LJ Best Books 2017

It's time again for LJ’s annual Top Ten Best Books of the year, selected by our editors, as well as Top Five lists for genre fiction, nonfiction, poetry and literature, graphic novels, and SELF-e titles.   SEE WHO MADE THE LIST

Best Books 2011: Art Instruction

Selected by Heather Halliday, American Jewish Historical Soc., New York

Bellamy, David. David Bellamy’s Complete Guide to Watercolour Painting. Search, dist. by IPG. ISBN 9781844487349. pap. $19.95.
This guide covers all the basics of watercolor painting, a widely attempted though rarely mastered medium. Projects are easy to follow, and many diagrammed examples are included as illustrations. (LJ 8/11)

Brunetti, Ivan. Cartooning: Philosophy and Practice. Yale Univ. ISBN 9780300170993. pap. $13.
This book takes the medium very seriously but is still loads of fun for fans of comic art. Cartooning is an art form that relies as much on the verbal as on the visual, and Brunetti discusses it eloquently in words and pictures. (LJ 6/15/11)

Freeman, Michael. The Photographer’s Mind: Creative Thinking for Better Digital Photos. Focal: Elsevier. ISBN 9780240815176. pap. $29.95.
This book is for those who want to improve their craft. Freeman, a successful and experienced professional photographer, discusses intent, style, and process, thoughtfully exploring the why as much at the how. (LJ 4/15/11)

Kespersaks, Veiko. Calligraphy in 24 Hours. Barron’s. ISBN 9780764145063. pap. $21.99.
A great place to start for readers interested in trying calligraphic writing. Short lessons encourage beginners, and the projects highlight the many different ways calligraphy can be used. (LJ 7/11)

Lawlor, Veronica. One Drawing a Day: A 6-Week Course Exploring Creativity with Illustration and Mixed Media. Quarry: Quayside. ISBN 9781592537242. pap. $22.99.
This is chock-full of ideas and inspiration to help fill sketchbooks and overcome artists’ block. The illustrations are vividly varied thanks to the inclusion of examples by eight different professional illustrators. (LJ 10/1/11)

Neel, John. Rethinking Digital Photography: Making & Using Traditional & Contemporary Photo Tools. Pixiq: Sterling. ISBN 9781600597862. pap. $24.95.
Owing to the digital revolution, nearly everyone is a photographer. Those looking to set their pictures apart from the crowd and incorporate alternative processes or older tools will appreciate this modern guide. (LJ 12/11)

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SELF-e is an innovative collaboration between Library Journal and BiblioBoard® that enables authors and libraries to work together and expose notable self-published ebooks to voracious readers looking to discover something new. Finally, a simple and effective way to catalog and provide access to ebooks by local authors and build a community around indie writing!