make sense of our planet, and our place on it.”

Survivors in Ukraine by Stephen Shore
“I admire Stephen’s work enormously, and we have collaborated with him for Real Review previously.
In this book, he photographed Holocaust survivors in Ukraine; it is powerful work and has an extra meaning in light of Russia’s invasion.” (in Real Review 12, Slavoj Zizek and Timothy Morton discuss their take on the war)

“This isn’t a single title, but a publisher. I’ve followed them for a long time, and I am always amazed by the titles they bring out on contemporary culture, on work, on design, and digital theory.”



Design Struggles - Claudia MareisDesign Struggles - Claudia MareisDesign Struggles - Claudia Mareis


Momentum of Lightby Iwaan Baan and Fracis Kéré
“Francis Kéré is this year’s Pritzker laureate (the architecture equivalent of a Nobel), and from his origins in Burkina to central Berlin, he shows us how to move towards an architecture based on regeneration and reparation.”


Beasts by Sam Chermayeff”
Full disclosure – I wrote a short essay for this book. I am a big fan of Sam’s work, and this was a unique chance for me to think more deeply about how his furniture can shape our everyday lives and social power relations.”

Never miss one of our handpicked surprise love letters from us to you – subscribe here!

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