Photo-eye compiled a list of the best books in photography of 2011 recommended by photographers, writers, and publishers. Some of the contributors include Adam Bell, Martin Parr, and Alec Soth to name a few.
The most popular book is 'Illuminance' by Rinko Kawauchi. I have never heard of this contemporary Japanese photographer before reading this list. Now I’m intrigued. She is known for capturing the beauty of ordinary moments that we often ignore. Her palette is soft and the final images are diaphanous from what I can gather from the available online images of her works. The book looks beautifully clothbound.
There’s plenty of other books recommended depending on your interests.