I hate to be the poster boy for consumerism, but what can I say: when it comes to holiday shopping, I'm decidedly pro gift giving. But hey, at least my purchases are usually for other people. Usually. Photo books hold a special place in my heart, and this time of year they occupy many spots on my own holiday wish list. I occasionally even splurge on a few photo books as gifts for myself. So I was excited to see this list, courtesy of TIME magazine, of the best photo books of the year. The magazine recruited its own Photo Editor, along with prominent gallerists and curators, to offer their recommendations. The list is heavy on the "high art" side of things, but that's actually what makes it special, in my opinion, as many of these books won't get covered in other outlets. Best of all, the list includes explanations of what makes each book so special, and a look at the work inside of each. A few personal favorites include new works from Todd Hido and Taryn Simon. Read all about them, and the remainder of the list, at Time's Lightbox blog.