On almost every topic
As consumers we all have budget constraints and this year photo books were not high on my list of preferences as we decided to remodel our house. I like photo books and even this year I bought some, but I will never be a real collector. A real collector would have taken additional borrowing on top of his mortgage. Real collectors eat sandwiches with peanut butter for dinner if necessary. Real collectors also take care of their books. They put them in archival boxes and wear reading gloves. My advance copy of Broken Manual was lying under the bed gathering dust for months.

As always in no particular order:


Holy Bible by Oliver Chanarin & Adam Broomberg 
I bought a copy of Holy Bible because it featured images from the Archive of Modern Conflict. A fascinating book that reveals God’s great compassion for us.
Handbook to the Stars by Peter Puklus
I also bought a copy of Handbook to the Stars by Peter Puklus who had a great exhibition in the library of Foam in Amsterdam. This book is basically a big wall with pictures bound into a small volume. His book One and a half meter is also highly recommended.
SPBH Book Club Vol III by Cristina de Middel 
Another book I bought was SPBH Book Club Vol III (Maria and Tony) by Cristina de Middel. It contains great pictures inspired by street photography with a narrative based on The West Side Story. The book cover is done in graffiti writing and every cover is unique. My copy was a bit boring with just the names Maria and Tony so I asked a local graffiti artist to spice it up a bit.

Dalston Anatomy by Lorenzo Vitturi
SPBH also co-published Dalston Anatomy by Lorenzo Vitturi. I think this book is going to be on a lot of lists as it is such a playful publication mixing photography with great sculptures made of things he bought at the market he documented in the book. I also love these Vlisco fabrics he used for the cover. Did you know the real Vlisco fabrics come from Helmond in The Netherlands?

The Christmas Tree Bucket by Trent Parke
A book I will ask for Christmas is The Christmas Tree Bucket by Trent Parke. This book was already on my list last year while it was not even published. I added it to my list because Steidl was delaying a lot of titles. But this one was actually published recently although I must admit that I haven’t seen a real copy yet.

The Arrangement by Ruth van Beek
In the bookshop a couple of days a go I leafed through a couple of other great photo books. The Arrangement by Ruth van Beek for example I really like and would love to own.

Birds of the West Indies by Taryn Simon
I was also positively surprised by a new book by Taryn Simon called Birds of the West Indies. I am not a fan of her books as they seem to lack any artistic subjectivity. She created a huge inventory of the women, weapons and cars from the James Bond movies. The portraits of the former Bond girls are fascinating. I guess the book criticizes how both the Bond girls and the cars and weapons are treated as equally disposable items. Sometimes the book is even funny, but may be that is because the items are sometimes funny like a rolling pin as a weapon and 73 year old actress Jill St John in an awesome white trouser suit and a shirt extensively decorated with front rouches.


Food by Henk Wildschut
Henk Wildschut also published a new body of work in a book called Food. His last book was about shelter and now he researched and documented the food industry. At first glance you think the book attacks the food industry as there is hardly any food in these often rather sterile pictures, but Wildschut states that the subject is too complex for a black and white approach like organic food is healthier and the food industry cannot be animal or environmental friendly.

An Atlas of War and Tourism in The Caucasus by Rob Hornstra and Arnold Van Bruggen
What Rob Hornstra and Arnold Van Bruggen managed to do is incredible. For over five years they have been telling the story of Sochi, the site of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games using crowd funding to find the budget for the project. An Atlas of War and Tourism in The Caucasus provides an overview of this unique project.

A Guide to the Flora and Fauna of the World by The Institute of Critical Zoologists
The last book on my list is A Guide to the Flora and Fauna of the World as published by The Institute of Critical Zoologists. Artist Robert Zhao Renhui is behind this institute that studies human beings and their desire to control nature. His work is sometimes a bit clinical as you may expect from an institute, but he is a very significant artist who creates fascinating work and who forces us to think about our strange desire to remake and remodel nature.

May be I should have taken additional borrowing.

