The perfect holiday gift can be as elusive as Santa Claus on Christmas Eve.
Before you give up and order fruitcakes for everyone, check out
these five great reads that can elevate your gift from ho-hum to Ho! Ho! Ho!
The Art of Pixar: The Complete Color Scripts and Select Art from 25 Years of Animation
by Amid Amidi
($50, Chronicle Books)
Movie fans and art lovers alike will appreciate this slow-motion stroll through the stunning color scripts behind Pixar’s blockbusters. Woody, Nemo, Lightning McQueen — the gang’s all here, in beautifully rendered detail.
Look, I Made a Hat: Collected Lyrics (1981-2011) with Attendant Comments, Amplifications, Dogmas, Harangues, Digressions, Anecdotes and Miscellany
by Stephen Sondheim
In his follow-up to last year’s best-selling Finishing the Hat, legendary composer Sondheim guides Broadway buffs through the second half of his career — hits (Sunday in the Park with George) and misses (Wise Guys) alike — in his signature smart, wry style.
Brewed Awakening: Behind the Beers and Brewers Leading the World’s Craft Brewing Revolution
by Joshua M. Bernstein
($25, Sterling Epicure)
What’s not to like about a book dubbed “the ultimate beer geek’s guide”? Reviews of 150 brews provide sipping suggestions to try as you pore over this fun, heady chronicle of craft beers’ past, present and future.
The Guitar Collection
by Walter Carter, Alan di Perna, Michael Molenda and Art Thompson
($1,500; Epic Ink)
Sure, you could buy a guitar (or make a mortgage payment) for the price of this limited-edition tribute to the top 150 axes of all time. Aficionados, however, will recognize that the passion and artistry behind this behemoth of a book mirror that of the musical legends — Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Buddy Holly and others — whose instruments are featured within
The Silver Spoon: Updated Edition by the editors of Phaidon Press
($50, Phaidon Press)
Foodies will salivate over this update to the revered 61-year-old bible of Italian cooking. The 2,000 recipes include not only familiar favorites such as papa al pomodoro but also contemporary creations from 23 celebrity chefs around the globe. Mangia!