This large format picture book qualifies I guess as a coffee-table book. It certainly is a kind of ‘ooh look at that’ book full of stunning pictures by the German photographer Michael Martin, ranging from smiling Bedouin children to scowling Mongolian ones along with lots of shots of sand dunes and the odd volcano. I imagine that most of the pictures are destined for photo libraries and will be seen many times again in picture books.

There is a good coverage of many of the world’s deserts, mostly the hot ones, although some of the high and cold Asian and...

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