A publisher contacted me a few weeks ago and asked if I'd like a review copy of Historic Photos of Houston. You betcha.
Unfortunately this will be a very thin review. Author Betty Trapp Chapman did a lot of research into the background of the photos. But I have seen almost all of these photographs before and I didn't learn anything new.
This is a problem not unique to this book. The entire genre of historical photo books is saturated, and these photographs can almost always be found online. Historic Photos of Houston is also too broad. If I was to purchase a book of historical photos, I'd like it to be more specialized. A book detailing Houston from 1945-1960 would be very interesting to me. Houston became a major city during this time. Freeways were being built, suburbs like Sharpstown were created, Roy Hofheinz was dreaming up the Astrodome. It was during this time that Houston began to resemble the Houston we know today.
Actually, I did learn something new from Chapman's book. One photo caught my attention, and it was from this period. In 1955, Houston had a monorail that I had heard about but never saw pictures of. Hoo doggie, that monorail was ugly!
Attention Brad Thor: Your publisher has been kind enough to send me some of your books in the past which I dig reading. Can I review your latest? Ditto Erik Larson. Surely he has a new book coming out. If you're a publisher please send me a sample. Unlike some bloggers who say they are getting a copy of a book and post a link to their Amazon affiliate page (without actually reading the book), I will read the book and post about it. Yes, I am begging. :-) But at least I am being honest about it.