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The Best Art Books to Give as Gifts

Socks and underwear may come and go, but these beautiful art books will be enjoyed for years to come.

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Courtesy Abrams Books

Across the Ravaged Land by Nick Brandt

Though its stark portraits of eastern Africa’s endangered wildlife may go against the holidays’ warm and fuzzy spirit, this visually stunning collection by photographer Nick Brandt, who works exclusively in Africa, explores the dark side of the relationship between the region’s humans and animals.

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Courtesy Phaidon Press

Untold: The Stories Behind the Photographs by Steve McCurry

Photographer Steve McCurry has created some of the most iconic images of our time during his 30-year career, including the green-eyed Afghan girl chosen for the cover of National Geographic. The essays and ephemera—dairy entries, passports, research notes—in Untold reveal the exclusive stories about how McCurry came to create his famous photographs.

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Courtesy Chronicle Books

Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning by Elizabeth Partridge

Although she may be known best for her stirring portraits of Depression-era life, photojournalist Dorothea Lange had a career that spanned decades and continents. This new book was carefully curated by her goddaughter, Elizabeth Partridge, and represents the most comprehensive collection of Lange’s work to date.

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Courtesy Aperture

Storms by Mitch Dobrowner

In this super-sized book, author Mitch Dobrowner traveled alongside a professional storm-chaser through the western and midwestern U.S. to capture the full power of Mother Nature: massive thunderstorms, monsoons, and tornados in exquisite black-and-white landscapes.

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Courtesy Abrams Books

Rock and Roll Stories by Lynn Goldsmith

Few have captured the heart and soul of rock and roll like Lynn Goldsmith, who documented Bruce Springsteen’s rise to glory, the Rolling Stones on tour, Michael Jackson’s ascent to the pop throne, and many other music legends in their element. This collection is part photo essay and part memoir, but all fascinating.

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Courtesy Blackdog & Leventhal Publishers

Skyscrapers: A History of the World’s Most Extraordinary Buildings by Judith Dupré

In both scope and size, Skyscrapers is gigantic—literally. Beginning in 1885 with world’s first skyscraper, Chicago’s Home Insurance Building, this monograph guides the reader through a chronological tour of architectural and stylistic feats of skyscraper engineering over the ages.

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Courtesy Princeton Architectural Press

The Big Picture: America in Panorama by Josh Sapan

The turn of the twentieth century was marked by a unique desire to preserve everyday life on wide-angle film, from momentous occasions to quotidian events. With its rare assortment of never-before-published panoramas, The Big Picture offers a quirky look back at this time in American history.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest

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