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Books Make Good Presents For The Hard-To-Buy-For People On Your List

Michael Spooneybarger/CREO
Books for Brandy’s Christmas 2016 Book review Tuesday, November 29, 2016 in Pensacola, Florida.";


Coffee table books are the perfect solution for hard-to-buy-for people on anyone’s holiday gift list. Why? Because titles cater to specific interests, and they are packed with history, facts, trivia, photographs, illustrations, graphics, lists and bibliographies that lead to even more sources of fun and enlightening information.  Other advantages of big books as gifts? If you pick the right title for the right person, size isn’t a problem, and books are guaranteed for year-round use.  Here are some of the stand-out choices for the 2016 shopping season.

  • “Atlas Obscura: An Explorers Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders.” This must-have for any arm-chair traveler, is a print version of the crowdsourced online compendium site that opens a window to out-of-the way-places around the world. With more than 600 especially odd places around the globe, it is a travel guide meant to inspire “wonderlust as much as wanderlust,” according to the authors.
  • Destinations include dazzling glowworm caves in New Zealand, a baobab tree in South Africa that’s so large it has a pub inside where 15 people can drink comfortably and M.C. Escher-like stepwells in India. Besides these oddball places, there are weird happenings like the Baby Jumping Festival in Spain where men dressed in costumes vault over rows of squirming infants. And in addition to the festivals there are attractions to visit such as the weather forecasting invention that is powered by leeches, which is on display in Devon, England.
  • “The Complete Adventures of Curious George: 75th Anniversary Edition.” Margaret and H.A. Rey’s curious little monkey turns 75, and the publishers at Houghton Mifflin publishers celebrate with a commemorative edition. It includes all seven original classics and a scrapbook style biography of the authors.
  • “Explorer’s Botanical Notebook: In the Footsteps of Theophrastus, Marco Polo, Linnaeus, Flinders, Darwin, Speke and Hooker” presents a map of the person’s travels, information about their lives, detailed notes on what they uncovered, photographs of original plant samples and hand-written notes. Historians and green thumb enthusiasts will love exploring the contents of this book. It starts with the first female pharaoh of Egypt and continues through Francis Halle’s expedition to Madagascar in 1996.
  • “The Useful Book: 201 Life Skills They Used to Teach in Home Ec and Shop.” Want to know how to boil water? Google it and get several million answers, including boil water notices from towns with water main problems. “The Useful Book” gives you four straightforward paragraphs. This book includes cooking, sewing, laundry, cleaning, home repairs, woodworking, plumbing, electrical and auto maintenance. In short, it’s everything you never bothered to learn because Mom and Dad did it for you.
  • “Play It Loud: An Epic History of the Style, Sound & Revolution of the Electric Guitar.” From Les Paul to Chuck Berry and B.B. King through Hendrix, Townsend, Clapton, Beck, Page, Allman, Vaughan, Cobain and Van Halen with their vintage Gibsons, Fender Stratocasters and Telecasters, Rickenbackers, Gretsches, Gruhns JEMS and more up to Jack White and his plastic Montgomery Ward Airline, “Play It Loud” is a dynamic and readable history of the instrument and its players.
  • “Bob Dylan: The Lyrics 1961-2012.” The title says it all about the contents of this book. Read it and see why he won the 2016 Noble Prize in Literature. This is a comprehensive and definitive collection of the iconic songwriter’s work.   

This article is part of a collaboration between WUWF and the UWF Center for Research and Economic Opportunity.