From the explorer to the weirdo, here are Globe Books’ plentiful holiday picks for everyone in your life
For the explorer
The Canadian Geographic Atlas of Canada, (HarperCollins, 304 pages, $79) Constantly confusing St. John’s and Saint John? Wondering if Prince George is further north than Prince Rupert? This recently released guide to the true north includes historical maps, crisp satellite images, countless photos and contributions from the likes of Wade Davis, John Geiger, and Charlotte Gray.
You Are Here: Around the World in 92 Minutes, by Chris Hadfield (Random House Canada, 200 pages, $29.95) The long view of Earth, taken by Canada’s favourite astronaut. These shots are sublime, humbling and accompanied by informative text.
Atlas of Cities, edited by Paul Knox (Princeton University Press, 256 pages, $49.50) A lavish, exhaustive look at the history, transformation, and future of urban centres around the globe. The perfect book for the Richard Florida – who, coincidentally, wrote the foreword – in your life.
Great Maps: The World’s Masterpieces Explored and Explained, by Jerry Broton (DK, 256 pages, $26) This dense-yet-accessible survey of cartography, produced in partnership with the Smithsonian, traces maps from 1500 BCE to the present day. Google Maps will never look this good.
For the wannabe superhero
The Secret History of Wonder Woman, by Jill Lepore (Knopf, 432 pages, $35) The Harvard prof and New Yorker staff writer delves deep into the wildly entertaining backstory of Wonder Woman’s eccentric inventor and explores the optimistic promise (and eventual failure) of the feminism behind the superhero’s original creation.
Marvel Comics: 75 Years of Cover Art, by Alan Cowsill (DK, 319 pages, $52) An eye-popping collection of more than 500 covers traces the artistitc and thematic evolution of one of the world’s premier comics publishers, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year.
DC Comics A Visual History: Updated Edition, (DK, 376 pages, $55) Very similar to the above, but for those who prefer the Justice League over the Avengers.
For the aspiring chef
Cookbook Book, by Florian Böhm and Annahita Kamali (Phaidon, 320 pages, $65.95) A sampling – via photos of actual books and their layouts – of modern cookery history is a quirky coffee-table book. Recipes from The Mafia Cookbook, 1970, or Salvador Dali’s feast will be the talk of any dinner party.
Eating with the Chefs, by Per-Anders Jörgensen (Phaidon, 316 pages, $59.95) For the restaurant-kitchen fetishist, this globe-hopping book chronicles in excellent photography (and recipes) how kitchen staff eat when they’re cooking for each other on the job.
The Meat Cookbook, by Nicholas Fletcher (DK, 320 pages, $37) From roasting a suckling pig to preparing organ meat – yum? – this tome is a one-stop resource for cooking animals. Do not, under any circumstances, give this to a vegan.
Thug Kitchen, by Thug Kitchen (Anansi, 212 pages, $29.95) Imagine if your favourite vegan were a bro: That’s the Thug Kitchen vibe. A funny and foul-mouthed guide to healthy eating. Cauliflower never looked so good.
Bitter, by Jennifer McLagan (HarperCollins, 256 pages, $39.99) One of Canada’s most-acclaimed food writers turns her tongue to a woefully misunderstood and, she argues, underappreciated taste.
Made in Quebec, by Julian Armstrong (HarperCollins, 432 pages, $39.99) There’s more to Quebec than Au Pied de Cochon, as evidenced by this delectable culinary tour of la belle province.
Plenty More, by Yotam Ottolenghi (Appetite by Random House, 352 pages, $39.95) The British-Israeli restaurateur and bestselling cookbook author hits it out of the park again, with a collection of recipes so punchy and tasty that their meatlessness is a secondary consideration.
Bar Tartine: Techniques and Recipes, by Nicolaus Balla and Cortney Burns (Chronicle, 256 pages, $50) San Francisco’s Bar Tartine is known for its thoughtful, often profound cooking. This is great for the advanced chef in your life.
