History and Culture
- Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari: with the political climate the way it is, this is a must read for everyone. Impresses upon you the (in)significance of pettiness.
- A Little History of the World by Eric Gombrich: Written for kids, and more like a history of Europe, this is the most condensed and likable form of European history you can read.
- A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson: More like a history of scientific exploration and discovery, this nicely written book has incredible breadth, depth and a very telling and chilling end.
- England’s forgotten Muslim history
- The Art of Travel by Alain Botton: we love Alain, and this is by far our favorite book, since it touches on our favorite pastime.
- How doing nothing became the ultimate family vacation
Entertainment / Fiction
- Image: Designing Effective Pictures – Michael Freeman
THE book to possess, even before you take a single picture. THE book to possess, even after you have a portfolio which is bigger than your ego. This book talks about the basic philosophy of graphic design in photography. Ignore that, and your images will suffer terribly.
- Nature Photography Field Guide – John Shaw
If you are primarily interested in Nature photography, then this book is highly recommended over Hedgecoe’s book. It has all you wanted to know about equipment (cameras, lenses, filters, film, tripods), plus lots of good tips and techniques.
- Principles of Composition in Photography – Andreas Feininger
Excellent book on composition. My photographs would be much better if I could practice what I read in this book. No fancy photographs, no tips on technical aspects – just plain composition guidelines. Unfortunately, this book seems to be out of print also.
- Understanding Exposure – Bryan Peterson
A great book on exposure, film speed, and aperture. Good concepts on getting the exposure you want translated into your photographs. Even if you have a simple point and shoot, this book will teach you a lot. Thankfully, this book was just brought into production, after being out of print for a couple of years.
- The Photographer’s Handbook – John Hedgecoe
A starter book of photography that anyone could possess. If you have the resources, you can buy the Kodak Taking Better Pictures series instead, but this book is a much more concise version. If you know the basic principles, skip it. Its for complete novices.