Usually when we pick up a new design book, it's the photos that grab us. The text is secondary, and we glance at it only when we're curious about what city an apartment is in, or whether the homeowner is the actual artist of a painting shown in a living room. It was a bit different when we discovered Simply Contemporary: Inspirations for the Modern Home. Solvi dos Santos' photos are always a pleasure to look at. But in this case, the text is actually equally as entrancing. Henrietta Thompson tells the stories behind each of the 28 homes included, allowing us a peek into the lives of the people who live there. In Simply Contemporary, the spaces are not sleek and minimal. They're homes that range from a Parisian apartment to a rented New York loft to a Danish houseboat. They're individual, eclectic, and very real. The book is refreshing; it shows that people's homes are best when they reflect their personalities and include what they love -- a mix of old and new, form and function.