Credit: Courtesy of Power House Books

From Argentina to Morocco, the black-and-white images in Chasing Beauty ($50; PowerHouse Books), by photographer and T+L contributor Richard Phibbs, find elegance in even the smallest of places: a horse’s front legs; the curve of a seashell.

In The Masque of Africa (Knopf; $26.95), V. S. Naipaul traverses the continent looking at history, spirituality, and politics, beginning in Uganda, where he lived 40 years ago.

Just how popular is the Chinese game of mah-jongg? It’s a question Mah Jongg: Crak, Bam, Dot (2Wice Books; $40) playfully answers with essays, archival images, and illustrations from Bruce McCall, Isaac Mizrahi, and Maira Kalman. (“Project Mah Jong,” a related exhibition, is at New York City’s Museum of Jewish Heritage through January 2.)

New Yorker staff writer Ian Frazier ventures into the cold and beyond the modern world, in his brilliantly observed Travels in Siberia (Farrar, Straus & Giroux; $28).

Art for All: British Posters for Transport (Yale University Press; $50) provides a graphic celebration of the world-famous Tube.