The product of James W.P. Campbell’s savvy scholarship and the elegant photography of Will Pryce, the sumptuous The Library: A World History (Univ. of Chicago, $75) chronicles the evolution of this icon of civilization from its ancient Mesopotamian roots through myriad classical iterations, from sleek temples to learning and unusual boondoggles to our century’s efficient and highly functional structures. What they all have in common is their reflection of the culture, needs, and often hubris of their creators as well as highlighting the ongoing tussle between the priorities of the librarian and the whims and fanciful notions of library architects and patrons. With the number of physical books printed rising each year, these are likely to be issues we’ll be (gratefully) wrestling with for some time to come.

The Library: A World History Cover Image
By James W. P. Campbell, Will Pryce (By (photographer))
ISBN: 9780226092812
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: University of Chicago Press - October 14th, 2013

In Ansel Adams in the Canadian Rockies (Little, Brown, $30), follow Ansel Adams, one of America’s premier nature photographers, on his 1928 expedition with the Sierra Club. Full of breathtaking panoramic photographs, the book contains everything you’d expect from Adams: lush valleys, towering mountaintops, and awe-inspiring dances of darkness and light. Commemorating one of the earliest major projects in his artistic career, these gorgeous photographs testify to Adams’s burgeoning genius and well-trained eye for landscape images. With nearly one hundred pages of fascinating views, this book makes the perfect gift for lovers of the outdoors, photography buffs, and Adams fans the world over.

Ansel Adams in the Canadian Rockies Cover Image
By Ansel Adams (Photographs by)
ISBN: 9780316243414
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Little, Brown and Company - October 29th, 2013

The stunning three-volume National Geographic: Around the World in 125 Years (Taschen, $499) speaks for itself, but here are a few details: a slip-cased set, this limited edition contains some 1,500 pages of images, from autochromes to Kodachromes to digital photos. The featured photographers include Steve McCurry, Frans Lanting, James Nachtwey, and scores of others. The terrain is global, starting in America and the Antarctic, moving through Europe and Africa, and winding up in Asia and Oceania. The truly ground-breaking photo-essays are complemented by no less pioneering and authoritative articles, which as well as covering nature, travel, and culture, chart the constantly changing story of how we view the world. With full access to National Geographic’s archives, Taschen has delivered a fittingly monumental commemoration on this beloved magazine’s 125th anniversary.

National Geographic. Around the World in 125 Years Cover Image
By Reuel Golden (Editor), Benedikt Taschen (Editor)
ISBN: 9783836549981
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
(This book cannot be returned.)
Published: Taschen - December 1st, 2013