New & Noteworthy Visual Books, From ‘Get Out’ to Richard Avedon

Recent visual books of interest

ROBERT DE NIRO, SR.: Paintings, Drawings, and Writings: 1942-1993, introduction by Robert De Niro Jr. (Rizzoli, $65.) The actor pays tribute to his father, an Abstract Expressionist painter and poet whose five-decade career made him a New York School peer of Rothko and others.

RICK BAKER: Metamorphosis: Vol. 1: 1950-1989, Vol. 2: 1990-2019, by J. W. Rinzler. (Cameron Books, $250.) Not for the faint of heart, this two-volume retrospective of the Oscar-winning special makeup effects artist revisits his spookiest creations, among them the zombies for Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video.

AVEDON ADVERTISING, by Richard Avedon et al. (Abrams, $125.) Throughout the second half of the 20th century, Avedon’s name was synonymous with commercial success and high fashion. These photographs, for Chanel, Revlon and more, provide an elegant window onto postwar consumerism and celebrity.

GET OUT: The Complete Annotated Screenplay, by Jordan Peele and Tananarive Due. (Inventory Press, paper, $19.95.) Peele’s 2017 thriller made the director’s name and won the Oscar for best original screenplay. Now the script is available in book form, illustrated with stills.

THIS IS 18: Girls’ Lives Through Girls’ Eyes, edited by Jessica Bennett. (Amulet Books, $19.99.) The Times’s gender editor compiles last year’s celebrated feature revealing the variety and unity of 18-year-old women around the world.

What we’re reading:

The most memorable books about China often have rich narratives, like Evan Osnos’s “Age of Ambition” or Peter Hessler’s “Oracle Bones.” More technical books tend to be overlooked. I initially skipped one this year by Nicholas R. Lardy at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, titled THE STATE STRIKES BACK: The End of Economic Reform in China? I read it later when it became clear at conferences and in quarterly data that Lardy has really defined China’s new economic era. He details a change many of us living in China have sensed and described but not so extensively documented: The country is gradually shifting away from capitalism and becoming more of a managed economy again. Private companies are starved of loans even as state-owned enterprises soak them up from state-controlled banks. The inefficiency of those state-owned enterprises, in turn, is now eroding the powerful economic growth China recorded over the past four decades.

—Keith Bradsher, Shanghai bureau chief

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