Big: A Photographic Album of the World’s Largest Animals by Marko Dimitrijevic and Amos Nachoum

This book marvelously lives up to its title, not just in size (more than a foot long and nearly as wide, and weighing five pounds) but in subject matter: big animals, from lions to sharks to grizzly bears, all stunningly photographed by two highly accomplished wildlife photographers who decided to combine their work for this wondrous portfolio.

“Big” is defined not just by size but by the emotions brought about by creatures in our midst, which explains why a wide-angle shot of wildebeests and zebras in Kenya can be just as awe-inspiring as a close-up of a leopard in Sri Lanka or a Nile crocodile nicknamed “Fat Albert” in Botswana. Marko Dimitrijevic, who is Swiss, and Amos Nachoum, an Israeli, are as much explorers and conservationists as they are photographers, and their sense of adventure and love for their subjects shine throughout this beautifully produced volume.

A Death on W Street: The Murder of Seth Rich and the Age of Conspiracy by Andy Kroll

On July 10, 2016, a young man named Seth Rich was shot to death on a quiet Washington street, a tragedy that, as Andy Kroll meticulously details, swiftly became an odious wave of the conspiracy-mongering tsunami that continues to erode America’s political discourse. Rich, 27, worked for the Democratic National Committee, and the police described his death as an attempted armed robbery gone wrong. But quickly enough it was manipulated and distorted into something grotesque: that Rich was murdered for leaking D.N.C. e-mails to WikiLeaks, and that blood was on the hands of Hillary Clinton.

What Kroll deftly does is not just trace the growth of this absurd allegation and of course debunk it, but he brings to life the idealistic and admirable Rich and the love he had for his family and friends. (His family eventually won a seven-figure settlement from Fox News for spreading the pernicious lies about their son’s death.) May the true memory of Rich be a blessing and a warning to those who wreck the reputations of the honorable.

The Crossroads of Civilization: A History of Vienna by Angus Robertson

By our reckoning, there are two kinds of people: folks who consider Vienna their favorite city, and those who have yet to visit it. Either group would profit enormously from reading Angus Robertson’s book, which chronicles the city’s emergence as Europe’s pivotal city in art, music, and politics, not to mention psychoanalysis. Vienna is also a survivor, as anyone knows who has seen the The Third Man, filmed there after World War II, and visits today.

Robertson includes a handy walking tour of the city, with such attractions as the Gräf & Stift automobile that drove Archduke Franz Ferdinand to his rendezvous with death, thus igniting World War I, and the Church of the Capuchins, which houses the Hapsburg family crypt. And don’t miss the Ferris wheel in the Prater park, made famous by The Third Man and where a ticket offering panoramic views costs 13.5 euros, a bargain for both a ride and a view of history at the same time.

Big, A Death on W Street, and The Crossroads of Civilization are available at your local independent bookstore, on Bookshop, and on Amazon