Don’t miss the year’s quirkiest, loveliest, most readable art book

Earlier this year, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis presented the first American retrospective of Alec Soth’s photographs. Soth—who was born in Minneapolis in 1969—is becoming something of a national treasure: a true heir to Robert Frank and Walker Evans. The Walker’s newly published catalog, From Here to There: Alec Soth’s America, begs to be read, as well as looked at, whether or not you’ve seen the show. And as you can tell by the cover (which features Soth’s phone number and e-mail), it’s also tremendously fun.

The book includes 200-plus photographs; they’re beautifully reproduced and accompanied by new essays (by Geoff Dyer, among not a few others), poems (August Kleinzahler’s “Sleeping It Off in Rapid City”), interviews, and scraps of Soth’s own writing. A back-page pocket contains Soth’s smaller, free-standing 48-page monograph, “The Loneliest Man in Missouri.” There, and throughout, Soth’s images are dry, witty, and totally American—and we expect to see many more of them as the years go by.

This post is from Observer Short List—an email of three favorite things from people you want to know. Sign up to receive OSL here. Don’t miss the year’s quirkiest, loveliest, most readable art book