What to Bake and How to Bake It, by Jane Hornby (Phaidon, 240 pages, $39.95) Cupcakes. Pound cakes. Cookies. Scones. Bread. Muffins. Doughnuts. Pie. Profiteroles. Biscotti. Gorgeous and mouth-watering at the same time.
Toronto Cooks: 100 Signature Recipes from the City’s Best Restaurants, by Amy Rosen (Figure 1, 240 pages, $37.95) An impressive – and tasty! – collaboration between the rising and established stars who constitute the city’s increasingly impressive, and eclectic, restaurant scene.
For the kid (or kid-at-heart)
This Is the World: A Global Treasury, by M. Sasek (Universe, 234 pages, $35) An abridged collection of the Czech author and artist’s much-loved travel guides for children, though everyone in the family will enjoy Sasek’s timeless illustrations. Still super-informative, too, even if the places he wrote about are much different today.
The Story of Buildings, by Patrick Dillon and Stephen Biesty (Candlewick, 96 pages, $23) Perfect for junior architects, this educational introduction to the world of buildings features Biesty’s trademark cutaway illustrations.
For the shutterbug
Eden and After, by Nan Goldin (Phaidon, 384 pages, $100) Known for her rough-edged, raw work with troubling subjects, Goldin turns no less a sentimental eye to children and families. Creative and unorthodox work full of feeling.
The Open Road: Photography and the American Road Trip, by David Campany (Aperture, 336 pages, $65) A beautiful slice of Americana, as seen (appropriately enough) from the window of a passing car. From Walker Evans to Alex Soth, a compelling exploration of the photographic road trip as a genre.
Paris Magnum, edited by Eric Hazan (Flammarion, 304 pages, $65) The City of Lights through the years as captured through the lenses of some of the finest of the world’s photographers. The full texture of Paris is represented in images that manage to be both iconic and wholly original.
Beautiful Destruction, by Louis Helbig (Rocky Mountain Books, 304 pages, $75) Over 200 aerial photographs of the Alberta tar sands showcasing the environmental impact, along with a series of essays from thinkers as diverse as Ezra Levant and Elizabeth May, allow for an exploration of a hugely polarizing issue.
Photography: The Definitive Visual History, by Tom Ang (DK, 480 pages, $52) Starting in the 1800s and moving chronologically through to the present day, this exhaustive book serves as a primer for anyone interested in the evolution of one of the most ubiquitous art forms.
For the art lover
The Andy Warhol Diaries, edited by Pat Hackett (Twelve, 841 pages, $40) Other possible categories under which to file this book: Gossip; history of Manhattan, 1976-1987; Studio 54. Warhol’s childlike voice narrating the coke-fuelled antics of Mick and Bianca and Liza and Halston makes for oddly compelling reading. This is the book’s 25th anniversary.
33 Artists in 3 Acts, by Sarah Thornton (WW Norton, 352 pages, $31) Through a series of illuminating interviews, Thornton reveals what it means to be an artist right now. Entertaining conversations with Ai Weiwei, Cindy Sherman, Laurie Simmons and 30 more.
Sleep, by Ted Spagna (Rizzoli New York, 144 pages, $55) Spagna photographed his subjects sleeping, and displayed them in a time-lapse series, revealing our vulnerability and adventurousness as we go deep into inner space.
Mark Mothersbaugh: Myopia, edited by Adam Lerner (Princeton Architectural Press, 256 pages, $40) Former DEVO member Mothersbaugh is both a musician and a visual artist. A new book of his work – full of grotesques of various kind that pay homage to comic books, tintypes, and Dadaism – shows off his versatility.
The 21st-Century Art Book (Phaidon, 304 pages, $45.95) An inspiring and encyclopedic collection of contemporary artists. Large photos of installations in many media accompany text that illuminates the artwork.
Impressionism in Canada: A Journey of Rediscovery, by A.K. Prakash (Arnoldsche Art Publishers, 802 pages, $95) An enormous book tracing the influence of Impressionism on Canadian artists and culture, this massive tome features 650 (mostly-colour) illustrations.
Susan Point: Works on Paper, by Dale Croes, Susan Point, and Gary Wyatt (Figure 1, 184 pages, $29.95) A collection of works by Point, a printmaker and sculptor, revealing a fascinating synthesis of modern and traditional Coast Salish art.
