The Dawn of the Color Photograph
In 1909, Albert Kahn initiated a project to produce a color photographic record of human life, resulting in more than 72,000 images, using photography's first true-color process, the autochrome. The photos are remarkable in beauty and content, ranging from landscapes, to portraits, to war scenes.
Lincoln Through the Lens
Martin Sandler gives, along with informative text, a photographic chronicle of Abraham Lincoln from his young lawyer days to his tragic death in 1865.
Performance: Richard Avedon
The late Avedon shot countless iconic images of great figures from the worlds of entertainment and the arts, about 200 of which are included here. His touch shines throughout, from a 1955 portrait of the glorious Marian Anderson, to 2004's shot of dance genius Savion Glover.
Vanity Fair, The Portraits
Avedon's influence is apparent in the work of Annie Leibovitz, Herb Ritts, Bruce Weber and others in this rich collection. Also included is work by pioneers of modern celebrity photography such as Horst P. Horst, Berenice Abbott and Man Ray.
The New York Times: The Complete Front Pages
History buffs will find plenty with which to fill winter evenings in 157 years' worth of the Times. First, there's a big book with 300-plus front pages; then there are three DVDs containing the rest. So if you want to know what happened on any day in the past 157 years, this is your go-to source.
Here's digestible history presented in bite-sized portions of text, pictures and pull-out facsimile letters, treaties, maps and other documents, plus a DVD with 35 maps. Author Beau Riffenburgh, a polar specialist, has assembled a fine starter kit to inspire readers to explore exploration further.
Hubble: Imaging Space and Time
From the pages of a book, it's hard to contemplate the immensities shown here or to imagine what 300 million light years means. Nevertheless, the images are astounding, gorgeous and even moving.
Patrick Bonneville presents 400 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Some, such as India's Taj Mahal, are famous; others, such as Iran's Pasargadae, the burial site of Persian Empire founder Cyrus the Great, are less well known. Curious readers will find abundant wonders.
Over: The American Landscape at the Tipping Point
This is Alex MacLean's visual polemic on human encroachment. MacLean flies over the United States, showing the disturbing imprint of man on the landscape. If there's such a thing as depressing grandeur, this is it, as MacLean reveals the destructive developments brought about by explosive population growth.
Canyon Wilderness of the Southwest
Jon Ortner's pictures essentially are nothing more than sky, earth and rocks, here given their magnificent due in this big (12 by 16 inches), colorful volume. There are no people here, no developments or malls. Just ancient places and formations carved out of desert rock.
The Mississippi River in Maps and Views
There are maps of every description and source, from early explorers to the Army Corps of Engineers. Many pages are devoted to our own Upper Mississippi. The "views" in the book's last section range from a quaint image of New Orleans to August Hageboeck's fantastic depiction of Minneapolis.
The loveliest book of animal photography this year. Before Tim Flach's camera, horses are monuments of grace, movement and power, and of every shape and color. There are horses in water, horses in snow, photos of tiny horse fetuses. It's page after page of horses, and every page is a gem.