A couple of quick book links that I've been meaning to put up for a while now. (I'm getting really behind with posting book reviews, mine and others'. I have a whopping eight books in the review queue here at T.O.P. world headquarters, a.k.a. my study, and at least half that many written reviews awaiting posting. I'll try to make some progress on that soon.)
First of all, if you've been a photo- grapher for a while, or have spent a lot of time on online camera forums, you're probably aware of all the lore, legend, wild claims and strong talk that centers around Leicas. Just in case you've heard enough of this to wonder just what they're talking about, I really hope you can take a quick look at Sebastiao Salgado's Africa the next time you're at the bookstore. The reproduction quality in this book is stunning—its pages are close cousins to original prints, were they this size. Many of the pictures (maybe not all, but easily a majority of them) show what Leicas do and what all the fuss is about. Just so photographically beautiful. All I can say is...wow.
Sorry not to talk more about the pictures themselves, but I don't own this book—I just spent some quality time with the open copy at the bookstore.
Secondly, Robert Frank's The Americans is about to be republished again, for, I don't know, the fourth or fifth time. You definitely can't afford a first edition; if you can afford one, chances are you can't find one. I have the 1986 Pantheon reprint. One of the treasures of my overflowing bookcase. I won't go on and on about this book right here; suffice to say that, after half a century, it remains seminal, original, darkly lyrical, instructive, subversive, eloquent, heartbreaking, harsh, I hope no longer controversial—photography's Kind of Blue. Even if photography in this style is not your exact cup of tea, this book you should own. I shall remind you again in May.
ADDENDUM: Steidl, the publisher of the 50th Anniversary Edition of The Americans and of the Robert Frank Project (a comprehensive publishing and republishing of all his significant work), has a nice PDF about the project and the book. To get it, go here and follow the link. (Thanks to Ade for this tip.)