Friday, December 18, 2015

Holiday Recommendations - Unique Gift Books

This  will be my final holiday recommendation post and it includes two books that would make great coffee table books and definitely cherished keepsakes. My personal interest in photography connected me with these books and I want to share them with you.

The first is another book from Princeton Architectural Press. If you'll remember, Finding Home, from my animal lovers recommendations, was also a publication from Princeton Architectural Press. I simply cannot say enough about the beauty of these books they have put together. They are indeed books to keep and enjoy.

Constellation is an extension of an art installation on Pollepel Island in the Hudson River. I knew nothing about this before reading Constellation, but it's a large-scale sculpture built around the ruins of a castle on the island.  There are seventeen poles of varying heights, each with a solar powered light at the top. As the daylight wanes, the lights on these poles illuminate to create a star effect.

The sculpture was created by Melissa McGill, and here's a little snippet of what she says about it:

"In creating Constellation, it was not my interest to solve the island's mysteries or reveal its secrets, but to provide a new connection to this site with its storied and adventurous history and to invoke the long evolution that has led to the ruin we see today."

Constellation the book is full of photography capturing this incredible piece of art and the island it lives on, as well as essays and poems that connect to the sculpture. Some of the pieces have been published before, some have been written specifically for the installation. All spotlight the wonder and beauty embodied in Constellation. I was especially intrigued with an article discussing Native American connections and the poem "Notes on an Island, Part 1." There's so much to love in this book.

I've never been able to shake the teacher buried deep in my soul and I saw a huge potential for collaborative projects, writing projects, art projects all just dying to be released from this gorgeous collection. But you don't have to be a teacher to appreciate it and luxuriate in the vast heavens of Constellation.

Constellation is a lovely quality trade paperback (ISBN: 9781616894306) and you can check with your independent bookstore or find it at one of these online retailers:

Alibris Amazon  Barnes & Noble

The second book for this recommendation post is a book I covered for the gift book edition of Shelf Awareness. The book is an updated--and paperback--version of Moments: The Pulitzer Prize-Winning Photographs by Hal Buell. My fascination with photography was only heightened with the strong historical element found in this amazing collection. Here's my review from that Shelf issue:

In this expanded paperback version of Hal Buell's stunning collection of Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs from 1942-2015 the vast array of subjects, techniques and even photographers underscores the ambiguity in what makes an image Pulitzer quality. Compassion, brutality, success and failure. This array runs the spectrum of experience.

Moments moves chronologically throughout the existence of the award, illustrating the advances in technology as well as the growing diversity of recipients. But more than anything it showcases the history captured in these gripping snap shots of life, these instances that so powerfully capture not only the subject but also the height of emotion and richness of atmosphere. The short essays accompanying each image provide insight into the photographers' thoughts as well as the extreme dangers in which they often place themselves in order to achieve that perfect picture.

Each turn of the page steals the reader's breath. Photography and history fans alike are sure to cherish the impassioned world captured spectacularly in Moments.

Moments (ISBN: 9781631910081) is available through your favorite indie bookstore or at this online retailers:

Alibris Amazon Barnes & Noble


  © Blogger templates 'Neuronic' by 2008

Back to TOP