The gift book of the year? Hands down, we predict itll be The National Parks: America's Best Idea (Random House, $50), the coffee-table-worthy companion tome to the latest Ken Burns doc series, which debuts on PBS later this month. That series will tackle the birth of the national park system in the Burns style weve all come to know and love: incisive, riveting, gloriously visual, and packed with quotes and fascinating speakers who channel the words of figures like publisher James Mason Hutchings, environmentalist John Muir, photographer George Masa, park ranger George Melendez Wright and other individuals, big and small, whove worked to preserve American natural treasures. But the book, written by Burns and colleague Dayton Duncan, is also a keeper, simply because its something you can open and reopen again and again. Its amalgamation of popular themes images from nature, American history and values, democracy, environmentalism borrowed from the video makes for a fine picture book thats palatable to a wide range of readers.
Its worth noting as well that Burns chose Colorado as the place to launch The National Parks. Hell acknowledge todays national release of the book by signing copies tonight at the Tattered Cover LoDo, 1628 16th Street. Strictly a signing, with no formal presentation, the event begins at 8 p.m.; for more information, visit www.tatteredcover.com or call 303-436-1070.
Tue., Sept. 8, 8 p.m., 2009