Foreword Reviews

8 Books That Will Never Be Regifted

Gift Books

More than mere decoration, these eight titles contain photography and artwork powerful enough to transport lookers-on to grand and gorgeous locales. From the Pacific Northwest to Cuba in flux, from abandoned distilleries to storied stops on dream tours around the world, the centers of these books stand to hold gazes in thrall. Add magic to the library of a loved one.

The Birth of Bourbon

A Photographic Tour of Early Distilleries

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Carol Peachee, photographer
University Press of Kentucky
Hardcover $29.95 (238pp)
Buy: Local Bookstore (Bookshop), Amazon

With plentiful limestone-filtered springwater and an ideal climate, your old Kentucky home was God’s gift to whiskey makers, and early settlers put grain to copper still and bourbon soon ran from it. But Prohibition cut the number of distilleries from more than two hundred to sixty-one, stranding scores of warehouses, grain hoppers, barrel rooms, boiler houses, and other grand relics that dot the Bluegrass State even today. The 238 mesmerizing, richly saturated color photos in this abandoned-distillery tour offer Americana at its best.

MATT SUTHERLAND (November 27, 2015)

Ultimate Travel

Our List of the 500 Best Places to See…Ranked

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Lonely Planet
Lonely Planet
Hardcover $24.99 (328pp)
Buy: Local Bookstore (IndieBound), Amazon

The eternal refrain of the traveler—Where should I go?—is the first step in any journey, and while there are no wrong answers, some travel consultants are better qualified to make recommendations than others. Lonely Planet, for example, the publisher of several hundred guidebooks to virtually every worthwhile destination on earth. Well, LP’s huge community of staff and writers voted on their favorite twenty places, leading to this necessary, beautiful project, wherein the five hundred best places on the planet are ranked. The Temples of Angkor in Cambodia came in #1.

MATT SUTHERLAND (November 27, 2015)

Closer to the Ground

An Outdoor Family’s Year in the Water, in the Woods, and at the Table

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Dylan Tomine
Softcover $17.95 (264pp)
Buy: Local Bookstore (Bookshop), Amazon

For many families, it’s a struggle to find a back-to-the-earth sweet spot that still includes reasonable amounts of twenty-first-century tech comfort along with the foraging/gardening/renewabling path to living closer to nature. Here, former downtown Seattleite Dylan Tomine tells the charming, inspiring story of encouraging his six- and three-year-old children outdoors and into the natural world around his island home off Puget Sound with his wife, Stacy. They fish, forage for shrooms and oysters, elegantly cook healthy meals, and even share some recipes. Color photos throughout.

MATT SUTHERLAND (November 27, 2015)

Remarkable Minds

17 More Pioneering Women in Science & Medicine

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Pendred E. Noyce
Tumblehome Learning
Hardcover $18.95 (192pp)
Buy: Local Bookstore (Bookshop), Amazon

There will come a day when gender and race and sexual orientation matter not one whit and equal opportunity exists for all. Alas, too many talented young girls still shy away from advanced math and science programs because subtle external forces work against them. Remarkable Minds shouts “you can do it” seventeen times over in its vivid portrayals of brilliant women from the fields of physics, chemistry, medicine, electrical engineering, astronomy, and more.

MATT SUTHERLAND (November 27, 2015)

The First World War

Unseen Glass Plate Photographs of the Western Front

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Carl De Keyzer, editor
David Van Reybrouck, editor
Geoff Dyer, contributor
The University of Chicago Press
Hardcover $65.00 (280pp)
Buy: Local Bookstore (Bookshop), Amazon

Shuffle through your memory bank of WWI and you’ll likely visualize grainy, b&w images of trenches, gas masks, zeppelins, and mud, lots of mud. Americans, especially, can’t readily distinguish the Ardennes from Verdun, Ypres from the Somme.

Steady yourself for a startling makeover featuring dozens of large-format, flawlessly reproduced images of battlefields, devastation, training exercises, and odd moments scanned from rare glass-plate photographs, including many color photos. The quality and clarity of these works from some of WWI’s top photographers is mind-boggling.

MATT SUTHERLAND (November 27, 2015)

Painting Central Park

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Roger F. Pasquier
The Vendome Press
Hardcover $60.00 (202pp)
Buy: Local Bookstore (Bookshop), Amazon

No doubt, the question has been nagging at you for years: What is the finest work of art ever created in the United States? In 1862, Harper’s Monthly decided it was the 843 acres of Manhattan’s Central Park—using words like “exquisite” and “perfection” just months after the park opened. Painting Central Park features one hundred masterpieces from the past one hundred and fifty years of work from legendary figures in American art: Winslow Homer, George Bellows, Childe Hassam, and Marc Chagall, among them.

MATT SUTHERLAND (November 27, 2015)


This Moment, Exactly So

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Brian Andreas
Lorne Resnick, author, photographer
Insight Editions
Hardcover $75.00 (336pp)
Buy: Local Bookstore (Bookshop), Amazon

For many Americans, the haunting mystique of that forbidden communist island just ninety miles off our southern shore provokes both patriotic zeal and the bully’s shame. Yes, it’s complicated.

Yet the 250 spectacular photos in this extraordinary book—photographed by Lorne Resnick—are so vivid, passionate, and joyful, all conflictions quickly melt away like ice in a glass of Havana Club. Arranged around thirty-two whimsical, poetic micro stories by Brian Andreas, this project will delight everyone.

MATT SUTHERLAND (November 27, 2015)


Images of the Land

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J. A. Kraulis, photographer
Firefly Books
Hardcover $49.95 (224pp)
Buy: Local Bookstore (Bookshop), Amazon

Canada’s great size, rugged physical landscape, and understated personality of its smallish population all serve to keep the outrageous beauty of the place a relative secret—compared to its boastful southern neighbor. Crack the pages, then, of this collection of two hundred photographs from maybe the best living landscape photographer in the world, J. A. Kraulis, and experience the thrilling majesty of Canada’s mountains, plains, waters, and wonders. If nature photography is your thing, you can’t do better than this.

MATT SUTHERLAND (November 27, 2015)

Matt Sutherland
Matt Sutherland is Managing Editor at Foreword Reviews. You can e-mail him at

Matt Sutherland

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