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Bookmarks: Recently released coffee table and art books

Published: Saturday, Dec. 15 2012 12:00 p.m. MST

Here are some coffee table and art books that have crossed our desks recently.

HARDBACK

“LOOKING AT ANSEL ADAMS: The Photographs and the Man,” by Andrea G. Stillman, Little, Brown and Company, $40, 254 pages (nf)

Andrea Stillman, who was Ansel Adams’ assistant and is considered an expert on the photographer, takes a new look at Adams and his work. In this book, with black and white photos, she explores his life and photography techniques. A companion app includes a simulation of his darkroom techniques and map where he traveled among other features.

STAR WARS ART: Illustration,” introduction by Steven Heller, foreward by Howard Roffman, Abrams, $40, 176 pages (f)

This is the third book in the Star Wars Art series and includes art from a variety of sources from the past three decades, including book jackets, magazines and guide, limited edition prints, trading cards, marketing artwork and other one-of-a-kind, unpublished works. The styles of each artist varies, making this a unique collection.

BBXX,” by Rick Kirkham and Jerry Scott, Andrews McMeel Publishing, $35, 335 pages (f)

It’s two decades of the Baby Blues comics in one book and includes background on the comic strip, a scrapbook of phones and art, and a look into how they do the strip. It also shares feedback — positive and negative — and the “12 Days of Christmas” panel from 1997 and the Valentine’s poem “A Musing”

More hardback books recently released:

"NUTCRACKER," by E.T.A. Hoffmann, illustrated by Maurice Sendak, $24.99 (f)

The Christmas tale of the "Nutcracker" is shared and accompanied by Maurice Sendak's illustrations that are his signature style.

“THE ART OF THE HOBBIT BY J.R.R. TOLKIEN,” by Wayne G. Hammon and Christina Scull, $40 (nf): When “The Hobbit” was first published, amateur artist J.R.R. Tolkien included 10 pictures, two maps and a dust jacket he designed, and later editions had five color scenes. This book showcases Tolkien’s work with more than 100 sketches, drawings, paintings, maps and plans.

“HOUSES OF THE PRESIDENT: Childhood Homes, Family Dwellings, Private Escapes and Grand Estates,” by Hugh Howard, original photography by Roger Straus III, $40 (nf): Away from the White House, each U.S. president has had a place they called home. This tabletop book includes those for presidents from George Washington to present and includes photography, history and visitor information.

“HOLLYWOOD MOVIE STILLS: Art and Technique in the Golden Age of the Studios,” by Joel W. Finler, $24.95 (nf): This compilation of images from movie making in the 1930s includes behind-the-scenes shots, production shots, posters and trick shots.

“MODERN HiSTORY IN PICTURES: A Visual Guide to the Events that Shaped Our World,” from DK Publishing and the Smithsonian, $30 (nf): This book of photos steers through a timeline of the 20th century, which includes many wars and political conflicts along with a few advances in technology.

“GREAT BUILDINGS: The World’s Architectural Masterpieces Explored and Explained,” by Phillip Wilkinson, $30 (nf): More that 50 of the world’s buildings, from the ancient pyramids in Egypt to the Yusuhara Wooden Bridge Museum constructed in Japan in 2010, this book includes photos for a visual tour, histories and floor plans.

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