YOSEMITE: A LANDSCAPE OF LIFE , photographs by Jay Mather, text by Dale Maharidge, (The Yosemite Assn . /The Sacramento Bee: $14.95). This handsome volume is being issued in conjunction with the centennial of the park. Dale Maharidge's pleasant, readable essays describe the beauties and problems of Yosemite, especially the efforts to preserve some of its pristine glory, despite the presence of more than 3 million visitors each year. Maharidge takes an optimistic view, although it's debatable just how "wild" any area of the park remains. Jay Mather's splendid and occasionally vertiginous photographs complement the prose and vice versa, but the most inspiring section of the book focuses not on the beauties of the mountains and trees but on the courage of ranger Mark Wellman (pictured above), who, with the assistance of climber Mike Corbett, became the first paraplegic to scale the sheer granite face of El Capitan.