Kim Dorland, by Katerina Antanass-Ova, Robert Enright, and Jeffrey Spalding (Figure 1, 176 pages, $45) Dorland’s paintings straddle the urban and the bucolic, but always charged with a nervous, hot-pink energy that both enlivens and unsettles the viewer. He was the Globe and Mail’s 2013 Artist of the Year.
Miguel Covarrubias: Drawing a Cosmopolitan Line, edited by Carolyn Kastner (University of Texas Press, 184 pages, $55 ) Covarrubias, a Mexican painter active from the twenties to the fifties, and known for his caricatures in Vanity Fair and the New Yorker, incorporated traditional indigenous art into his own hyper-linear, stylized illustrations.
Douglas Coupland: Everywhere Is Anywhere Is Anything Is Everything, edited by Daina Augaitis (Black Dog Publishing, 296 pages, $34.95) A monograph featuring Coupland’s relentlessly pop-culture visual art, with essays by Chuck Klosterman, Pico Iyer and other luminaries.
For the design junkie
Grafica Della Strada: The Signs of Italy, by Louise Filli (Princeton Architectural Press, 264 pages, $48) Hold on to your hats, typography maniacs. The photos of Italian signage in this book are unspeakably delightful – varied and off-beat and exciting. Over 400 colour illustrations.
Things Come Apart, by Todd McLellan (Thames & Hudson, 128 pages, $31.50). McLellan deconstructs items (lawnmowers, typewriters, fire extinguishers) into their constituent parts, first displaying them in chaos and then placing them into some kind of order. Mesmerizing.
Room: Inside Contemporary Interiors (Phaidon, 416 pages, $89.95) What happens when a panel of 10 international experts each nominate their 10 favourite interiors designers? You get this stunning survey of contemporary interior design.
Lego Architecture: The Visual Guide, by Philip Wilkinson (DK, 232 pages, $42) Ever wondered what the Leaning Tower of Pisa would look like if built by Lego blocks? Then this is the book for you.
My Favourite Things, by Maira Kalman (Harper Design, 160 pages, $43.50) Vivid, expressive artist Kalman paints more than 50 objects that are meaningful to her – some of them her own, some from the Cooper-Hewitt museum – and annotates them with her own charming prose.
Green: The History of a Colour, by Michel Pastoureau (Princeton University Press, 240 pages, $35) It ain’t easy being... a book about the colour green. Pastoureau shows us what green has signified at various points in various cultures, and the book illuminates the journey with its bright design.
About Time: A Visual Memoir Around the Clock, by Vahram Muratyan (Little, Brown, 224 pages, $24) A small book bursting with great design from the author of Paris Versus New York. This visual memoir is both minimalist and cheeky, with graphics to get lost in.
For the green thumb
Remarkable Plants That Shape Our World, by Helen and William Bynum (University of Chicago Press, 240 pages, $35) Botany for thoughtany! At every step in our day, we unwittingly rely on a variety of plants, from coffee to cotton. This book guides us through 80 of the most well-used species.
Flora Illustrata, edited by Susan M. Fraser and Vanessa Bezemer Sellers (Yale University Press, 296 pages, $50) An informative and often beautiful sampling of the over one million items from the collection of the LuEsther T. Mertz Library of the New York Botanical Garden.
The Gardener’s Garden (Phaidon, 480 pages, $89.95) Ridiculously enviable gardens are on display in this lavish, fat book that strays the world, on the lookout for the most inspiring green spaces.
Art Flowers: Contemporary Floral Design and Installations, by Olivier Dupon (Potter Style, 287 pages, $97) Almost 40 of the world’s leading flower arrangers – who knew? – present their work, most of which looks like it belongs in an art gallery.
For the fashion forward
Rookie Yearbook Three, edited by Tavi Gevinson (Razorbill, 353 pages, $35) Tavi Gevinson is your best guide to being a teenage girl, even if you are an adult. Her website, Rookie, gets condensed into print for the third year in a row. Drawings, photos, interviews and essays that are smart and hugely entertaining.
