Ooooo! What could be better? My two favorite things: photography and books.
One of the first things I did when I got a camera that had adjustable settings was go to the library and check out photography books. For anyone wanting to explore photography books, the library is a great way to get started. I checked out a bunch of books that looked good and went through them, eventually purchasing one book, Bryan Peterson's "Understanding Exposure." Photography books can be pricey, so getting them from the library first is a great way to get information and save money at the same time.
Recently, I also purchased two other photography-related books: "The Photographer's Eye," by Michael Freeman and "The Digital Photographer's Guide to Photoshop Elements 4," by Barry Beckham. The first book is all about composition and design. I'm hoping it offers inspiration for new ways of seeing and making photographs -- looks good so far. The second book is exactly what the title says. The nice thing about both (in addition to the fact that I bought them with a holiday gift card) is that they have big color pictures and lots of detail. Very helpful for us wanna-be photographers :).
Now, since Stacy left this theme open for interpretation, I'm also going to suggest some non-photography books I've read in the last few months. "A Girl Named Zippy" by Haven Kimmel and "The Samurai's Garden" by Gail Tsukiyama are not new releases and are both in paperback, so you can pick up inexpensive copies (or check them out from your trusty library). Kimmel's work is a wacky memoir of her childhood; Tsukiyama's is a quiet, moving novel about beauty and humanity. I am currently reading "Three Cups of Tea," a nonfiction work on the best-seller list (also in paperback) documenting the journey of a mountain climber turned humanitarian who has established schools in impoverished areas of Pakistan. So far, it is fascinating.
I've been keeping a reading journal since September; nothing fancy, just writing down the books I've read and rating them. This way, I can actually remember what I read and whether or not I'd recommend them. Unfortunately, many turn out to be simply "OK" or not worthy of passing along. However, since this is probably the only time "books" will be a Theme Thursday theme, I'll have to think of another excuse to post about good books :).