Shaun Tan to Emily in Paris: Find books as worthy gifts


NEW YORK — Books are an easy gift option, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be cool. There is always a great selection during the holidays for a variety of ages and interests.

“Creature,” by Shaun Tan. It’s as if, writes Tan, “I have to throw the artistic stone through a pond of weirdness to see any meaning in the ripples…” Those words in the introduction to his new book speak volumes. The artist, writer and filmmaker from Perth, Australia has collected his dreamy, sometimes creepy paintings and drawings. Tan reflects extensively on his childhood in a thoughtful text. $35. Dear Levine.

“Ugly-Cute,” by Jennifer McCartney. Is there beauty in almost anything? McCartney thinks so. She has created a small-in-stature, full-color look at “cuglies”: often underrated species, both known and unknown. She gazes at the male star-nosed mole and his 22 fleshy pink appendages in place of a face. McCartney filled her booklet with quick facts and fun quizzes. $14.99. HarperCollins.

“Africa in fashion”, by Ken Kweku Nimo. The Ghanaian researcher and designer explores the complex role the continent plays in the past and present of the global fashion world. She highlights a new wave of African talent as she looks back at vast textile, craft and embellishment traditions that are hundreds of years old. Nimo also delves into Africa’s potential as a luxury hub. $40 Laurence King Publisher. Also consider “Africa Fashion,” which accompanies an exhibition of the same name at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.

“Regeneration: film noir, 1898-1971”, edited by Doris Berger and Rhea L. Combs. This companion to an exhibition of the same name at the Academy Museum in Los Angeles focuses on independent film. Interviews with Charles Burnett, Julie Dash, Ava DuVernay and more. Essays, glamor portraits and timeline by years included. The goal: to provide a broader view of how American cinema has been shaped by African-American creative expression. $49.95. Delmonico Books/Museum of the Motion Picture Academy.

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“The crown in vogue”, by Robin Muir and Josephine Ross. Published for the late queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the two take readers through more than 200 British Vogue images of the British royal family, beginning in the early 20th century. At some point, every last major royal graced the magazine’s pages, from the Queen Mother to Prince Harry to Meghan. With a variety of comments, from Evelyn Waugh to Zadie Smith. $29.99. Thunder Bay Press.

“Emily in Paris: The Official Cookbook”, by Kim Laidlaw. Packed with 75 recipes inspired by the Netflix series. Lots of foodie porn here, along with photos of expat Emily (Lily Collins) as fans wait for season 3. Remember Gabriel’s omelette? He is there. What about that moment when Emily was struggling to pronounce a pain au chocolate? The tasty croissant is also included. $32.50. Weldon Owen.

“The pigeon will ride the roller coaster” by Mo Willems. The determined blue dove with seven fun books on her résumé is back with a not-so-backward lesson in managing expectations. This time, he’s up for a rollercoaster ride as he plans the process: buying a ticket, waiting in line, the possibility of motion sickness. What he gets instead might surprise you. Great for children ages 3-5. $17.99. Children of Union Square.

“From Gay to Z,” by Justin Elizabeth Sayre. Sayre is not a historian. Instead, they (her chosen pronoun for him) is a playwright and performer who turned his five-part stage show “GAyBC’s” into a compendium of gay culture. Acknowledging that they couldn’t cram all of queer culture into one book, they do a pretty good job of quick bites of everything from the AIDS activist group ACT UP to Franco Zeffirelli, the Italian opera and film director known for his romance productions. and luxurious. $24.95. Chronicle books.

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“Women holding things”, by Maira Kalmann. The artist, designer and bestselling author has enlarged a booklet of the same name that raised money to fight hunger. True to its title, Kalman’s paintings and musings feature women who often do the work of keeping things together. A woman holds a baby. A woman has the court. Kalman includes a painting of Virginia Woolf, which “barely holds together.” She writes about the last image in the book, a girl with pink balloons: “Wait.” $32.50. Harpers design.

“It starts with us”, by Colleen Hoover. He has millions of fans on TikTok and elsewhere who were eagerly awaiting this sequel to his bestseller “It Ends With Us.” Her latest story about a dramatic love triangle and one woman’s fight against domestic abuse helped solidify her status on TikTok and made her the most popular fiction writer in the country. $17.99. Atria Books.

“Adrift: America in 100 Charts”, by Scott Galloway. How did the country get here? The New York University marketing professor explores that and other key questions starting in 1945 and landing in the present. A brief text accompanies his simple charts on a variety of topics, from the perception versus reality of the country’s crime rate to the earning potential of potential male partners. The book is not for high-thinking statisticians, but it is full of talking points for the rest of us. $35. Portfolio/Penguin.

“Never anywhere” by Neil Gaiman with illustrations by Chris Malbon. This dark urban fantasy from 1996 focuses on the dispossessed as the reader is taken to the London Underground, a secret world that exists parallel to the London we know. Gaiman wrote the novel after the BBC made it into a television series. He wrote in 2005 that the goal of the story was to move adults, as “Alice in Wonderland,” the Narnia books and “The Wizard of Oz” moved him when he was a child. A special slipcase edition with a new introduction by Susanna Clarke. $140. The Folio Society. Available exclusively at

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“Cold as Ice. A History of Hip Hop Jewelry”, by Vikki Tobak. A photographic review of how hip hop helped redefine luxury with its over-the-top culture of bling. In the beginning, there were the gold Adidas pendants from Run-DMC and the dookie rope chains from Eric B. & Rakim and the medallions from Mercedes. They were followed by Pharrell Williams, Jay-Z, Gucci Mane, and Cardi B. There is a foreword by Slick Rick and essays by A$AP Ferg, LL Cool J, Kevin “Coach K’ Lee, and Pierre “P” Thomas. of Music $100 Taschen.

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