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December 27, 2018

The Most Beautiful Books of 2018

Text by Shubham Ladha

In these collectable coffee-table books, each picture is worth more than a 1000 words

Bibliophile: An Illustrated Miscellany, Jane Mount

An ode to all booklovers out there, this book about books by artist and ideal bookshelf’s Jane Mount traces the who, what, where, when and how of some of the most iconic books, book stores, book covers et al. Right from books photographed or illustrated in stacks and collections of books which influenced today’s upcoming writers and authors, to the most memorable fictional meals and literary quizzes.

Calcutta Then | Kolkata Now, Sunanda K Datta-Ray, Indrajit Hazra

Another gem in the crown of Roli Books’ ‘Then & Now’ series, one can time travel through this book and vicariously experience the old quaint and cultural charm that many associate with Kolkata’s past. A city of contradictions that has stood the test of time, the city has simultaneously changed, and not; it can all be perfectly imagined through this book’s marvellous visuals and lyrical beauty.

Dronescapes, Ayperi Karabuda Ecer

Created in collaboration with the famous Instagram account of Dronestagram, this book is one of the first to bring together 250 of the very best photographs taken by quadcopters around the globe. Renowned photo editor, Ecer takes us through this novel form of photography and shows us how different the world can look with just a simple change in angle. With drones, this book marks the shift in the trajectory of aerial photography.

Fashion Climbing: A Memoir with Photographs, Bill Cunningham

A prominent name binding the worlds of fashion and photography, Bill Cunningham’s memoir offers us a marvellous view fashion through the ‘50s in New York, right from his catholic childhood to when he entered the world of fashion from millinery. As the city was coming into its own, fashion had its own rules, which even if unfollowed, wouldn’t create that much of bustle as they do today. If it wasn’t for Cunningham’s pioneering fashion street photography, our Instagram handles would be empty.

Inside North Korea, Oliver Wainwright

The concept of a closed economy is unheard of in today’s times, but North Korea still holds its threats and weapons up high for anyone willing to defy its soviet-era political policies. Journalist and Photographer Wainwright takes readers on an architectural journey behind closed doors in this secretive country.

Of Love And War, Lynsey Addario

With the state of socio-political orders around the world today, war is still a devastating reality. To remind us of the ravaging human cost of war, to help continue to work for world peace, Addarios’s book is a curation of her work, from time spent in the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa. Interspersed between these images are personal journal entries and letters, as well as revelatory essays all talking about war’s consequence.

Pink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color, Valerie Steele

In the last couple of years, Pink reached pop culture heights with its millennial shade, overthrowing the feminine and erotic gender stereotypes attached to it. But it’s not the first time it’s happened. In Steele’s book, the controversial colour’s story is told through the way it’s changed art, culture and fashion, since the 18thcentury. At that time, everyone wore this new shade, so how did it reach where it did? This book has the answers.

The Eye: How the World’s Most Influential Creative Directors Develop Their Vision, Nathan Williams

In any creative field, there are those who silently spearhead their efforts into the work they do, which then takes the spotlight. We, as their audience, only get to understand the end result of all their thoughts, but in Williams’ book, we are taken into their minds — personalities such as Grace Coddington, Claire Waight Keller and Thom Browne and more. From the time an idea is born and propelled into the cultural stratosphere for everyone to admire and appreciate, we learn of how it germinated in the first place.

The Golden Smile Of India, Bernadette Van Gelder

From Holland’s Van Gelder Indian Jewellery, Bernadette Van Gelder has had a love affair with Indian jewellery since more than the last three decades. Right from when Van Gelder’s brother —  gifted a suite of Indian jewellery, her fascinated was settled and it grew. Since then, she’s opened her label and has been a regular visitor to the country, and through this book, talks about the jewellery’s rich history, tradition and significance.

The Illustrated History of Indian Hockey: A Saga of Triumph, Pain and Dreams, Hockey India

The national sport of India, Hockey’s had the name but is now also finding its limelight. Published by the country’s official hockey association, the book traces the history of the prestigious sport since the 1928 Olympics and other key international events including the World Cup, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games.

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