ENTREE picks the best books of 2017


THE ART OF PLEIN AIR DRAWING by M. Stephen Doherty, Monacelli Press, teaches how to learn to paint outdoors from nature from a master and editor-in-chief of Plein Air magazine. A splendid resource that addresses the challenges and methods to succeed and respond to changing light, forms and colors to yield lively and spontaneous work.

IN VINO DUPLICITAS, The Rise and Fall of a Wine Forger Extraordinaire, published by The Experiment, Peter Hellman’s astonishing story of Rudy Kurniawan, perhaps the most notorious–and unlikely–wine forger in history. This is a crime story of how one young man—with little experience and few connections—ensnared the world’s top winemakers, sellers, and drinkers in a web of deceit.

A THOUSAND BILLION THINGS (and some sheep), Quarto Knows Publishing, authored by Loic Clement and illustrated by Anne Montel whimsically challenges young readers with the wide range of choices that confront them each day. How to choose is the question. Bright and busy artwork and some clever prose give some ideas.

OMO by Lynn Doran is a stunning and powerful large format book of images of the Omo Valley Tribes, an achievement of spectacular photo documentation on these vanishing cultures of Ethiopia, one of the world’s last extensive tribal lands which remains so remote that National Geographic calls it “Africa’s Last Frontier.”

Doran’s handsome book work takes readers across a journey spanning culture, time, and terrain to Southwest Ethiopia’s Great Rift Valley, and along the winding bed of the Omo Valley’s Omo River. Her formal artistic background lies in textiles, and she manages to weaves a textured blend with her camera of both the intimate, personal, and tactile, leading us on a graphic page-after-page trek with Omo Valley’s dominant tribes, where past and present have continued to exist simultaneously, with little change for many hundreds, if not thousands of years. What Doran documented in 2013, ceased to exist in 2016. The dam is complete. The tap is turned off. The life line to the Omo Valley is dried up. Inevitably, neither we nor the Omo people can know what the future portends, other than more change, a change that leaves us recalling not the “way it was,” only “the way it will never be again.” This is a passionately constructed book from a very talented woman with a keen artisitic eye and a deep well of love for these cultures.

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