Publishers have been sending me books and I’ve been saving them up in anticipation of a long plane ride – or three.
Here’s what’s in the pile I’m choosing from for this week’s trip. Have you read any of these?
Anyone who’s looked out an airplane window will surely have wondered about – and wondered at – the landscape below. Mary Caperton Morton has clearly done that and put together a book that goes a long way to explaining how those great views got that way.
Aerial Geology: A High-Altitude Tour of North America’s Spectaular Volcanos, Canyons, Glaciers, Lakes, Craters and Peaks (coming soon from Timber Press) is filled with incredible images, descriptive illustrations and fact-filled, geology-based explanations of how each site was formed and what makes each landform noteworthy.
I love all the photos in this large-format book, but one of my favorite features is the little box by each landform titled “Flight Pattern” that lets you know where you’d be flying when you’re most likely to spot the image featured.
Here are couple of images from the book:
Browsing for and buying a book – an actual book – in an airport bookstore is a treat I especially enjoy before a long flight.
Sometimes I choose a title that catches my eye, but most often I pick up something that’s been on my ‘to read’ list.
Today the choice is the just-out-in-paperback edition of Mark Vanhoenacker’s Skyfaring: A Journey with a Pilot (Vintage Departures)
The New York Times review of the book says this is “an unusual entry into the air-travel genre. For one thing, the author is a commercial pilot, flying the Boeing 747 from London to cities across the globe. For another, he doesn’t speak of disasters, not even in passing…..”
Sounds promising and appropriate for in-flight reading, doesn’t it?
Vanhoenacker …”can put one in mind of Henry James,” the review continues.
“In “Skyfaring” we regularly come upon phrases like “the water gyre of the planet,” “technical rectitude,” “the ichthyology of our sea-sky” and “the light-filled clerestory of the world.” This is a volume that seeks to leave high contrails in your mental sky, and it does so in a manner that is nearly always appealing.”
Now let’s just hope my seatmate isn’t a talker…
Here’s an activity book perfect for those lazy, hazy days of summer or those crazy days when you just need to take a break, focus on simple, creative tasks and chill out.
Fantastic Cities: A Coloring Book of Amazing Places Real and Imagined
– out in a few weeks from Chronicle Books – is a coloring book for adults filled with Steve McDonald’s intricate aerial views and bird’s eye perspectives of cities from around the world.
Large (12″ by 12″) detailed images inspired by places in Canada, Tokyo, Istanbul, San Francisco, Sydney and other cities around this world offer a great opportunity to get out the colored pencils, some markers, crayons or watercolors and dream about your next adventure.
The final season of Mad Men kicks off tonight and that gives us yet another excuse to look back at the real work done by advertising men and women on behalf of airlines during the glory days of the industry.
We get help from an impressive new book – in looks, size (it measures 12.2″ by 16.1″), weight (it tips the scales at over 14 pounds) and price (it will set you back $400, although the pre-order price is about $250) – that details the artwork of airline ads from the mid 1940s through the mid 1970s.
Created by M. C. Hühne, Airline Visual Identity: 1945-1975 is a lushly printed and encyclopedic tour though the artwork and the advertising images that helped build airline brands.
Here are a few more samples of images in the book reproduced directly from the originals, with special care given to getting the colors and special effects just right.
(All images except Mohawk Airlines courtesy Airline Visual Identity 1945-1975)