Chickens are big these days, showing up in urban backyards and rooftops and in the pages of TreeHugger. But when you get out of the city, they are really big, with thousands of breeders, shows, a Standard of Perfection that goes back to 1874.
Photographer Tamara Staples has been documenting them for years, producing The Fairest Fowl in 2001 and updating and expanding it in 2013 as The Magnificent Chicken, with a fascinating essay by This American Life's Ira Glass.
As a city boy who never knew or cared much about chickens, what can I say other than this book just blew me away. Who knew that there was so much diversity, so much beauty, such a subculture of aficionados, such great photography, and such humor. About chickens.