Books: Good to Look At

More readily than ever before the U.S. book buyer is paying handsomely for books that are big, beautiful and well-made. Most of them are picture books, especially art books, and they appear, naturally, in time for Christmas. Timing aside, some of them are excellent. Each of the following sampling can easily justify its publication, and even, in most instances, its price.

LEONARDO DA VINCI (518 pp.; Reynal; $35) is one of those rare books that does justice to a man of genius. It is more than just big and beautiful, and its appeal does...

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