The Fo'c'sle: Henry Beston’s “Outermost House” by Nan Parson Rossiter
This isn't fair. It's like asking a parent to pick a favorite child. But if driven to the wall, I'd have to choose The Fo'c'sle. Perhaps because we have been working with Nan so long on the book, but more likely because I reread Beston's The Outermost House every few years and still find it among the most remarkable series of essays ever written by a naturalist. Nan manages to capture both the spirit and the wonder of his stay at that little house – and the magic of the night sky and changing seasons.
Karsh: Beyond the Camera selected, with an introduction & commentary by David Travis
This is a once-in-a-lifetime treat to get a private glimpse into the conversations between such a great photographer and his extremely famous, but often very private, subjects. This is also such a beautifully printed book, and a true treasure in every way. Every time I open to a page I learn something new and feel pampered to take in such gorgeous photographs that seem lit from within. What more could one ask for?
Ingenious Contrivances, Curiously Carved: Scrimshaw in the New Bedford Whaling Museum by Stuart M. Frank
My first thought after “ Whales?” was “Amazing!” Who knew so much could be crafted from the bones of these leviathans! After settling down, I was thoroughly engrossed by the painstaking detail that went into these rather obscure artistic relics and the manifold purposes that they serve.
–Ryan Edward Brown
Pale Blue Ink in a Lady's Hand by Franz Werfel
This is a great little work by Franz Werfel about a love triangle. The writing is beautiful and the story is fascinating. I highly recommend this book - it is a fun read.
Mary Azarian Greeting Cards by Mary Azarian
As an avid sender of cards by way of snails (snail mail, that is), I instantly fell in love with these beautifully printed adaptations of Mary Azarian woodcuts. My favorite design of the collection is F for Farm because it reminds me of New Hampshire.
The Forty Days of Musa Dagh by Franz Werfel
[I chose] Franz Werfel's The Forty Days of Musa Dagh not only because of its literary merits, which are significant, but also because of its power to demonstrate fully the horror and tragedy of the Armenian Genocide.
Rosemary Verey: The Life & Lessons of a Legendary Gardener by Barbara Paul Robinson
This year, the Rosemary Verey biography was "the little book that could." Its success is, I think, due to three factors: it's a very entertaining and accessible book, Rosemary Verey has a passionate and loyal following, and author Barbara Robinson, who worked tirelessly to promote it on both sides of the Atlantic, does as well. Lastly, I was particularly pleased that even though the book did not have a UK publisher, it graced the front cover of Country Life magazine, with a six page extract, and got major UK review attention.
This is a gorgeous book, but more than that, it's also really interesting. I love how Joe's paintings track the progress of One Times Square through the years from the same perspective, so you can truly see it growing and feel its progress. It's won four awards this year, including a New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book Award, and there's no doubt that they're well deserved.