For Christmas 2012 I received "Understanding Exposure (3rd Edition)" by Bryan Peterson. I'm not a big reader, but this had lots of pictures, so I read the whole thing.
I've always enjoyed photography. Once when I was a youngster, I saved the UPCs from a few cereal boxes (Honey Nut Cheerios perhaps?) to get the advertised "free, 35mm camera!" Of course, I had to pay for shipping and it was hardly more than a plastic film holder with a pin-hole. Film not included.
Okay, trip down memory lane is over.
Besides the technical information and colorful pictures, what I enjoyed about Peterson's book were his thoughtful reminders that you don't need the most expensive camera in existence to get a great picture. He reminds us that the bells and whistles, while sometimes helpful, are a distant second to an understanding of the relationship between the main functions of any camera and our desired outcome for an exposure. The book has great example images, allowing us to see outcomes of different settings for the same subject side by side.
I found it to be an enjoyable read and I'm happy to have it sitting under my laptop's power-brick in a basket next to the couch in the living room. Hmm, maybe I should move it to the coffee table...