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A List of Recommended Books of the Year: Drawing Babar, William Eggleston, Ada Louise Huxtable, Oscar Hammerstein II , and More

Regular readers of these pages are likely to share my fondness for literature and the arts. Each holiday I compile a wish list of recently published books along with a couple of previously published titles that I'd like to add to my library. It's always hard to winnow down the list. I must confess that I've already bought and read several of the books below, because I just couldn't wait till the holidays.

I take great pleasure in compiling my annual list, because I make my selections by walking to and then browsing the independent booksellers in my neighborhood. There, I can find books that would never occur to me. Somewhere nearby, I can alight to a nearby café and read.

I've stated the list price here, though it's easy to find most of these books at a discount. The first set of books are catalogues that accompanied some of the this year's most critically-accaimed art exhibitions in New York. Anyone who visits a worthy exhibition would like to learn more about individual works, and these catalogues, artworks in themselves, provide a chance to re-imagine the visit and learn more.

Drawing Babar: Early Drafts and Watercolors
by Christine Nelson. With an essay by Adam Gopnik. Morgan Library & Museum
2008. 164 pages. Full color illustrations. 9 x 12 inches. Order through The Morgan Library and Museum. Price: $50.00; Member Price: $45.00 See WOTBA review.

Dali & Film
by Dawn Ades (Author), Montse Aguer (Author), Felix Fanes (Author), Matthew Gale (Editor), Salvador Dali (Author) 38 pages. The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Hardback edition (December 15, 2007) $60 See WOTBA review.

Kirchner and the Berlin Street
by Deborah Wye (Author), Ernst Kirchner (Author). 138 pages. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. $35 See WOTBA review.

Live Forever: Elizabeth Peyton
by Laura Hoptman (Author) 224 pages. Phaidon Press Inc.; Ill edition (October 1, 2008) $59.95 See WOTBA review of exhibit at GBE.

Van Gogh and the Colors of the Night
by Sjaar van Heugten (Author), Joachim Pissarro (Author), Chris Stolwijk (Author), Vincent van Gogh (Author). 160 pages. The Museum of Modern Art, New York (September 1, 2008) $45

William Eggleston: Democratic Camera, Photographs and Video, 1961-2008 (Whitney Museum of American Art). 320 pages. The Whitney Museum of American Art (December 2, 2008) $65

And worthy New York-themed titles (non-fiction):

New York Nocturne: The City After Dark in Literature, Painting, and Photography, 1850-1950
by William Chapman Sharpe (Author). 456 pages. Princeton University Press (November 2, 2008) $35

Robert Moses and the Modern City: The Transformation of New York (Paperback)
by Hilary Ballon (Editor), Kenneth T. Jackson (Editor) 336 pages. W. W. Norton (September 29, 2008) $35

A Short Life of Trouble: Forty Years in the New York Art World
by Marcia Tucker (Author), Liza Lou (Editor) 224 pages. University of California Press; 1 edition (October 22, 2008) $27.50

Lives of the Artists
by Calvin Tomkins (Author) 272 pages. Henry Holt and Co. (October 28, 2008) $26

The Philip Johnson Tapes: Interviews by Robert A. M. Stern
by Robert A.M. Stern (Author) 208 pages. The Monacelli Press (November 18, 2008) $40

On Architecture: Collected Reflections on a Century of Change
by Ada Louise Huxtable (Author) 496 pages. Walker & Company (October 28, 2008) $35

Annie Leibovitz at Work
by Annie Leibovitz (Author) 240 pages. Random House (November 18, 2008) $40

The New York Times: The Complete Front Pages: 1851-2008
by CC The New York Times (Author) 456 pages. Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers; Har/Dvdr edition (November 1, 2008) $60

The Complete Lyrics of Oscar Hammerstein II
by Oscar Hammerstein II (Author), Amy Asch (Editor), Ted Chapin (Introduction) 448 pages Knopf (November 25, 2008) $65.

and, don't forget the two wonderful New York-centered novels of the last year -

Netherland: A Novel
by Joseph O'Neill (Author) 272 pages. Pantheon; 1 edition (May 20, 2008) $23.95

Lush Life: A Novel
by Richard Price (Author) 464 pages. Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 1 edition (March 4, 2008) $26

Image: window, Biography Bookstore. 400 Bleecker Street. The bookstore is across the street from the Magnolia Bakery at the intersection of 11th Street.

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