Here are some coffee table and art books that have crossed our desks recently.
Andrea Stillman, who was Ansel Adams’ assistant and is considered an expert on the photographer, takes a new look at Adams and his work. In this book, with black and white photos, she explores his life and photography techniques. A companion app includes a simulation of his darkroom techniques and map where he traveled among other features.
“STAR WARS ART: Illustration,” introduction by Steven Heller, foreward by Howard Roffman, Abrams, $40, 176 pages (f)
This is the third book in the Star Wars Art series and includes art from a variety of sources from the past three decades, including book jackets, magazines and guide, limited edition prints, trading cards, marketing artwork and other one-of-a-kind, unpublished works. The styles of each artist varies, making this a unique collection.
It’s two decades of the Baby Blues comics in one book and includes background on the comic strip, a scrapbook of phones and art, and a look into how they do the strip. It also shares feedback — positive and negative — and the “12 Days of Christmas” panel from 1997 and the Valentine’s poem “A Musing”
More hardback books recently released:
"NUTCRACKER," by E.T.A. Hoffmann, illustrated by Maurice Sendak, $24.99 (f)
The Christmas tale of the "Nutcracker" is shared and accompanied by Maurice Sendak's illustrations that are his signature style.
“THE ART OF THE HOBBIT BY J.R.R. TOLKIEN,” by Wayne G. Hammon and Christina Scull, $40 (nf): When “The Hobbit” was first published, amateur artist J.R.R. Tolkien included 10 pictures, two maps and a dust jacket he designed, and later editions had five color scenes. This book showcases Tolkien’s work with more than 100 sketches, drawings, paintings, maps and plans.
“HOUSES OF THE PRESIDENT: Childhood Homes, Family Dwellings, Private Escapes and Grand Estates,” by Hugh Howard, original photography by Roger Straus III, $40 (nf): Away from the White House, each U.S. president has had a place they called home. This tabletop book includes those for presidents from George Washington to present and includes photography, history and visitor information.
“HOLLYWOOD MOVIE STILLS: Art and Technique in the Golden Age of the Studios,” by Joel W. Finler, $24.95 (nf): This compilation of images from movie making in the 1930s includes behind-the-scenes shots, production shots, posters and trick shots.
“MODERN HiSTORY IN PICTURES: A Visual Guide to the Events that Shaped Our World,” from DK Publishing and the Smithsonian, $30 (nf): This book of photos steers through a timeline of the 20th century, which includes many wars and political conflicts along with a few advances in technology.
“GREAT BUILDINGS: The World’s Architectural Masterpieces Explored and Explained,” by Phillip Wilkinson, $30 (nf): More that 50 of the world’s buildings, from the ancient pyramids in Egypt to the Yusuhara Wooden Bridge Museum constructed in Japan in 2010, this book includes photos for a visual tour, histories and floor plans.
“MILITARY HISTORY: The Definitive Guide to the Objects of Warfare,” compiled with the Smithsonian, $50 (nf): Organized chronologically, this book covers weapons, armor and equipment and divides them into the seven specific time periods characterized by the technology.
“THE PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME: 50th Anniversary Book,” edited by Joe Horrigan and John Thorn, $34.99 (nf): Includes a decade by decade look at the National Football League’s 11 greatest moments, artifacts and photos.
“NEW MEXICO ART THROUGH TIME,” by Joseph Traugott, $50 (nf): Published in association with the New Mexico Museum of Art, this book considers some 250 works of art from across the time people have inhabited the area.
“HOMER THE ODYSSEY,” adapted by Seymour Chawst, $20 (f): A tongue-in-cheek and illustrated version of the classic tale of the “Odyssey” told in an almost-graphic novel format.
“TEAM CUL DE SAC: Cartoonist Draws the Line at Parkinsons,” edited by Chris Sparks $29.99 (f): More than 150 cartoonists contributed original art for an online auction to benefit Parkinson’s research earlier this year, and many of those have been compiled here as Richard Thompson, Cul de Sac creator, fights the disease.
“THE BREATHLESS ZOO: Taxidermy and Cultures of Longing,” by Rachel Poliguin $34.95 (nf): The author offers seven incentives for the creation of taxidermy in both photos and words.
“STAR WARS: The Secret Life of Droids,” by Jason Fry, $12.99 (f) (7-12): Using images from the movies, this book delves into the different kinds of droids in the Star Wars series and what they do.
“STAR WARS: The Phantom Menace — The Expanded Visual Dictionary,” by Jason Fry (f): This new edition of a guide to the first Star Wars episode includes 32 new pages along with other updates.
“ROYAL CITIES OF ANCIENT MAYA,” by Michael D. Coe and photographs by Barry Brukoff, $50 (nf): This history of the Mayans explores, through archaeological evidence, what fatally weakened the civilization.
“NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC GREATEST PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE AMERICAN WEST: Capturing 125 Years of Majesty, Spirit and Adventure,” National Geographic Books, $30, 303 pages (nf)
These 175 photos from National Geographic photographers show different aspects and history of the American West. It includes sections of the legends of cowboys, the interactions residents, visitors and animals have and the striking scenery. A final section explores the future of the West.
It’s a companion book to exhibits at 10 museums across the U.S. A smattering of scenes from southern Utah are included.
More paperback books recently released:
“THE MIGHTY ALICE: A Cul de Sac Collection,” by Richard Thompson, $12.99 (f): A compilation of Cul de Sac comics featuring 4-year-old Alice as she navigates the world.
“GEORGIA O’KEEFFE IN NEW MEXICO: Architecture, Katsinam and the Land," by Barbara Buhler Lynes and Carolyn Kastner, $34.95 (nf): An exploration of Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings of katsina tithu or kachina dolls.
“SANTA FE INDIAN MARKET: A History of Native Arts and the Marketplace,” by Bruce Bernstein, $29.95 (nf): 2012 marked the celebration of 90 years of Santa Fe’s annual Indian Market, where 1,000 artists representing 150 tribes, nations and villages sell their works of art. This is an illustrated history of the market.
“NEW MEXICO’S LIVING LANDSCAPES: A Roadside View,” by William W. Dunmire, photos by Christine Bauman and William W. Dunmire, $29.95 (nf): This photo book explores the state’s landscapes, natural features, plants and wildlife.