Men In This Town, by Giuseppe Santamaria (Hardie Grant, 271 pages, $19.95) What a nice li’l book of photos of dapper men captured in situ, on the streets of London, Tokyo, Sydney, Milan and New York. A text-light breath of fresh air.
Worn Stories, edited by Emily Spivack (Princeton Architectural Press, 160 pages, $29.95) Photos of an item of clothing are annotated with memoirs from a variety of people – Susan Orlean, Marina Abramovic, Greta Gerwig, Maira Kalman and many more. A plain buttondown shirt, a green sweater, a pair of legwarmers, all are suddenly seen in a new, more poignant light.
For the animal lover
Tales from Gombe, by Anup Shah and Fiona Rogers (Firefly, 324 pages, $69.95) A decade-in-the-making photographic chronicle of the chimpanzees of Gombe National Park in western Tanzania, made famous by primatologist Jane Goodall, among others.
The Book of Beetles, edited by Patrice Bouchard (University of Chicago Press, 656 pages, $55) No, not John, Paul, George and Ringo. The curator of Coleoptera – that’s, er, beetles – at the Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids and Nematodes has put together a colourful and comprehensive guide to the bug that makes up more than a quarter of the world’s animals.
The Passenger Pigeon, by Errol Fuller (Princeton University Press, 177 pages, $29.95) The heartbreaking illustrated history of a bird that, having once numbered in the billions, vanished from the planet in 1914. On the centenary of the species’ extinction Fuller, an expert on extinct birds, reflects on what we lost.
For the bartender
The Spirit of Gin: A Stirring Miscellany of the New Gin Revival, by Matt Teacher (Cider Mill Press, 364 pages, $29.95) This brick of a book, with an introduction by Arrigo Cipriani of Harry’s Bar, offers history, social history, contemporary craft distillers and recipes, all in a handsome embossed and illustrated edition.
The Beer Book, edited by Tim Hampson (DK, 352 pages, $26) Still unsure of the difference between stouts and porters? This book, which looks at over 1,700 beers, will leave you drunk on information.
For the musicologist
Negative: Me, Blondie, and the Advent of Punk, by Chris Stein (Rizzoli, 207 pages, $55) In the early seventies, Stein began capturing New York’s burgeoning punk scene. This handsome volume, like a time capsule, focuses mostly on the band Stein co-founded, Blondie, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. A window on an era the likes of which we won’t see again.
Jimmy Page, by Jimmy Page (Genesis, 512 pages, $74.95) A “photographic autobiography” that chronicles the life and times of the legendary Led Zeppelin guitarist.
Nick Drake: Remembered for a While, edited by Gabrielle Drake and Cally Callomon (Little, Brown, 448 pages, $45) Billed as “the authorized companion to the music of Nick Drake,” this comes just in time for the 40th anniversary of the cult singer-songwriter’s untimely death.
The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Ten Songs, by Greil Marcus (Yale University Press, 320 pages, $31.25): Marcus, who was one of the first pop/rock reviewers to come to prominence, tells the history of rock ’n’ roll in ten songs. They are not the ten songs you might expect, but it’s possible that therein lies the book’s merit.
For the bookworm
Novel Interiors: Living in Enchanted Rooms Inspired by Literature, by Lisa Borgnes Giramonti (Potter Style, 287 pages, $41) Basically, a bunch of really great interiors – the literary linking device is a bit of a reach but who cares, the rooms are lovely.
The Thing The Book: A Monument to the Book as Object, (Chronicle, 156 pages, $48) Starlee Kine, Jonathan Lethem, David Shrigley, Miranda July and a ton more cool, smart people (well, 26 more, specifically) address the topic of “What Is A Book?” in this collaborative group art project.
The Art of the English Murder, by Lucy Worsley (Pegasus Crime, 336 pages, $32) An inspired title for those on the list for whom inspectors Foyle, Gently, Barnaby and Morse are familiar and beloved sleuths. The cult following English historian and TV presenter investigates the 19th century true-crime roots, Penny Dreadfuls and subsequent fictional development of the whodunit obsession that Canadians have also been known to enjoy, from Jack the Ripper to Alfred Hitchcock.
