Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Saturday, November 24, 2012
The Most Expensive Books of the Season
Nov 21, 2012 - PW
Prices in US dollars
It's holiday shopping time! For those of you who already gifted Fifty Shades of Grey for an earlier 2012 holiday, we have books on wine, Marilyn Monroe, and Star Wars that would make perfect stocking stuffers. One catch: they're not cheap. Read on if you really love books.
10.On This Earth, A Shadow Falls by Nick Brandt ($130, Abrams) – If you’re some kind of cheapskate, our #10 most expensive book can be found on Amazon for $95.33—a fair price for 200 pages of 90 art photos. On This Earth, A Shadow Falls collects the best images from Nick Brandt’s first two books on the natural beauty of East Africa. The $130 list price tag is for the autographed edition, and the book features cloth binding and a tipped-in plate on the front.
9. Wine Grapes: A Complete Guide to 1,368 Vine Varieties, Including Their Origins and Flavours by Jancis Robinson, Julia Harding, and Jose Vouillamoz ($175, Ecco) –Weighing in at 7 pounds and 1,200 pages, Wine Grapes has details on all 1,368 vine varieties currently making wine in commercial circulation. In Wine Grapes’s pages, you’ll find eight-page gatefolds, exhaustive characteristics of each variety, and “full-color illustrations from Viala and Vermorel’s century-old classic ampelography”—which, if you know what that last word actually means, it probably means Wine Grapes is for you. The book’s Web site states: “Four years in the making, it is, alas, not cheap.”
8. Dolce & Gabbana Campioni by Domenico Dolce ($200, Rizzoli) – Domenico Dolce, working behind the camera as a photographer for the first time, profiles and photographs soccer stars in this book. The stats: 560 pages, 450 black and white photos, 12 pounds. Proceeds go to AriSLA, the Italian Research Foundation for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.
7. 20th-Century World Architecture: The Phaidon Atlas by The Phaidon Editors ($200, Phaidon) – You’re going to need the carrying bag that comes with this 18-pound encyclopedia of buildings, a coffee table book that could double as its own coffee table. Organized by continent like a standard atlas, within each section buildings are categorized into 13 different typologies, and keys for each region show which types predominate. Photographs, sketches, and site plans are included for each of the 750 projects (including Tip Sheet’s favorite building, the Salk Institute).
6. The Phaidon Archive of Graphic Design by The Phaidon Editors ($235, Phaidon) – Crammed into this camo cube you’ll find 3,000 color illustrations and 300 black and white illustrations across 1,000 pages. The Archive includes newspapers, magazines, posters, advertisements, typefaces, logos, corporate design, record covers and moving graphics from around the world. The dividers included allow you to organize the contents how you want: whether it be chronologically, alphabetically, by designer or by subject.
5. Nineteenth-Century European Painting: From Barbizon to Belle Epoque by William Rau ($250, M.S. Rau Antiques) – Billed as “THE quintessential resource of 19th-Century European Painting,” this book provides a 700-page survey of the century’s artistic innovation. William Rau has worked at his family-owned gallery, M.S. Rau Antiques, for over 30 years, and has helped place several items in museums around the world.
4. Robert Motherwell Paintings and Collages: A Catalogue Raisonne, 1941-1951 by Jack Flam, Katy Rogers, and Tim Clifford ($300, Yale University Press) – You might be wondering why a book of paintings costs so much. The answer: it contains 1,209 paintings across 1,712 pages, as well as extensive information about each work. The first volume (there are three included) presents an overview of Motherwell’s career, as well as discussing key topics related to the abstract expressionist’s career.
3. Star Wars: A Galactic Pop-up Adventure (Limited Edition) by Matthew Reinhart ($300, Orchard Books) – Put “Star Wars” and “Limited Edition” together and you have a recipe for something pricey. While the regular edition retails for $36.99, the $300 limited edition comes signed and numbered, and has a special slipcase.
2. Taking My Time by Joel Meyerowitz ($750, Phaidon Press) – What you get for the price tag for the book: a two-volume edtion (688 pages, 580 photographs), a signed print, a DVD of Meyerowitz’s film Pop, a “graphic novel” insert, and a second insert for Meyerowitz’s lesson in color versus black and white photography.
1. Marilyn & Me by Lawrence Schiller ($2,000, Taschen) - We wrote about Lawrence Schiller’s limited edition art book earlier this year, but, according to Taschen’s site, there are still copies left of the $1,000 edition and even more limited $2,000 edition. For the extra grand, you get a signed image of Marilyn, in addition to the standard features of custom woven duchesse silk, translation booklet, and four foldouts.
(Pricing information is from PW's Fall 2012 Announcements Database.)