The Sartorialist: Closer is an interesting book of photographs that "reads" like a study of self-expressions. Scott Schuman has chosen subjects who communicate clearly through the medium of dress and for this reason his pictures don't simply display fashionable people. For Schuman, "fashionable" is relative to the individual and it depends on one's confidence and creativity. This collection of street photographs is really about how people represent themselves (or messages) to others, to anyone watching.
Persepolis is the sensitive and intelligent memoir of Marjane Satrapi, a woman who grew up in 1970's Iran with a healthy skepticism toward authority. This fast-moving graphic novel follows Marjane as she comes of age, encouraged toward social responsibility by her intellectual family. The memorable images and the frenzy of political unrest that Marjane and her family endure make this quite a page-turner. Even those who saw the film rendition should read this book version!
In On Immunity the brilliant Eula Biss explores the metaphors pervading our discussions about illness, immunity, and health. Biss draws on medical history, literature, popular culture, and recent medical research to suggest that our aversion to vaccinations speaks to our desire for personal purity and our fears about industrialization. She argues elegantly for the perspective that our bodies are permeable, interconnected, and drawn toward a common fate. This book is a potent antidote to the undeniably ubiquitous paranoia of post-industrial life.