The New Annotated H.P. Lovecraft, edited by Leslie S. Klinger (Liveright, 280 pages, $46) A comprehensive study of one of the often-misunderstood fathers of modern horror.
Remembrance, by Alistair MacLeod (McClelland & Stewart, 47 pages, $19.95) We lost one of the country’s finest writers in 2014. His final story is now published in this handsome hardcover edition.
The David Foster Wallace Reader (Little, Brown, 963 pages, $39) For Foster Wallace, the world was a puzzle of infinite intricacy and in his attempts to understand it, he gave us some of the best writing of our time. A collection of fiction, non-fiction and ephemera, funny and heartbreaking all at once.
The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of The Brothers Grimm: The Complete First Edition, edited by Jack Zipes (Princeton University Press, 519 pages, $35) Who wouldn’t want to read a story called The Singing Bone? 156 fables – their collected works – newly translated but easily just as creepy and weird.
For the cinephile
Criterion Designs (Criterion, 306 pages, $109.99) For film freaks and geeks, a thirtieth anniversary look at the graphic design of movie edition covers from the New York art-house distributor The Criterion Collection, including alternate versions and abandoned concepts.
James Bond Encyclopedia: Updated Edition, by John Cork and Collin Stutz (DK, 351 pages, $42) All you ever wanted to know, and then some, about Agent 007.
Styling the Stars: Lost Treasures from the Twentieth Century Fox Archive, by Angela Cartwright and Tom McLaren (Insight Editions, 304 pages, $93.95) This wonderful collection of never-before-seen archival hair, makeup and wardrobe continuity photos show the candid side of the otherwise tightly controlled publicity around the Old Hollywood stars of 20th Century Fox – Audrey Hepburn, Clark Gable, Paul Newman, Cary Grant and more.
Altman, by Kathryn R. Altman and Guilia D’Agnolo Vallan (Abrams, 336 pages, $45) An authorized visual biography by the iconic director’s widow, featuring contributions from an appropriately wide cast of characters.
For the weirdo
The Unified Field, by David Lynch (University of California Press, 160 pages, $39.95) Do you really want to know more about the inside of Lynch’s head? It’s what you would expect: partly coarse, smeary paintings that inexplicably horrify, partly careful drawings of humans whose whole faces are just a nose … you know, that kind of thing.
Crap Taxidermy, by Kat Su (Ten Speed Press, 95 pages, $15.99) A mouse unzipping its own skin to reveal a Superman shirt beneath? A squirrel containing a bottle from which to pour your chosen libation? An ocelot whose badly positioned eyes give it the air of understanding the atrocities visited upon it in the name of taxidermy? All here in this horrifying little book.
Geek Art, by Thomas Olivri (Chronicle, 416 pages $48) Over 100 illustrators, photographers, and graphic designers transform the touchstones of nerd culture into works of art.
Texts from Jane Eyre, by Mallory Ortberg (Henry Holt, 226 pages, $26.99) Ortberg is possibly the only person alive who could have reimagined conversations between famous fictional characters as texts and made it something that’s actually LOL-worthy and intelligent.
The Pythons Autobiography, by the Pythons (Orion, 360 pages, $32) In their own words, how the six men who redefined (and improved) British humour met and gave birth to their inspired comedy show. Phew, made it through the blurb without making a parrot joke.
The Onion Magazine: The Iconic Covers that Transformed an Undeserving World, edited by Cole Bolton (Little, Brown, 261 pages, $29) Sometimes sly social commentary, sometimes just stupidly funny, a collection of the covers of fictional magazines from satirical news organization The Onion have a cumulatively hilarious effect.
Creatures of the Deep: In Search of the Sea’s Monsters and the World They Live In, by Erich Hoyt (Firefly, 290 pages, $39.95) Some of these could have doubled as imagined horrors lurking in David Lynch’s mind. Frightening fish that are 90 per cent jaws; a leering, Cyclopean-seeming sea cucumber; and a sentient tube. Happy Holidays!