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Books can at times be like an art and culture lover's version of the baseball card, collecting them as mementos of our favorite players or going the extra mile and scoring a limited edition we know will always be of great worth. With alluring images and genres to suit even your quirkiest interest, it can be difficult to decipher which to own and which to just cozy up with for a few hours in the corner of a local independent bookstore. While we'd love to own them all, unfortunately, unlike baseball cards, books are a little heavier both in size and on the wallet. With that in mind, we've selected five out of the many books we wrote about in 2008 we believe are a sure knockout.

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Digital By Design
In a world becoming more advanced every minute, with everything from virtual reality pinball machines to the common smart phone, it's difficult to make sense of it all. U.K. design studio (and CH heroes) Troika (check out Troika on CH Video here) does just that with their recent book, "Digital By Design," a complete survey of the most innovative digital products and works of art today.

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Amazon or Powell's.

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Rachel Papo: Serial No. 3817131
Ohio-born Israeli Rachel Papo began photographing female soldiers in 2004. Having worked as a photographer in the Israeli Air Force for two years during her mandatory military service, Papo had experienced first hand being “plucked from her home surroundings and placed in a rigorous institution where her individuality is temporarily forced aside in the name of nationalism” as she describes it in her artist's statement. The project is titled Serial No. 3817131 from the author's own military service. Available from powerHouse Books.

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Amazon or Powell's.

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Amazon or PowerHouse.

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