The Best Books of the Year: Art & Photography

Jon Foro on November 16, 2018


Picking the best books of the year is always a subjective process at best, but I can't help but think that the art and photography category is the most subjective of all. While this collection of twenty books definitely skews toward my own tastes and interests, I feel good about my top pick: Paul Nicklen's Born to Ice. The Baffin Island-born TED Talker and National Geographic photographer has put together a collection of photographs from his travels to both of this planet's poles, and the result is massive—both literally and figuratively. Nicklen's images of arctic and antarctic wilderness and wildlife somehow capture the scale and stark beauty of both environments, while revealing a world virtually unknown to anyone living between the (increasingly less) "Frigid Zones." The book is a treasure for naturalists, photography geeks, and armchair adventurers alike.

But Born to Ice is not the only arctic-oriented photography book in this list (see my comment above). Find another below, and see all of the Amazon Books editors' picks across 15 categories in the best books of 2018.

Point of View: Me, New York City, and the Punk Scene
Brand by Hand: Blisters, Calluses, and Clients: A Life in Design
The Splendor of Birds: Art and Photographs From National Geographic
Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop
Stanley Kubrick Photographs: Through a Different Lens
Bibliophile: An Illustrated Miscellany
Apollo: VII – XVII
Joel Meyerowitz: Where I Find Myself: A Lifetime Retrospective (An Elephant Book)
The Minard System: The Complete Statistical Graphics of Charles-Joseph Minard
The New Yorker Encyclopedia of Cartoons: A Semi-serious A-to-Z Archive
Fred W. McDarrah: New York Scenes
Wild Land
Imagine John Yoko
Arctic Solitaire: A Boat, a Bay, and the Quest for the Perfect Bear
The Eye: How the World’s Most Influential Creative Directors Develop Their Vision
Mark Seliger Photographs
Nashville: Scenes from the New American South
Animal Kingdom: A Collection of Portraits
Supersonic: The Design and Lifestyle of Concorde

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