Six Stunning Picture Books to Bring the World to Your Home

With a click of the camera, worlds are revealed.

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Steve McCurry captured this image of women gathering clover in Yemen. Photo: Steve McCurry/Magnum

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With a click of the camera, as this photo shows—worlds are revealed. Untold (Phaidon, 2012) tells the story behind the famous image of Afghan girl Sharbat Gula as well as other photos of distant places made hauntingly human by Steve McCurry’s compassionate eye. Here Far Away (Dewi Lewis Publishing, 2012) collects four decades of the black-and-white, animal-inspired pictures (flamingos in Namibia, a lone horse in an English field) of Finnish photographer Pentti Sammallahti. The photo collages in The Journey Is The Destination (Chronicle Books, 1997) pay tribute to Dan Eldon, who died at 22 covering the African land and people he loved.

As for illustrated books, there’s Mark Twain’s The Innocents Abroad (Dover Publications, 1869). Twain skewers the antics of affluent Americans on “the great pleasure excursion to Europe and the Holy Land” while detailing the travel discoveries that even a bunch of bumbling Yanks can make. Craig Thompson’s sketchbook Carnet De Voyage (Top Shelf Productions, 2004) chronicles months of pensive wandering through Europe and Morocco in cartoons that show the full dimension of cultural alienation and occasional enlightenment. Guy Delisle’s Jerusalem (Drawn & Quarterly 2012) illustrates life as an expat in the Holy City. This beautifully illustrated travelogue captures the social and religious swirl of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish populations.

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  • GEORGE W STONE is Editor-in-Chief, National Geographic Travel. He tweets as @travelerstone.

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