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28 August 2018

Our full book reviews gathered under this column's tag are reserved for titles we found particularly inspiring. But there are a number of releases that we read for review that are worthy of recognition if not a full review. Our short reviews of recent releases attempts to retrieve them from oblivion. Because, you know, we think you might enjoy them.

The Nude Matured: Body and Spirit
by Judith Monteferrante

MONTEFERRANTE, A FORMER CARDIOLOGIST, collaborated with women over the age of 50 "to explore their comfort with aging and the beauty of their bodies" for her master thesis in the MPS Digital Photography program at the School of Visual Arts in New York. "I hope to help women see the beautiful lines and curves of their body; an image of beauty that was worshipped in the past but has gone out of vogue," she said. "Thus, they may learn to focus not on their faults, but on their strengths." The monochrome portfolio, with some dutones, includes full body images as well as close-ups with few faces, varying its drama between harsh and soft lighting. Images are often accompanied by quotes like this one from Gloria Steinem: "Each individual woman's body demands to be accepted on its own terms." And that's just what this book does.

This Is My Eye: A New York Story
by Neela Vaswani

YOU MIGHT KNOW VASWANI from her narration of the audio book I Am Malala or her own published works. But here she's the photographer too. Except she plays a photographer who is nine-years-old. "I spun, I swam, I played with my camera," she says. Which, it turns out, was half the time a smartphone and the other half a dSLR. "The world looks different depending on who you are and where you come from," she says. "It's my hope this book will inspire kids to think about their own points os view." The big, colorful photos on big pages will certainly do that.

The Art Lover's Quotation Book
by Hatherleigh Press

WE'RE NOT BIG FANS of the "gift book" sector (and this certainly one of those), particularly when no author is credited for first person essays. But you don't buy a book like this for the essays. You buy it for the quotes. And there are plenty of those, organized into five chapters, fairly indistinguishable from each other. And plenty of artists being quoted, for that matter, including two photographers: Ansel Adams (quoted twice) and Diane Arbus. And it includes some contemporaries like Banksy and Junot Diaz. But our favorite is the French painter Delacroix, who said, "Artists who seek perfection in everything are those who cannot attain it in anything." Not perfect, but then what is?

NB: Titles are affiliate links which provide you with a discount and us with a small referral fee. None of the titles come from the affiliates, however, but are either proposed by publicists or sought out by staff for review.

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