Keith Staskiewicz, Stephan Lee, and Shirley Li
December 13, 2013 AT 05:00 AM EST

Pop Culture
The CG Story
Christopher Finch
(bn.com, $56)
Finch traces computer-generated imagery from Lucas and Spielberg to the Pixar revolution and beyond.

Movie Storyboards
Fionnuala Halligan
(amazon.com, $31)
This collection of sketches celebrates the artists whose early illustrations helped turn the dreams of visionaries like Hitchcock and Kubrick into reality.

The Noble Approach
Tod Polson
(amazon.com, $30)
A detailed survey of the animation genius of Maurice Noble (Snow White, The Phantom Tollbooth) is as enlightening as any text on the art form.

The Onion Book of Known Knowledge
The Onion
(bn.com, $12)
Everyone’s favorite satirists tackle subjects ranging from Cat Person to Catherine the Great with their trademark snark in encyclopedic form.

Star Trek: The Original Topps Trading Card Series
Paula M. Block & Terry J. Erdmann
(amazon.com, $16)
The series’ 88 trading cards and 22 stickers are reprinted for the first time since their debut in 1976.

The Superman Files
Matthew K. Manning
(amazon.com, $47)
This illustrated pastiche of all things Kal-El and Clark Kent is perfect for any real Man of Steel enthusiast.

The Wizard of Oz: The Official 75th Anniversary Companion
Jay Scarfone & William Stillman
(amazon.com, $21)
Jump over the rainbow with inside stories from the classic film.

Art
ABC
Damien Hirst
(bn.com, $16)
H is for Hirst, whose fans can flip through his works in this meant-for-grown-ups board book.

Art Deco
Norbert Wolf
(amazon.com, $57)
A rich exploration of the art form’s history and cultural influence.

Art & Place
Editors of Phaidon
(amazon.com, $50)
Great art isn’t just in museums — it’s outdoors, too, on private property and in public spaces.

Art Studio America
Hossein Amirsadeghi, ed.
(amazon.com, $62)
In-depth Q&A’s and behind-the-scenes photos capture the essence of modern art in this collection.

Chihuly
Diane Charbonneau, ed.
(amazon.com, $47)
This visual treat is packed with dazzling photos of the artist’s glass sculptures.

Maurice Sendak
Justin Schiller
(amazon.com, $32)
Schiller celebrates Sendak’s legacy with full-color images of his artwork as well as essays by his friends and colleagues.

The Vatican
Anja Grebe
(amazon.com, $47)
Take a tour of the Vatican with this trove of glossy photos and annotations on every masterpiece.

Photo
Area
Eric & Jennifer Goode
(amazon.com, $47)
A nostalgic peek at the glittery ’80s nightclub.

The Big Picture
Josh Sapan
(amazon.com, $19)
A chronicle of America’s obsession with panoramic photography.

Hollywood in Kodachrome
David Wills & Stephen Schmidt
(bn.com, $27)
The stars of movies’ golden age are rendered in the vibrant hues of Kodachrome.

Humans of New York
Brandon Stanton
(bn.com, $18)
Snapshots of ordinary New Yorkers tell the story of the entire city.

Ingrid Bergman
Isabella Rossellini & Lothar Schirmer, eds.
(amazon.com, $92)
Culled from family archives, this is a lavish journey through the actress’ life.

Paul Chesley
Paul Chesley with Keith Lorenz
(amazon.com, $42)
Stunning work from the longtime National Geographic photographer.

Maps
Aleksandra Mizieli´ski & Daniel Mizieli´ska
(bn.com, $20)
Not exactly your library’s world atlas. These maps, illustrated in distinctive style by the authors, denote the culture and history of a place rather than its exact coordinates.

Literature
The Best American Comics 2013
Jeff Smith, ed.
(bn.com, $17)
The tone of this graphic compilation ranges from searing realism to zany fun.

The Hobbit
J.R.R. Tolkien
(amazon.com, $22)
In the age of high frame rates, artist Jemima Catlin supplies the Middle-earth tale with winningly old-fashioned illustrations.

The Little Prince
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
(amazon.com, $16)
Viggo Mortensen lends his voice to a multimedia edition of the French classic.

Ten Thousand Stories
Matthew Swanson
(bn.com, $17)
Each page of this clever interactive book reveals endless story and illustration combos.

Tintin: The Art of Hergé
Michel Daubert
(bn.com, $29)
Take a plunge into the world of the famed cartoon adventurer.

Well-Read Women
Samantha Hahn
(amazon.com, $13)
Literary heroines get their close-ups in Hahn’s collection of exquisite watercolors.

LEGO Minifigure Year by Year
Gregory Farshtey & Daniel Lipkowitz
(bn.com, $24)
It’s been 35 years since LEGO minifigures found their way to children’s bedroom floors and the soles of parents’ feet. This exhaustive visual history traces the evolution of the tiny men and women (their yellow hue chosen to “best represent all races and ethnicities”) from their simple roots back in 1978 — when characters like Policeman and Female Person were released — to Iron Man and Arctic Batman in 2013. The best parts, though, are the factoids scattered throughout the book. Did you know that if all minifigures formed their own country (terrifying), the population would be three times larger than China’s?

