With the tremendous popularity of the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, it's no surprise that these collections of scantily-clad swimwear-wearing women are making their way from magazines to coffee table books. Sports Illustrated Swimsuit: The Complete Portfolio is the latest collection, offering minimum words and maximum photos.

The format of this photo collection is pretty basic: a self-photo from a model, the photographer's comments on the model, several pages of the model's swimwear attire, then the model's comments on the photographer. It's a pretty simple and repetitive formula, and there are no surprises: The photographers talk about what makes the model exceptional, and the model says why the photographer is so talented.

But is anyone interested in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit: The Complete Portfolio for the words? This collection has 18 of Sports Illustrated's most recent swimsuit models (the most famous being Marisa Miller) in locations as varied as Maui, Israel, the Cayman Islands, St. Petersburg and Caneel Bay. Once your eyes get past the models, the natural beauty in each photograph shines through as well.

I'm not sure what makes this book "complete," as it seems more of a collection of their most recent models. (There are other collections with "superstars" of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit Issues from years past -- more for me to review!) As with the annual issue, the text here is pretty basic and an exchange of compliments between photographer and subject. That said, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit: The Complete Portfolio is a wonderful collection of truly beautiful photographs.

Overall grade: A-
Reviewed by James Lynch

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