What Type of Photography Books Do You Prefer?

Book-Color Histogram.
photo credit: Patrick Gage

I love photography books, and I’ve noticed that most of them fit into one of two groups: educational and inspirational. Educational books being the technical manuals, how-to’s, and general tips and techniques. Inspirational books tend to be more of a “coffee table book” with lots of photos and maybe some supplemental text.

I typically lean toward the inspirational books, but I realize that educational books certainly have their place. Most of the book reviews I do here on the blog also fall into the “inspirational” category. But maybe I’m a minority and you guys are bored to death of the coffee table books — let’s see some votes!

Do you have any favorite books from either category? And have you ever seen a photography book that is truly both educational and inspirational?