As consumers we all have budget constraints and this year photo books were not high on my list of preferences as we decided to remodel our house. I like photo books and even this year I bought some, but I will never be a real collector. A real collector would have taken additional borrowing on top of his mortgage. Real collectors eat sandwiches with peanut butter for dinner if necessary. Real collectors also take care of their books. They put them in archival boxes and wear reading gloves. My advance copy of Broken Manual was lying under the bed gathering dust for months.

As always in no particular order:

Holy Bible by Oliver Chanarin & Adam Broomberg

I bought a copy of Holy Bible because it featured images from the Archive of Modern Conflict. A fascinating book that reveals God’s great compassion for us.

Handbook to the Stars by Peter Puklus

I also bought a copy of Handbook to the Stars by Peter Puklus who had a great exhibition in the library of Foam in Amsterdam. This book is basically a big wall with pictures bound into a small volume. His book One and a half meter is also highly recommended.

SPBH Book Club Vol III by Cristina de Middel

Another book I bought was SPBH Book Club Vol III (Maria and Tony) by Cristina de Middel. It contains great pictures inspired by street photography with a narrative based on The West Side Story. The book cover is done in graffiti writing and every cover is unique. My copy was a bit boring with just the names Maria and Tony so I asked a local graffiti artist to spice it up a bit.

Dalston Anatomy by Lorenzo Vitturi

SPBH also co-published Dalston Anatomy by Lorenzo Vitturi. I think this book is going to be on a lot of lists as it is such a playful publication mixing photography with great sculptures made of things he bought at the market he documented in the book. I also love these Vlisco fabrics he used for the cover. Did you know the real Vlisco fabrics come from Helmond in The Netherlands?

The Christmas Tree Bucket by Trent Parke

A book I will ask for Christmas is The Christmas Tree Bucket by Trent Parke. This book was already on my list last year while it was not even published. I added it to my list because Steidl was delaying a lot of titles. But this one was actually published recently although I must admit that I haven’t seen a real copy yet.

The Arrangement by Ruth van Beek

In the bookshop a couple of days a go I leafed through a couple of other great photo books. The Arrangement by Ruth van Beek for example I really like and would love to own.

Birds of the West Indies by Taryn Simon

I was also positively surprised by a new book by Taryn Simon called Birds of the West Indies. I am not a fan of her books as they seem to lack any artistic subjectivity. She created a huge inventory of the women, weapons and cars from the James Bond movies. The portraits of the former Bond girls are fascinating. I guess the book criticizes how both the Bond girls and the cars and weapons are treated as equally disposable items. Sometimes the book is even funny, but may be that is because the items are sometimes funny like a rolling pin as a weapon and 73 year old actress Jill St John in an awesome white trouser suit and a shirt extensively decorated with front rouches.

Food by Henk Wildschut

Henk Wildschut also published a new body of work in a book called Food. His last book was about shelter and now he researched and documented the food industry. At first glance you think the book attacks the food industry as there is hardly any food in these often rather sterile pictures, but Wildschut states that the subject is too complex for a black and white approach like organic food is healthier and the food industry cannot be animal or environmental friendly.

An Atlas of War and Tourism in The Caucasus by Rob Hornstra and Arnold Van Bruggen

What Rob Hornstra and Arnold Van Bruggen managed to do is incredible. For over five years they have been telling the story of Sochi, the site of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games using crowd funding to find the budget for the project. An Atlas of War and Tourism in The Caucasus provides an overview of this unique project.

A Guide to the Flora and Fauna of the World by The Institute of Critical Zoologists

The last book on my list is A Guide to the Flora and Fauna of the World as published by The Institute of Critical Zoologists. Artist Robert Zhao Renhui is behind this institute that studies human beings and their desire to control nature. His work is sometimes a bit clinical as you may expect from an institute, but he is a very significant artist who creates fascinating work and who forces us to think about our strange desire to remake and remodel nature.

May be I should have taken additional borrowing.

An interesting project by the Institute of Critical Zoologists initiated by artist Robert Zhao Renhui showing remarkable examples of how we as human beings threat or alter other life forms.

