Bookworks Presents Today's Shelf Awareness for Readers

Bookworks Presents Today's Shelf Awareness for Readers

The countdown to December 25 is underway; for the procrastinator, there's still time to find perfect gift books.

For some reason, many people seem to think that last-minute gifts should be small; in order to curb that notion, we'll start with a big book: The Vatican: All the Paintings by Anja Grebe (Black Dog & Leventhal, $75). This is a splendid volume containing old masters (and new, like Gauguin'sCrucifixion), maps, tapestries and more in a slipcase with a DVD-ROM.

To go with the reissue of A Charlie Brown Christmas: The Making of a Tradition (It Books, $19.99), put on your Vince Guaraldi CD and sing along to the lovely "Christmas Time Is Here."

Bookworks Presents Today's Shelf Awareness for ReadersGuys Can Be Cat Ladies Too by Michael Showalter (Abrams Image, $16.95 paperback) is made for the man whose girlfriend/boyfriend loves cats but he, not so much. From sports franchises named after cats to pimping out a cat crib, it's all here. For dog lovers, try Shake by Carli Davidson (Harper Design, $17.99), photographs of dogs' faces mid-shake. OrBless the Dogs by the Monks of New Skete (Center Street, $20), meditations on the relationship between humans and dogs, with some of the sweetest photos we've seen.

For photos of your own, or to accompany the gift of a camera, try this concise (and almost pocket-sized) guide: Lonely Planet's Best Ever Photography Tips by Richard l'Anson ($9.99). Ten golden rules, like "shoot raw files," and 45 best tips, like "shoot early or late" for the best landscapes, make this practical and handy. For a more in-depth but still unintimidating guide, Workman offers The Unforgettable Photograph by George Lange ($16.95 paperback). Ideas, secrets and even a few playlists to set a mood add up to 228 suggestions, including some terrific ways to display photos. --Marilyn Dahl, editor, Shelf Awareness for Readers