Books are wonderful. An extraordinary book can leave a lasting impression, motivate you, teach you something new, or simply take you to another place. Books can be a romantic gesture, but they also are interesting and fun gift ideas for just about anyone based on their interests or goals. So while books aren’t one size fits all, the books I have suggested here make affordable, interesting, and extraordinary gift ideas. Buy them online and you don’t have to fight the crowds. Or, visit your neighborhood bookstore.
For the Fashionista and Photography Fans:
Do you know someone who loves ’90’s style? The 90’s by Thierry Le Goues with a preface by Carla Bruni (PowerHouse Books /June 27, 2023) is a show-stopping book of mainly black and white photos shot by Thierry Le Goues . Some of the images are startling, featuring models you might know. there are nudes and fashion shoots and gold-washed models, groups, and Mick Jagger in a white suit between two cars. When I opened the package I immediately had to see and appreciate every page.
Who is Thierry Le Goues?
Thierry Le Gouès was one of the top innovative fashion photographers in the 90’s. Now, he has put together some of his top fashion and editorial work that highlights what was hot in the 90s. He made fashion stars out models such as Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Stephanie Seymour, Carla Bruni, Amber Valletta, Eva Herzigova, Kristen McMenamy, Yasmeen Ghauri, Helena Christensen, and more.
I could go on and on about this stunning book, but there are also more extraordinary books to consider in this story. This 10″ x 12″ by 13.5″ hardbound book is a little luxury at $40 on Amazon that will make a major impact on the coffee table.
The Greatest Minds Tackle the Quantum World:
What is Quantum Physics?
Gift This Gorgeous Book By Simen Johan:
If you are looking for a unique and beautiful coffee table book Simen Johan by Simen Johan (March, 2023, Edelweis Books) is a great choice. Celebrated uncanny animal portraits, otherworldly landscapes, and psychologically-charged narrative natural scenes, from an award-winning, internationally exhibiting artist, and a pioneer in digital image-making.
From the realistic to the fanciful, the artistry is astounding. This beautiful, substantial, and extraordinary book represents 15 years of the artist’s career. You will be transfixed by (sometimes off) but beautiful animal portraits, otherworldly landscapes, and natural scenes of depth and beauty, The large 84-page hardbound book *14.2 in H | 11.5 in W | 0.8 in T | 3.6 lb Wt) is worth it’s wow! factor for $75 Get this book
Go Back to the Gilded Age With This Cookbook:
Cookbooks are a window into delights you might never thought of making. It’s almost like being an armchair or time traveler to look at a cookbook. One that takes you back to the Victorian Age is The Gilded Age Cookbook: Recipes and Stories From America’s Golden Era by Becky Libourel Diamond (Globe Pequot, August 2023). The hardbound book is not just full of recipes from back in the day, it’s full of amazing photos showing the recipes and also the excess and glitz of that era. Some of the recipes seem quaint, the settings with lavish banquet tables groaning with food and displays that would rival anything you would find today.
What is the Gilded Age?
The Gilded Age in the United States was the period between 1877 and 1900. It was a term coined by Mark Twain. “Robber baron” is a term used to describe men during the Gilded Age who were successful industrialists. Often their business practices were considered ruthless or unethical. The likes of Andrew Carnegie, Cornelius Vanderbilt, and John D. Rockefeller were among these wealthy men. However, it was their wives who were required to entertain and move up the social ladder (if they could),
The Gilded Age Cookbook accurately depicts the incredible excesses in food, entertainment, women’s issues, politics, and life in general. I loved this cookbook more for the information about the Gilded Age than the recipes, but some of these recipes (e.g. easy peanut cookies, strawberry shortcake) are sure to tempt you. You can find this hardbound book for $35 Get This Book
DIY Organic Beauty:
Do you know someone (or are you) and DIY-er? Organic Beauty: An Illustrated Guide to Making Your Own Skincare by Mary Godas (Rizzoli September 2023). This is a book full of information to help you make your own skincare. Organic is a must-have for some people, but clean beauty can be pricey. Mary Godas provides a soup-to-nuts guide to how you can make cosmetics from the plants in your own backyard (or at least from the market). The illustrations are playful and appealing.
A Big Difference:
However, there is a big difference between natural, vegan-certified organic, and clean beauty. While I applaud do it yourself, keep in mind that whatever you make must be used up fairly quickly (read: How to Protect Yourself From The Hidden Dangers of Contaminated Beauty Products.
That said, there are so many tempting things you can make at home with just a silicone muffin pan or a clean bottle. For safety’s sake, I would just make sure that everything is sterile and if I were making a gift for someone (e.g. Effervescent Bath Bombs Page 80) I’d tuck a note into the gift about how to store the product and its shelf life. At just $25 this book is a great gift, especially for those on a budget, or who just like making things. Get This Book.
How to Be More Like the French:
French Girl is the “It” look of the Fall season. But real French girls go for classics more than trendy. Not so much the expensive couture worn in the TV show Emily in Paris. If you want to embrace the Joi de Vivre of French life get How to Be French: Eat, Drink, Dress, Travel and Love La Vie Francaise by Janine Marsh (Smith Street Books October 31, 2023).
The first thing I noticed was the photos. It’s hard not to feel wistful that you’re not in France when you see the gardens, cafes, quaint streets, art, and more. Life for the average person in France isn’t quite the rose-tinted portrait in this book. That said, there is a different mentality (as the author says) to “stop and smell the roses” more in France than in most other countries.
What Makes the French, French?
A beret and a striped shirt don’t make you any more French than you like cheese. Living the French way might be difficult for many. The book is full of basic information. However, if you adopt even some of the French “Savoir Faire” you can have more fun, more love, and more joy. For starters though, do wear a scarf with everything, and slow down enough to savor a coffee or a glass of wine at a cafe. It’s a cute book and at $19 a great gift for everyone on your list.
Gift the Knowledge of Norse Mythology:
How much do you know about Norse Mythology? Immerse yourself in a world of Vikings to Valkyries in the book Norse Mythology: The Gods, Goddesses, and Heroes Handbook by Kelsey A. Fuller-Shafer Ph.D. Illustrated by Sara Richard. (Adams Media, September 2023). There are 40 different profiles of basically the “whose who” of old Norse Mythology. Find out who is naughty and who is nice. Mostly, they’re fierce, but hey, mythology is full of strange people and creatures.
This book could have read like an academic thesis, but it doesn’t. The writing is direct and user-friendly with fabulous color illustrations. After each section/story, there is a “Now You Know” section to help you get more perspective. If you want a book to take your mind off your bad day, this is the one! And it’s just $15 in hardcover for gifting. Buy This Book.
Give the Gift of Inspiration:
Inspire Someone with Warrior Wisdom, Over 200 Inspirational Quotes from the Greatest Military Leaders arranged by Nick Benas, USMC. (Hatherleigh Press 2023). There is a whole lot of good stuff in this slim book. Take the advice of heroes of the ancient world to Generals and Military men and women of today. Perusing all the quotes, I often wondered “Why didn’t I think of that?!”
Most of the quotes are not so much about war or military might. Mostly you’ll find ideas about how to be a good leader, how to communicate, be courageous, motivated, resilient, and more. You can get it for a mere $12.50 in hardcover. Read just a few quotes a day and they might help you to reach greatness! It’s a great gift book for just about everyone. Buy This Book