Large format books cover wide range of interests

Sometimes called “coffee table books” because that’s where they often find a home, these oversized volumes feature spectacular color photos and art work, and they make nice gifts.

 

Here are five large format hardcover books published recently by Texas A&M University Press covering a wide range of interests and topics.

 

Sometimes called “coffee table books” because that’s where they often find a home, these oversized volumes feature spectacular color photos and art work, and they make nice gifts. The downside is that I find it harder to sit down and actually read a large format book. It’s just not a convenient size for reading, which is unfortunate because the text is usually very interesting.

 

Fishes of the Rainbow: Henry Compton’s Art of the Reefs by David A. McKee ($40) revolves around Compton’s colorful paintings of tropical fish. Compton, a marine biologist who died in 2005, also made up stories about the fish he painted, and they’re included in the book as well as McKee’s more scientific commentary. The book is part of Texas A&M Corpus Christi’s Gulf Coast Books series. 

 

Riverwoods: Exploring the Wild Neches ($35) by writer/photographer Charles Kruvand, with an introduction by Thad Sitton, is another volume in the outstanding River Books series sponsored by the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University. Kruvand takes readers on a canoe adventure along the East Texas river, considered one of the last wild rivers in the state. The text in this book is actually quite readable, set in a larger font and a single column.

 

In The Natural History of Flowers by Michael Fogden and Patrician Fogden ($37), the authors deal with such basic questions as: Why are flowers colorful? Why do some flowers smell good while others give off a pungent odor? Why are blackberries sweet and juicy? Why do nuts come in hard shells? The Fogdens cover the subject with compelling text and more than 200 bright, colorful photos.

 

Historic Homes of Waco, Texas by Kenneth Hafertepe ($40) is, of course, primarily of interest to Waco residents, but lovers of old homes in general might enjoy the stories behind 120 historic dwellings. Hafertepe is chairman of the department of museum studies at Baylor. 

 

Houston: Space City USA by Ray Viator ($37) celebrates the city’s connection to space exploration in clear journalistic text and more than 200 color photos. One chapter deals with the vast amount of space-related research performed by the various universities in Houston and some of the beneficial everyday spinoffs from space technology. Another chapter examines Houston’s role in the future of space research and development. Of course, the first word spoken from the moon, when Apollo 11 landed there in 1969, was “Houston.”          

           

Glenn Dromgoole writes about Texas books and authors. Contact him at g.dromgoole@suddenlink.net.