Best Photobooks of 2008

Yesterday, PhotoEye, the primier bookstore and gallery, published this survey of the best photography books of 2008.  While I may not have the credentials or reputation of many of those asked to submit to this list, I’d like to offer my own list of the best photobook publications of 2008 (and this is in no ranking order):

The Last Days of W., by Alec Soth — a self-published book, printed on newsprint, about George W. Bush


Room Service, by Paul Kooiker — another by the Dutch photographer, creating a very abstract space

On the Edge of Clear Meaning, by John Wood– a retrospective book about an undervalued photographer, artist and educator

South East, by Mark Steinmetz — the second of his books by Nazraeli Press, all photographed in Atlanta


The Solitude of Ravens, by Masahisa Fukase — the Hysteric Glamour reprint of the 1986 Japanese classic, beautifully reproduced


Sent a Letter, by Dayanita Singh — published by Steidl, this is a truly unique design and package, and she is a photographer of great sensitivity

IPY, by Emi Anrakuji — the third of her books published by Nazraeli Press, many of the photographs are pushed to the limit of discernability, reemiscent of the Provoke photographers


River of No Return, by Laura McPhee — published by Yale, this book is full of thoughtful and clear photographs made with the utmost purity and integrity, all about the American West – at the center of it all is a young woman named Mattie, who has an incredible camera presence


best series, FotoTorst — all made in the Czech Republic, each of the books in the series highlights the work of a different Czech photographer from the 20th century – the books are thoughtful made, with interesting essays, nice reproductions, and are inexpensive (of particular note are the books about Miroslav Tichy and Zdenek Tmej – the second of these is essentially a reprint of the important book about Nazi Germany, Alphabet of Spiritual Emptiness).



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