Book: Horse

Let me start with this: the photographs in this book are truly amazing. If I had to evaluate only that part of Horse: A Portrait (Willow Creek Press; $35), I'd give it a perfect score. Christiane Slawik is a talented photographer.

She's also a decent writer. I appreciated her history of horse breeds and enjoyed the descriptions of the places she visited in Europe. But her attitude about horses needs work. Horses can be great partners to humans, no doubt, and teach us all kinds of awareness. But Slawik's endless anthropomorphizing—like claiming the horses deliberately posed for her photographs—is ridiculous. Sorry, but horses are not people and they don't have "friends"-they hang out with each other because they're herd animals.

If you don't care for Slawik's philosophy, you can just look at the pictures. If, however, you happen to be in the mood for a nice fairy tale, read her words and gallop away to la-la land.