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Ten Can't Miss Gift Books

When only a book will do for the one and only in your life, choose one, three, or all of these, and make it a holiday they will always remember.


Book Cover Janette Jenkins
Europa Editions
Softcover $15.00 (156pp)

From his beloved hillside retreat in Jamaica, superstar novelist Noel Coward and his manservant drink and smoke and grumble their way through delightful memories of glamorous friends, celebrity gone wild and crazy, and a London town that is gone forever.

A Stitch in Air

Book Cover Lori Marie Carlson
Texas Tech University Press
Softcover $24.95 (256pp)

Yes, the Inquisition had its lighter side. This acerbic novel is set in a Spanish convent inhabited by disgruntled, existentially exercised nuns—who do have a purpose on earth, it turns out.

A History of Political Ideas: From Antiquity to the Middle Ages

Book Cover Philippe Nemo
Kenneth Casler, translator
Duquesne University Press
Softcover $36.00 (665pp)

Context, grasshopper, adds depth and legitimacy to our grasp of 21st century politics. This masterful, approachable work will bring Plato and Cicero and Saint Paul as close as Reagan and Clinton and Obama.

The Modern Art Cookbook

Book Cover Mary Ann Caws
Reaktion Books
Hardcover $39.00 (330pp)

Much we can intuit when we know what someone et—Cezanne and Picasso revered the perfectly prepared omelette, and here’s their recipes to prove it. Beautiful food art, quirky artist recipes, and dinner table gossip make this book an epicurean treat.

Winter Cocktails: Mulled Ciders, Hot Toddies, Punches, Pitchers, and Cocktail Party Snacks

Book Cover Maria del Mar Sacasa
Tara Striano
Quirk Books
Hardcover $22.95 (160pp)

What better way to warm up than from the inside out. Fifty inviting, beautifully photographed drink recipes—just muddle then cuddle the winter blues away.

The Secret Museum: Some Treasures Are Too Precious to Display

Book Cover Molly Oldfield
Firefly Books
Hardcover $35.00 (352pp)

The world’s greatest museums necessarily hide thousands of objects that are too rare, too valuable, or too fragile to exhibit. This delightfully informative art book guides us to forgotten treasures around the world.

Colette’s France: Her Life and Loves

Book Cover Jane Gilmour
Hardie Grant Books
Hardcover $34.95 (220pp)

A legendary French writer, radical, and provocateur, Colette epitomized Belle Epoque Paris. Her beauty and brilliance are captured strikingly in this artful, sensual biography.

The Art of American Book Covers, 1875-1930

Book Cover Richard Minsky
George Braziller
Softcover $24.95 (136pp)

In the 1870s, Americans began buying books as prestigious decorative objects (as well as literature), and publishers invested grandly in top artists and expensive production methods. The one-hundred-plus covers herein are stunning works of art.

Lonely Planet’s Beautiful World

Book Cover Lonely Planet
Hardcover $39.99 (224pp)

Nature photography at its highest level serves to both overwhelm our senses and deepen our relationship with this planet, our home. To describe this book as anything less than the end-all coffee-table book would be an injustice.

Art and Place: Site-Specific Art of the Americas

Book Cover Phaidon Press
Hardcover $79.95 (376pp)

Five hundred professional photographs of jaw-dropping artworks that were conceived and created for a particular location, from Canada to Patagonia.

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