book review

Magnificent Trees

October 22, 2012
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I am probably not alone in having become jaded about "wonders of the natural world" photographic anthologies; those slick and perfect screen-saver images of animal and plants just leave me cold. A book of tree photographs—big yawn, right? So what a surprise to fall in love with photographer Larry Lederman's book Magnificent Trees of the New York Botanical Garden (The Moncacelli Press; 2012).

Book to Read: "Up on the Roof: New York's Hidden Skyline Spaces"

July 18, 2012
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For his book, Up on the Roof: New York’s Hidden Skyline Spaces (Princeton Architectural Press), photographer Alex MacLean went up so that he could look down. From the vantage of a helicopter, MacLean documented the city, shooting iconic water towers, architectural details, green roofs, and elaborate multiuse spaces. The resulting images give a new perspective on life in New York and point to the city’s potential. As Robert Campbell writes in the book’s introduction: “Rooftops will be the lungs of the denser city of the future.” MacLean tells us more about what his book reveals.

Private Paradise: Contemporary American Gardens

December 05, 2011
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In the same way haute couture resists everyday use (unless you happen to possess slim hips and a fat wallet), the exquisitely designed landscapes in Charlotte M. Frieze’s new book are more about grand inspiration than exact replication. Private Paradise: Contemporary American Gardens (Monacelli, $65), features properties festooned with retractable glass walls, artfully placed boulders, and re-engineered waterways.

True Life: Steven Harris Architects

March 28, 2011
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Architecture books often use landscapes like garnish: a bit of green at the edges to decorate the main course. Not True Life: Steven Harris Architects (Princeton Architectural Press, $50). This weighty, satisfying look at the New York firm's first quarter century is comfort food for garden-hungry readers.

Ripe, Nigel Slater's New Cookbook

June 08, 2010
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Nigel Slater Ripe
 Photo by Jonathan Lovekin.