June 15, 2009

Take flight with these coffee-table tomes. The Atlas Maior (Taschen, $200) was a triumph of modern cartography when it was first published in 1665. The book's 314 elaborate, hand-painted, and remarkably accurate maps reflect the world according to 17th-century Europeans. • Nazar (Aperture, $40) presents photographs of and by Arabs, from historical images to work by emerging artists, including Youssef Nabil, whose color-saturated tableaux are inspired by the golden age of Egyptian cinema. • The 800 varied images—skyscrapers, outdoor markets, street scenes, bridges—in New York (Assouline, $50) capture the essence of the Big Apple's restless, creative energy. • Part cookbook, part culinary tour of the subcontinent, Mangoes & Curry Leaves (Artisan, $45), by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid, includes a guide to Nepalese liquors and recipes for Sri Lankan chutney. • In Los Angeles (Rizzoli, $195), T+L contributor Tim Street-Porter documents the city's "architectural fantasyland" of Hockney pools and space-age houses with giddy affection. • Life is an endless idyll in Slim Aarons's Place in the Sun (Abrams, $75), where photos depict the beau monde on holiday in the 1950's and 60's, before airplanes flew the masses all over the world. —AMY FARLEY AND WHITNEY LAWSON

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