Among other things:
–Who am I to make such a list?
–Isn’t 2014 an arbitrary boundary?
–Why just books?
–By making a list of just art books am I reinforcing an arbitrary division between the arts?
–Doesn’t any list like this just boil down to a matter of taste?
–Am I qualified to recommend books outside my specialty/academic focus?
–Why just 10? (Why not 100 or 1,000 or two)?
–Shouldn’t my list be collaborative? Can anyone say anything of quality wholly on their own?
–Would this be better as a narrative list (even if such narratives seem artificial)?
–Should this list have one theme, since it could be seen as irresponsible to group together books that function in so many different ways for so many different audiences?
However, the educator in me eventually won out. Above all I find “best books lists”—problematic as they are—to be a great way to share excellent publications. So here’s my list—with brief rationalizations below them—in no particular order.