The Iconic House: Architectural Masterworks Since 1900 (Thames & Hudson, $65), by Dominic Bradbury, presents a survey of the most significant modern houses of the past 100 years—buildings that served as a testing ground for experimental concepts and helped launch or catalyze the careers of the architects who designed them. Beginning with a look at the historical and social motivations behind epoch-making residential architecture, the house surveys 20 of the most important early examples of modern design, then moves chronologically through 80 additional houses. Ideal for lovers of iconic modern design, the book describes not only the context of each house and the relationship between architecture and client, but also discusses the pivotal role each house played in the development of its architect's career and of architecture in general.

Design generalists might love Glimmer: How Design Can Transform Your Life and Maybe Even the World (The Penguin Press, $27.95) by journalist Warren Berger. Exploring the way great designers think, Berger shows how applying principles of design and being open to reinventing everything can help solve the greatest challenges faced by individuals, businesses, and society at large. Berger delves into the minds of visionary designers Bruce Mau, Yves Behar, Stefan Sagmeister, Marianne Cusato, and Dean Kamen. Berger also discusses a growing grassroots "glimmer movement," in which everyday people are emerging as designers and problem solvers.

Perspectives on Design Minnesota and Perspectives on Design Pacific Northwest (both by Panache Partners, $40) survey the work of the most talented architects, home builders, design specialists, and artisans in these two very different regions. The books offer a pictorial journey through the creation of a dream home, from concept to construction and finishing touches. The practitioners featured share their wisdom, experience, and advice on designing and building a home that captivates, comforts, and expresses the individuality of its owners.

Encourage alternatives to traditional water-hogging, time-consuming residential lawns with The American Meadow Garden (Timber Press, $34.95) by ornamental grass expert and garden designer John Greenlee. Drawing on the idea of a meadow as a miniature ecosystem made up of regionally appropriate grasses and colorful perennials, Greenlee maintains that prairie-style landscapes provide a safe, nature-friendly, low-maintenance, and resource-efficient way to create livable spaces around homes. Greenlee details the practicalities of site preparation, plant selection, and maintenance, and helpfully explains how ornamental grasses perform in different climates and areas of the country.

Visit your favorite e-tailer or local bookstore to purchase any of these titles.