Still haven't crossed off all the people on your list? Worry not. We've put together the be-all, end-all (or, at least, pretty darned good) guide to 2006 books to satisfy any and all people you haven't shopped for yet. We've devoured every book on the list, so you can shop secure in the knowledge that we'd give these books to our own listees as well. How much do you love us now? By Jenna Schnuer


For folks who like to learn about stuff they didn't know they were interested in:

A Keeper of Bees: Notes on Hive and Home
by Allison Wallace (Random House, $24
Wallace takes readers under the helmet to deliver a sweet explanation of all things bee.

The Cloudspotter's Guide: The Science, History, and Culture of Clouds
by Gavin Pretor-Pinney (Perigee Trade, $20): It's a book about clouds. But it's funny. And it's got cool pictures. Sixth-grade science teachers, take note!

Ambitious Brew: The Story of American Beer
by Maureen Ogle (Harcourt, $25)
While researching the book, Ogle learned that the drink's history is as interesting as a finely crafted stout.



For people who just want to look at a (really) pretty picture or two:

One Planet: A Celebration of Biodiversity
by Nicolas Hulot (Harry N. Abrams, $55)
This photo book takes you up close, really close, to an astonishing array of creatures, people around the globe, and landscapes so beautiful that it's hard to believe they're real. But they are.

A Photographer's Life: 1990-2005
by Annie ­Leibovitz (Random House, $75)
Though many of the images are familiar, the famed portrait photographer's work has never seemed quite so intimate.

Bird Songs: 250 North American Birds in Song
by Les Beletsky (Chronicle Books, $45)
There are loads of lovely illustrations of birds inside - and the birds seem to come to life as you call up every one of their songs on the digital audio player that comes attached to the book.



For people hankering for a new destination

America's Parks
by Philippe Bourseiller (Harry N. Abrams, $55)
Every photo is instant inspiration for trips - now and long into the future.

Inés of My Soul: A Novel
by Isabel Allende (Harper­Collins, $26)
Allende always delivers. This time, it's with an enchanting historical fiction about Chile.

Four Quarters of Light: An Alaskan Journey
by Brian Keenan (Broadway, $14)
Keenan didn't just keep dreaming about moving from his home in Ireland to Alaska (it was a Jack London-inspired thing), he actually did it, taking along his wife and kids.



For frequent travelers who like variety but don't want to schlep too many books (or for people with short attention spans)

The Intellectual Devotional: Revive Your Mind, Complete Your Education, and Roam Confidently with the Cultured Class
by David S. Kidder and Noah D. Oppenheim (Rodale Books, $23)
With 365 mini-lessons on a wide variety of topics, it's never been so easy to learn something new every day.

The Paris Review Interviews, Vol. I
(Picador, $16)
Parker, Vonnegut, Didion - you can't lose.

This I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women
Edited by Jay Allison and Dan Gediman
(Henry Holt and Co., $23)
This is a must for anybody who listens to the NPR series of the same name - or anybody who likes to find out what's on the minds of all the people they pass in a given day.