Handbook to the Stars by Peter Puklus in Foam Amsterdam.

Handbook to the Stars by Peter Puklus in Foam Amsterdam.

This might be the first Taryn Simon book I am going to really like. I had a copy of Contraband, but got rid of it as I did not like it as much as I thought I would. For me most of her work is visually too clinical and lacks any artistic subjectivity. I have the same issue with the work of Jacqueline Hassink. Any way, this looks like a really interesting book. A catalog of Bond gadgetry and former Bond birds. Ian Fleming was a keen bird watcher and choose the name of his famous British spy character after the ornithologist James Bond who wrote a book about birds called Birds of West Indies.

If you visit Foam, for example to see America by Car by the famous Lee Friedlander or The Afronauts by the acclaimed Cristina de Middel, do not forget to visit the exhibition space in the library as there is a great exhibition by Peter Puklus called Handbook to the Stars. Through his website you can still order a copy of the book with the same title. It is basically a cut-up version of the exhibition in book form. No need to hesitate, as you will have Jörg Colberg’s blessings. I really like this kind of playful, fresh and inventive studio photography. Highly recommended.

Doug Rickard recently published a new book called TOM. There is not much information available, but initial responses on social media are positive. It looks like an interesting book, but it is also a typical collectors book as it is limited to 300 copies and pretty expensive. At the same time to me his New American Picture as published by White Press is still one of the most significant photo books of recent times.

Upcoming book by Jaap Scheeren designed by Hans Gremmen and published by Fw:. The book is called Cut Shaving which is a literal translation of his name in English, although ‘jaap’ is in general considered a pretty large cut, more like a slash or gash. According to the Fw: Facebook page the book contains ‘all the works in one book’. This sounds like some sort of overview and not a book containing new work. It will be available as limited edition and a xerox edition. May be the limited edition is for all the eager collectors out there and the xerox edition a portfolio to show his work to the rest of the world. Will it be as raw as The ‘Xerox’ book?

Upcoming book by Jaap Scheeren designed by Hans Gremmen and published by Fw:. The book is called Cut Shaving which is a literal translation of his name in English, although ‘jaap’ is in general considered a pretty large cut, more like a slash or gash. According to the Fw: Facebook page the book contains ‘all the works in one book’. This sounds like some sort of overview and not a book containing new work. It will be available as limited edition and a xerox edition. May be the limited edition is for all the eager collectors out there and the xerox edition a portfolio to show his work to the rest of the world. Will it be as raw as The ‘Xerox’ book?

The acclaimed project The Afronauts by Cristina De Middel can be seen from 13 September - 11 December 2013 at Foam Amsterdam. The project is a playful fictional reconstruction of the Zambian Space Program, a little known episode in the history of this African country.

This photograph of a giant toad in a storage room is from the series Skeletons in the Closet by Klaus Pichler. For this series he took pictures in storage rooms, basements and depots of the Natural History Museum in Vienna.
The stuffed animals or reproductions of animals he photographed belong to a museum of natural history, but at the same time these images and the pictured animals look rather surreal when not exhibited.
I had a similar experience when I lived in Leiden as a student. When I walked on the Herengracht one night I saw a moving truck and all these big animals like tigers, bears and deer next to it on the sidewalk. First I could not place it, but later I learned there was a depot of the Museum of Natural History Leiden located there.
The book Skeletons in the Closet is available through the website of Klaus Pichler.

This photograph of a giant toad in a storage room is from the series Skeletons in the Closet by Klaus Pichler. For this series he took pictures in storage rooms, basements and depots of the Natural History Museum in Vienna.

The stuffed animals or reproductions of animals he photographed belong to a museum of natural history, but at the same time these images and the pictured animals look rather surreal when not exhibited.

I had a similar experience when I lived in Leiden as a student. When I walked on the Herengracht one night I saw a moving truck and all these big animals like tigers, bears and deer next to it on the sidewalk. First I could not place it, but later I learned there was a depot of the Museum of Natural History Leiden located there.

The book Skeletons in the Closet is available through the website of Klaus Pichler.