Style
Artist/Rebel/Dandy
Kate Irvin & Laurie Anne Brewer, eds.
(bn.com, $38)
This study of male elegance profiles trendsetters like Wilde and Warhol and spotlights everything from bespoke tweed to hip-hop freshness.

Flip Fashion
Lucille Clerc
(amazon.com, $13)
For those who love eclectic style, Clerc’s tetra-paneled mix-and-match look book is the ultimate paper doll.

Hollywood Costume
Deborah Nadoolman Landis, ed.
(amazon.com, $36)
Dorothy’s slippers, Jennifer Beals’ dance sweats, and Cleopatra’s gowns all get their due in a comprehensive deep dive.

How to Tie a Scarf
(bn.com, $8)
You’re probably tying your scarf wrong, and this fetching little guide will show you how to perfectly rock a silk square, a twist-and-braid, and the ever-tricky sequined or tasseled scarf.

Pattern Box
Textile Arts Center
(amazon.com, $17)
Ten world-class pattern designers have come together to create a collection of 100 gorgeous postcards you’ll want to share. Better load up on stamps!

Science & Nature
America’s National Parks
Bruce Foster, Dave Ember & Don Compton
(bn.com, $25)
The Grand Canyon and the Great Smokies spring to life in a kid-friendly pop-up.

Animal Earth
Ross Piper
(bn.com, $34)
With vivid, prismatic photos, zoologist Piper offers encounters with dozens of improbable-looking but beautiful organisms you’ve never heard of — many of them microscopic or marine.

Earth From Space
Yann Arthus-Bertrand
(amazon.com, $39)
Our planet is a breathtaking backdrop in Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity, but Arthus-Bertrand’s bird’s-eye view gives us a closer-up — and sobering — look at man’s impact on the earth.

The Science of Everything
National Geographic
(bn.com, $30)
You may think you know how a CD player works or why houseplants wilt, but this accessible non-textbook reveals the surprising secrets behind everyday phenomena.

This Is Mars
Alfred S. McEwen, Francis Rocard & Xavier Barral
(amazon.com, $63)
In these satellite images, the red planet’s surface exudes an alien, fractal-like loveliness, much like an otherworldly Rorschach test.

Art Made From Books
Laura Heyenga, ed.
(amazon.com, $17)
As a bibliophile, you might have conflicting emotions about these sculptures: Many books were harmed in the making of this book. But the thousands of painted, shredded, and petrified pages are not so much defiled as exalted by the artists whose works are shown in lush photos here. Take Alex Queral, who carves 3-D busts of famous figures — including Albert Einstein and David Bowie — out of drab phone books. Some books become puffy-chested birds, geological formations, vacuum cleaners, stylish jewelry, and mod furniture. Others look like they’re exploding, with words flying in every direction. A perfect gift for a reader who sees books in everything.

Food
Bouchon Collection
Thomas Keller
(amazon.com, $62)
A two-book set that features Keller’s recipes for heavy meals and light pastries.

Historic Heston
Heston Blumenthal
(amazon.com, $125)
In case the heraldry on the cover doesn’t give it away, this cookbook is really old-school, reimagining centuries-old English dishes.

The Photography of Modernist Cuisine
Nathan Myhrvold
(bn.com, $60)
Molecular-gastronomical images that look so good, you’ll wish they were scratch-and-sniff.

History
Acts of Congress 1789
(amazon.com, $47)
This gorgeous reproduction — filled with George Washington’s scribbled marginalia — includes the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Alternate Histories of the World
Matthew Buchholz
(bn.com, $18)
What-if scenarios in history depicted with blazingly creative illustrations.

At Home
Bill Bryson
(bn.com, $27)
Bryson’s history of domestic life gets a deluxe edition.

Complete WW II
Richard Overy, ed.
(amazon.com, $31)
The New York Times dipped into its archives for an anthology of original reportage, maps, and photos.

The Conquest of Everest
George Lowe & Huw Lewis-Jones
(bn.com, $28)
These images were shot by the photographer who climbed with Hillary and Norgay on their famous ascent.

The Great War
Joe Sacco
(bn.com, $22)
The Battle of the Somme is rendered in fine detail in this accordion-style book, unfolding to 24 feet.

Go: A Kidd’s Guide To Graphic Design
Chip Kidd
(amazon.com, $11)
In Go, Kidd — the renowned book-jacket designer — repeats the mantra “Form follows function” and adheres to it beautifully. The form of the book — a clever meld of text and images — follows its function, which is to convey the fundamentals of graphic design. Even if you’re not an aspiring graphic artist, you’ll learn the logic behind common symbols, like button arrangements on remote controls or the typefaces used in novels.

You May Like

Comments

EDIT POST