Purrrdy Pictures


The hardcover gem Above All: Mount Whitney and California’s Highest Peaks ($35, heydaybooks.com), by David Stark Wilson and Steve Roper, is a deft celebration of the state’s Fourteeners, from Whitney, to White Mountain Peak, to the Palisades, to Shasta. Stark Wilson shot his hyper-sharp photos in crepuscular light, bivying on talus to capture the mysterious glow. Meanwhile, Roper’s detail-rich, imminently readable histories introduce each section. Next turn your gaze eastward, with the Soul of the Rockies: Portraits of America’s Largest Mountain Range ($39.95, globepequot.com), by Ed Cooper. Mouthwatering color photos of fiery aspens, vibrant wildflowers, and soaring peaks in nine states do, in fact, let you glimpse the range’s soul. Helpful descriptions accompany each shot, but Cooper keeps them brief, since — as the book’s dedication states — “The mountains are the real stars.”

—Matt Samet and Kristin Bjornsen