While reviewing my favorite photobooks of the year, I noticed that numerous selections could be classified as crime stories. So in creating this year's list, I thought it would be an entertaining exercise to categorize all of the books by genre. Given the quantity and quality of books being published, it is now feasible to think of photobooks in much the same way as we think of literature and cinema. These genre pigeonholes are reductive, of course, but like year-end lists, they are mostly a lighthearted excuse to analyze and discuss quality work.
Crime: Following a police detective investigating a 1958 murder in Tokyo, Yukichi's photos almost look like stills from a Chandleresqe noir. Elegantly mixing text and image with perfect printing and design, this is a masterpiece of photographic storytelling. My favorite book of the year.
Family Drama: A mother and daughter try to come to terms with shipping boxes, mental illness and memories. Along with the excellent photographs, be sure to check out Hampton's fascinating interview with her mother.
Comedy: A documentary on pigeon racing that manages to be funny, mysterious and strangely touching.
Alec Soth Alec Soth is a photographer based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is represented by Sean Kelly in New York, Weinstein Gallery in Minneapolis, and is a member of Magnum Photos. In 2008, Soth started his own publishing company, Little Brown Mushroom.