Thanks for all of the excellent feedback to my recent Open Letter to the New York Times Book Review. As I mentioned in my post, the one big chance for art books is the annual Holiday Book Review. Today it arrived. As usual, illustrators did pretty well. There was the obligatory review of a New Yorker illustrator’s book (Maira Kalman…again!), Comics (three reviews by Douglas Wolk), Graphic Novels (a review of Duncan the Wonder Dog), Drawing (a review of Picture This by Drawn Quarterly), and yet another Comics review (Doonesbuy at 40).
My pulse quickened as I looked at the double-page Visuals section. But just like last year, typography owned this section (Manual of Typography, Retrofonts, Literary Tattoos from Bookworms Worldwide, Modern British posters).
How did photography fare? There were the usual travel coffee table photo books (New York: Portrait of A City, Yvon’s Paris). But then, tucked into a section called Curiosities was, gasp, an actual review of an authored photography book: Lost Souls by Lena Herzog. The most surprising thing to me is that I hadn’t heard of either the book or the photographer. I went to Herzog’s website but couldn’t find much more about the book. But I did learn on her Wikipedia page that she’s married to my favorite living filmmaker: Werner Herzog. I don’t want to believe that this is the reason her book was reviewed. So I’m curious if anyone else has seen the book. If so, what do you think of it?