Show America the Beautiful to a Brazilian host family!
January 26, 2012 3:18 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to send a coffee-table photography book of the U.S. with my son as a gift to his student-exchange host family. My Amazon-fu is failing me!

This is more or less the sort of thing I'm looking for, but I can't find many others in this vein, and I can't stand to buy something if I've not explored my options. I'd like a sea-to-shining sea collection with maximal photography and minimal text, as his host family does not speak English.
posted by drlith to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
America 24-7 was pretty popular.
posted by box at 3:23 PM on January 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

What do you want the scope of the book to be? Photojournalism? Art? History? Glossy travel porn? It's a lot easier to find what you want if you can narrow it down to what kind of thing it is. Amazon tends to classify coffee table books along genre lines rather than national lines.

Browsing Books -> Art & Photography -> Photography -> Travel -> United States gives these results.

A lot of them look more regional than just the whole USA, but in 2000+ results there must be something that would work for you.
posted by Sara C. at 3:33 PM on January 26, 2012

Okay, at first I read that like you were looking for a coffee-table photography book that had pictures of your son in it, and I wondered if even AskMe was up to the challenge!

This National Geographic book on America's National Parks has breathtaking photography (use the 'look inside' feature and you'll see what I mean).
posted by misha at 3:48 PM on January 26, 2012

If you want to show people as well as places, this is dated but awesome.
posted by SMPA at 4:12 PM on January 26, 2012 [1 favorite]

(This is the newer version.)
posted by SMPA at 4:15 PM on January 26, 2012 [3 favorites]

Based on the BBC series, there's a beautiful coffee-table book of Stephen Fry in America. In the series, famous British Comic Actor and Writer, and occasional Intellectual, Stephen Fry drives a London Cab (not his own, but the gag is there because he famously drives one as his personal vehicle, and has been known to accept a fare) through all 50 States. The text, like the show, is from a British point of view, but it's that of an outsider who is love with the country in all its grandiosity and occasional weirdness.
posted by Sunburnt at 5:44 PM on January 26, 2012

Thanks for the suggestions. I wound up going with the book I linked to in the post (These United States), as it seems I had, in fact, managed to find what I was looking for in the first place and the genre (general U.S. coffee table iconic photography books) is perhaps thinner than I had imagined it would be. When the book arrived from Amazon, it turned out to be exactly perfect for my intentions--no text whatsoever except for the very brief introduction, which was fine, since the recipients do not speak English.
posted by drlith at 4:01 AM on February 27, 2012

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