21 Books That Make Great Gifts
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Best. Gifts. Ever.1 of 22
By Shannan Rouss
It's almost impossible to give a bad gift when it's a book. After all, a book (as in the non-digital kind) is thoughtful, it's personal, and it doesn't have to be too pricey. Here, 21 bookish ideas for everyone on your list.
For the Star Gazer2 of 22
Featuring majestic panoramic images of the red planet along with the tale of its origins and evolution, This Is Mars combines photography and science in a hefty 272-page tome.
SHOP NOW: This Is Mars, $63, amazon.com
For the SNL Groupie3 of 22
In addition to zany pics of your favorite funny people (like Tina Fey, Andy Samberg and Eddie Murphy), Comic Genius also includes hilarious first-person stories from the subjects.
SHOP NOW: Comic Genius: Portraits of Funny People, $30, amazon.com
For the Foodie4 of 22
This book about some of the most over-the-top meals and the people who love them will leave your try-anything-once foodie totally satisfied.
SHOP NOW: Anything That Moves: Renegade Chefs, Fearless Eaters, and the Making of a New American Food Culture, $22, amazon.com
For the Young Explorer5 of 22
Although made for kids age 7 to 10, anyone with a love of travel and curiosity about the world will appreciate the richly illustrated Maps, which includes details about various regions' history, cultural events, famous locals and much more.
SHOP NOW: Maps, $25, amazon.com
For the Anchorman-Obsessed6 of 22
There's one in every family—the guy who worships at the altar of Ron Burgundy. Give him this "shockingly candid" autobiography from the man, the myth, the legend.
SHOP NOW: Let Me Off at the Top: My Classy Life and Other Musings, $14, amazon.com
For the Retro Fiend7 of 22
Take a stroll down memory lane, all in rich, vivid color, with this tome of more than 400 photographs, including intimate portraits of movie stars, fashion editorials and glimpses of everyday life.
SHOP NOW: Elliott Erwitt's Kolor, $85, amazon.com
For the Storyteller8 of 22
These aren't your Disney-fied fairy tales. In this latest collection of Hans Christian Andersen's stories, readers will find the original, heartbreaking tellings "The Little Mermaid" and "The Ugly Duckling," along with artwork from the 1840s to the 1980s.
SHOP NOW: The Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen, $29, amazon.com
For the Sentimental Type9 of 22
By Tuesdays With Morrie author Mitch Albom, this new novel is sure to be a tearjerker. The story centers on the residents of a small town who start receiving phone calls from the afterlife and a grieving father who is skeptical, but desperate to believe.
SHOP NOW: The First Phone Call From Heaven: A Novel, $12, amazon.com
For the Romantic10 of 22
Francophiles with a weakness for love stories will relish this "family album," which offers behind-the-scenes access into the passionate romance between French singer-songwriter Serge Gainsbourg and British actress Jane Birkin.
SHOP NOW: Jane and Serge: A Family Album, $52, amazon.com
For the Jokester11 of 22
The whole family hanging in the hot tub? Dad dressed up as a wise man and Mom as Mary? Those are just a couple of the cringe-worthy pics in the laugh-out-loud book, Awkward Family Holiday Photos.
SHOP NOW: Awkward Family Holiday Photos, $10, amazon.com
For the Aspiring Photojournalist12 of 22
Untold: The Stories Behind the Photographs is a visual biography (including more than 100 color images) of photojournalist Steve McCurry, most famous for his unforgettable 1985 portrait of an Afghan girl.
SHOP NOW: Untold: The Stories Behind the Photographs, $42, amazon.com
For the Intellectually Curious13 of 22
Perhaps the next best thing to a complete tour of New Orleans, this book manages to capture the energy, history and complexity of the Big Easy.
SHOP NOW: Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas, $34, amazon.com
For the Constant Observer14 of 22
Based on the popular blog by Brandon Stanton, this new book introduces you to New York City's vast array of residents and visitors. Along with images of the people that Stanton meets, he includes pithy quotes that will amuse and encourage you.
SHOP NOW: Humans of New York, $18, amazon.com
For the Moody Teen15 of 22
This 72-page book of the poet's drawings, diary entries and letters will appeal to your niece who just read The Bell Jar and is going through her Sylvia Plath phase.
SHOP NOW: Sylvia Plath: Drawings, $20, amazon.com
For the Whimsical Bohemian16 of 22
Proof that picture books aren't just for kids: This colorfully illustrated travelogue will no doubt inspire a serious case of wanderlust.
SHOP NOW: Walk This World, $13, amazon.com
For the Amateur Mixologist17 of 22
Last year you gave him a martini shaker; this year surprise the cocktail connoisseur with this book featuring classic cocktails (like the Rob Roy and the Gibson), and the stories of how they came to be.
SHOP NOW: The Curious Bartender: The Artistry and Alchemy of Creating the Perfect Cocktail, $16, amazon.com
For the Film School Alum18 of 22
With this book, you can enter the endlessly imaginative mind of writer-director Guillermo del Toro, whose haunting films include Pan's Labyrinth and The Orphanage.
SHOP NOW: Guillermo del Toro Cabinet of Curiosities: My Notebooks, Collections, and Other Obsessions, $36, amazon.com
For the Softie19 of 22
Quirky and sentimental is the best way to describe Much Loved, a collection of 60 images of well-worn teddy bears, bunnies and other stuffed animals, along with the stories of their lives.
SHOP NOW: Much Loved, $14, amazon.com
For the Literary Buff20 of 22
Give your favorite English major this pack of five beautifully covered Fitzgerald classics, including The Beautiful and Damned, This Side of Paradise and (of course) The Great Gatsby.
SHOP NOW: F. Scott Fitzgerald Set, $195, juniperbooks.com
For the Fashionista21 of 22
This volume of 150 color and black-and-white images captures the post-glamazon, waif-era of the '90s, when grunge ruled and Kate Moss rose to fame.
SHOP NOW: Amber, Guinevere & Kate Photographed by Craig McDean, $100, rizzoli.com
For the Curmudgeon22 of 22
Give Scrooge a major mood boost with this inspiring and uplifting collection of heart-filled (literally) images from all over the world.
SHOP NOW: All the Love in the World, $9, amazon.com