Books: Christmas: From Snowy Peaks to Sizzling Serves

$32.50 AND UP HIMALAYAS by Yoshikazu Shirakawa.

Unpaged. Abrams. $75. As practically every climber knows, photographs tend to increase the distance between man and mountain. Even the most spectacular peak can be reduced by the camera to an unimpressive white triangle.

The pictures of Japanese photographer Yoshikazu Shirakawa are a dramatic exception to this rule. Shirakawa actually climbed only a few of the pinnacles he photographed. (For others he pressed a helicopter into high-altitude service.) But his massive, magnificently reproduced study of the world's largest and highest mountains represents a photographic summit: Himalayas...

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