Anne Geddes Publishing, $50
The Aussie photographer was contemplating a hiatus from her studio when she came across an exhibit of birds' nests. This unexpected encounter turned into the inspiration for her latest collection of baby photos, "Beginnings." The transformative beauty of nature and rebirth is the theme throughout as she pairs babies snuggled in flower petals, floral bulbs and eggs next to corresponding forms from nature.
Nearly 150 of her signature baby and pregnancy shots explore the cycle of life, including one of a cocooned 107-year-old woman holding a newborn and a photograph of a young woman named Maneesha holding a preemie infant girl. Geddes photographed Maneesha in 1993 when she herself was a preemie. "Beginnings" is one of the first color illustrated books available in an e-book edition on iBookstore.
Classic Homes of Los Angeles
Douglas Woods, photography by Melba Levick, introduction by D.J. Waldie
Many of the homes showcased here are familiar to Angelenos, such as Greene & Greene's Gamble House in Pasadena and the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Millard House. Also featured are the lesser-known but equally grand Cecil B. DeMille Estate in Laughlin Heights and the Petitfils-Boos House in Hancock Park.
The majority of the 25 homes highlighted are situated in the Pasadena and Hancock Park/Windsor Square areas, some of L.A.'s earliest and most architecturally influential neighborhoods. These homes for the rich, famous and powerful were built between 1899 and 1938 during Southern California's "Golden Age of Expansion" and feature a wide range of architectural styles, including Victorian, Tudor, Georgian, Spanish Colonial and Art Deco. Any sense of envy should quickly give way to local pride for these historical gems.
Franco Zeffirelli: Complete Works — Theatre, Opera, Film
Edited by Caterina Napoleone; preface by Franco Zeffirelli; foreword by Matthew Gurewitsch.
This lavish tome traces the life and works of the Italian showman Franco Zeffirelli — director and designer of film, opera and theater — and is presented in fittingly spectacular form. The recipient of this book should not be a delicate flower, as it weighs in at 11 pounds. Some 800 color and black-and-white illustrations from 80 productions are featured such as the operas "La Bohème" and "Carmen" and his films "Romeo and Juliet" and "Hamlet," along with Zeffirelli's own sketches and paintings of costumes and set designs.
Special Photographer from the Golden Age of Hollywood
Leo Fuchs, introduction by Alexandre Fuchs, essay by Bruce Weber
powerHouse Books, $65