A book to pick up again and again Sexy, yet down to earth. Practical, yet fun. A body that turns heads, but doesn't reek of pretension. A description of your dream date? Not exactly. These are the images conjured up by Justin Lukach's Pickup Trucks: A History of the Great American Vehicle. Part history lesson, part real-life love story, this glossy, picture-filled book pays homage to the hardworking, four-wheeled beauties that have been transformed from a farmer's best pal to a collector's fantasy find. Lukach documents the emergence of the pickup from its earliest beginnings in the hands of Henry Ford, up through 1999 models. His detailed research into the rise and fall of the vehicles' popularity speaks not just for the trucks themselves, but for the changing needs and desires of Americans over the past eight decades. Call it an education with a heart scattered throughout the pages are delightful, personal stories of pickup lovers whose infatuation leads them to spend years reconditioning their brawny-bumpered babies. By book's end, you'll be itching to take a drive in one of these royals of American culture.

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