Book Reviews

Empty Quarter: A Photographic Journey to the Heart of the Arabian Desert; by George Steinmetz; Abrams; $40; (ISBN: 978-0-8109-8381-6)
Aerial photographer George Steinmetz captured this breathtaking collection of 150 full-color images while strapped from the harness of a motorized paraglider drifting hundreds of feet above the blazing hot sand. His bravery offered him a unique view of Rub’ al-Khali, or the Empty Quarter, a place that the Western world knows very little about. His photographs and essays reveal that this harsh and unforgiving landscape is alive with Arabian culture and steeped in ancient history.

The Cowichan: Duncan, Chemainus, Ladysmith and Region; by Georgina Montgomery, photography by Kevin Oke; Harbour Publishing; $34.95; (ISBN-13: 978-1-55017-490-8)
The unspoiled beauty and fertile soil of Vancouver Island have long attracted people and inspired them to set down roots here. Filled with peaceful dairy farms and lush vineyards, the Cowichan region of British Columbia is a true delight. Author Georgina Montgomery and photographer Kevin Oke take you on an inspired tour to visit the various communities that dot the landscape so you can experience a taste of what the region has to offer.

Elvis 1956; photographs by Alfred Wertheimer, introduction by Chris Murray, essays by E. Warren Perry, Jr. and Amy Henderson; Welcome Books; $29.95; (ISBN: 978-1-59962-073-2)
In 1956 RCA Victor presented the young and talented photographer Alfred Wertheimer with an exciting and unique opportunity: they granted him free access to capture candid images of their newest superstar, Elvis Presley. This book features a beautiful collection of 72 tri-tone shots that expertly capture Presley’s dramatic and electrifying journey to stardom. The book also serves as a catalog for the traveling exhibit titled Elvis at 21; the exhibit is to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Presley’s birthday.