Bookshelf picks – January to March 2016, by Martin Amis


Silent Histories by Kazuma Obara

This is a brilliantly faithful recreation of the 2014 handmade book, of which only 45 copies were made.  The moving story of those affected by the bombing of Japan during the second world war, Silent Histories is without doubt one of the finest photobooks of recent years. 


Discordia by Moises Saman

10 years ago this would most likely have been in a somewhat dry conflict reportage photobook released by a mainstream publisher, now in the modern photobook world instead we have this magnificent self-published opus with suitably impressive printing and design. Far from uplifting, but remarkable all the same.


For Bird’s Sake by Maria Sturm | Cemre Yesil

An Istanbul love story with a twist between man and bird.  Here we explore the world of a group of men who devote their lives to raising (and caging) goldfinches and greenfinches, as viewed by the 2 female authors.  A beautiful, subtle and elegant production.


Sharkification by Cristina De Middel

Three books by Cristina De Middel were released at the turn of the year. All were of considerable interest but this imaginative view of the favelas of Brazil is my favourite.


Beyond Maps and Atlases by Bertien van Manen

In this new body of work, Bertien van Manen photographed Ireland, a land renowned for myths and legends.  A haunting, dreamy book which sees the photographer treading new ground following the death of her husband.


Red String by Yoshikatsu Fujii

Red String is photographer Yoshikatsu Fujii’s personal exploration of the Japanese legend that a man and a woman who have a predestined encounter have had each other’s little fingers tied together by an invisible red string since the time they were born. Originally published in 2014 as a small handmade edition, this new edition perfectly recreates it’s intimate nature.


Présage by Hideyuki Ishibashi

Hideyuki Ishibashi reconstructs images from fragments of old photographs and postcards he finds in flea markets in France. This elegantly simple book not only showcases this remarkable work but also it’s hidden foldout pages explores their creation


Tokyo by Gerry Johansson

Gerry Johansson has produced a steady stream of much-admired beautifully simple photobooks. This visual journey through Tokyo (completely devoid of people) is possibly one of his finest books to date.


NOROC by Cedric Van Turtelboom

A bold design and strong images make this self-published book stand out from the swollen tide of photobooks. Whatever you think of it’s wire binding, it’s Cedric’s eye for a great photograph that stays in the mind.


Lost In The Wilderness by Kalpesh Lathigra

Lost In The Wilderness is Kalpesh Lathigra’s poetic work on the modern realities of the Native American people photographed over several years on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.  Subject of a successful kickstarter campaign the resulting book sensibly resists any unncessary design frills and brings Kalpesh’s evocative heartfelt work to the fore

Martin Amis founded Photobookstore in 2006, and is rarely more than 10 feet from a pile of photobooks.