My Best Books of 2010

In January of 2008, I started this blog because I wanted to share my favorite books of 2007. Since that time, I have been posting as part of my position at photo-eye on the magazine. This year I am please to have participated in the selections for photo-eye's Best Books of 2010. Below are my selections and links to all of the contributors on photo-eye Magazine.

I love the loose folios on matte paper and the way Dumas is able to capture an animal looking right through the photographer—blank, but not vacant. 


The costuming of Galembo's subjects makes the work itself fascinating, but the strength of her portraiture what really makes the project and book work. 


This design of this book reflects its subject well. It rounds out the hip hop and rap culture showing scenes in Atlanta from strip clubs to pit bulls to production studios and interviews with Big Boi, Ludacris, and others.

This is such an understated book with its white cover and small square images of Rulfo's resting on the upper third of the pages. The red edges give it even more of a precious quality reflecting back to an early time in publishing when many books were ornamented in this fashion. 
La Residence.

This book contains diary excerpts printed in three languages of JH Engstrom. The many parallel folds are a nice feature hiding part of the sequence of images allowing the reader to first take in quotes like "These pictures may be an account of my failure to depict photographically a place I didn't go to for private reasons." 


Asger made me want to shoot black and white film again. The images reflect back to reportage photography and the likes of Weegee. Looking at the photos in Wrong becomes a surreal seemingly drug-induced experience where I question if I see the photo that way or if my history and my biases are defining and forming the image. They are ever-so-simple, yet with multiple layers of complexity. 

The Kaddu Wasswa Archive.

Thanks to George Slade for nominating this one. It brought this wonderful book to my attention which chronicles the day-to-day life of Ugandan teacher and social worker Kaddu Wasswa. It includes photos, excerpts of writings, reproductions of scrapbook pages, among other ephemera on the life of this man. It has a striking cover and the weight of the book feels unusual and comfortable in my hands. 

Crime Victims Chronicle.

This is a lament to survival. Disturbing and comforting at this same time all in a serene creamy package with plenty of "white space" for meditation between images and texts. 

Grimaces of the Weary Village.

This book might be my favorite for cover design. The expression about judging a book by its cover is indeed true. Many books can turn you on, or off, just by its packaging. Not only does it have strength on the exterior, the interior images are disturbing, a sort documentary of "exoticism of the familiar."