Does one really need an excuse to look at beautiful women wearing swimsuits? The answer to this will determine your reaction to the latest Sports Illustrated collection Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Portfolio: The Explorers Edition.

There are two versions of this collection: a 192-page coffee table edition and a 144-page magazine version. Both books feature the same 19 swimsuit models, photographed by the same five photographers, from the most recent Sports Illustrated annual swimsuit issue.
The "explorers" theme behind this collection is the exotic locales that are the settings for the photographs. Of course, all the swimsuit shoots are in exotic locations, so this is as rare as a baseball game being played at a baseball stadium. It's simply an excuse to show off these women wearing next to nothing.

While there may not be a compelling theme behind this collection, there's certainly nothing wrong with the result. As always, the models are lovely and the photography is very well done. (And yes, the locales are stunning as well, suiting the models.) The coffee table edition is superior to the magazine edition -- having a few more photos of each model and bigger pages -- but the magazine version is more affordable. If you picked up the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue earlier in the year you'll already have most (all?) of these photos already; but if you're looking for a collection of beautiful women in beautiful places, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Portfolio: The Explorers Edition is another compilation of loveliness.
Overall grade: B+
Reviewed by James Lynch

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