By the Book: Writers on Literature and the Literary Life from The New York Times Book Review
Edited by Pamela Paul
$28.00, 336 pp.
A collection of interviews asking 65 leading writers about the usual suspects (their craft, their influences, and other writers they admire) although each interview is filled with more detailed questions that illuminate a particular’s work. Perfect for the book lover on your list.
By Philip Jodidio
$69.99, 464 pp.
Don’t turn to Cabins for ideas about constructing a traditional log cabin, or a traditional cabin of any kind. Architecture writer Jodidio gathers images of the world’s most progressively designed small residences, from Nagano, Japan to the West Texas desert. Read Cabins from page one to its final page: you’ll be continually wowed, page after page, by the odd, cozy, boxy little buildings.
By Danny Clinch
$50, 296 pp.
Photographer Danny Clinch manages to get inside musicians’ moods and minds. Green Day, REM, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Tupac and Beyoncé let down their guard around him (okay, maybe not Beyoncé so much). For the music lover on your list (or anyone you think needs to brush up on the cool).
The Graphic Canon of Children’s Literature
Edited by Russ Kick
$38.95, 480 pp.
This funky book’s title shouldn’t persuade you to give it to a 7-year-old; one of the classic tales visualized here, “Little Red Riding Hood,” features our heroine bedding down with the wolf. Veteran anthologist Kick asked some of today’s most compelling graphic novelists and comics creators to reimagine classic kid’s stories; the result is a notably vibrant and fun recollection of the tales we used to be told.
My Portugal: Recipes and Stories, George Mendes
By Genevieve Ko, photos by Romulo Yanes
$35, 256 pp.
Mendes is the revered chef behind New York’s Aldea restaurant. In My Portugal, he relishes the fact that Portugal is the gateway to many Mediterranean cuisines, and this cookbook feels like it emanates from several nations. The recipes range from simple (Garlic Seared Shrimp) to elaborate (Venison in Juniper-Pepper Crust).
Oxford Atlas of the World
$89.95, 448 pp.
This is the 21st year this mammoth’s been published and it keeps getting better and better. Updated annually, the Atlas reflects recent political shifts that affect the geography of nations (this year, that means that the Atlas reflects the shifting borders between Crimea and Ukraine, and between Crimea and Russia). Flipping through this book is a lush experience, with new satellite imagery and more maps and graphs than you thought imaginable. Reading the Atlas is a little trip around the globe.
Liquid Intelligence: The Art and Science of the Perfect Cocktail
By Dave Arnold
$35, 416 pp.
If there’s an obsessive mixologist (or mixologist wannabe) on your list, this is the book for him or her. Arnold is the former director of culinary technology at the French Culinary Institute and the co-owner of high-tech cocktail bar Booker and Dax. How to create bubble-free ice and mastering the mysteries of liquid nitrogen and dry ice are some of the topics but this book is clearly illustrated. And there’s a helpful section for readers who just want to make some good drinks, science be damned.