Making a list? Checking it twice? Here are some guidelines to keep befuddled spouses, parents of teenagers and others on the right track.

Susan King is a Times staff writer

Gifts for the well-read show-biz buff include coffee-table books on the American musical theater, the Monkees and "Gone With the Wind," musical memoirs and a collection of articles on the Boss. Here's a sampling:

"SHOWTUNE," by Jerry Herman with Marilyn Stasio, Donald I. Fine Books ($24.95). Tony Award-winning Herman chronicles his life from being a star-struck young man in New Jersey to becoming the toast of Broadway as the composer-lyricist of such memorable musicals as "Milk and Honey," "Mack and Mabel," "Hello, Dolly!" and "La Cage aux Folles." Also included are backstage tales of such Broadway stars as Carol Channing, Judy Garland, Angela Lansbury, Ethel Merman, Pearl Bailey, Lucille Ball and Barbra Streisand.

"BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: THE ROLLING STONE FILES," by the editors of Rolling Stone, Hyperion ($12.95). Fans of the Boss will want to check out this compendium of interviews, articles, facts and opinions on Springsteen that have appeared in Rolling Stone over the last two decades. Unfortunately, the book doesn't include any of the great RS portraits of Springsteen.

"I'M NOT REALLY HERE," by Tim Allen, Hyperion ($21.95). The star of "Home Improvement" follows up his bestseller "Don't Stand Too Close to a Naked Man" with this comic look at men in midlife and their relationships to their wives, kids, friends, the universe and God.

"BLUES ALL AROUND ME: THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF B.B. KING," by B.B. King with David Ritz, Avon Books ($23). The King of the Blues tells his story--from his birth in the heart of the Mississippi Delta to his start in the music business 50 years ago to his struggle for crossover success. The electric guitar virtuoso also talks about his mother's death, his infidelities and his gambling problems.

"HEY, HEY, WE'RE THE MONKEES," edited and compiled by Harold Bronson, Rhino Books ($24.95). Baby boomers can relive Monkeemania with this coffee-table book celebrating the Pre-Fab Four. The text features contributions by Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz, Peter Tork and Mike Nesmith, as well as their NBC series' original creator, Bob Rafelson. Many of the photographs have never been previously published.

"RED, HOT & BLUE: A SMITHSONIAN SALUTE TO THE AMERICAN MUSICAL," by Amy Henderson and Dwight Blocker Bowers, the National Portrait Gallery and the National Museum of American History in association with the Smithsonian Institution Press ($39.95). Musical buffs will be in heaven with this lavishly illustrated history that examines its beginnings in 19th century vaudeville, its heyday on Broadway and in movies and its role today with revivals. A terrific added attraction is a selected discography.

"ROGER EBERT'S BOOK OF FILM," edited by Roger Ebert, Norton ($30). Thumbs up for this entertaining anthology of writing on film edited by the co-host of "Siskel & Ebert." Featured are pieces by Truman Capote, Tom Wolfe, Pauline Kael, Graham Greene, Andrew Sarris, Susan Sontag, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gore Vidal and Budd Schulberg. Also included are the Sight & Sound "The Greatest Films of All Time" lists.

"WALT DISNEY: IMAGINEERING--A BEHIND THE DREAMS LOOK AT MAKING THE MAGIC REAL," by the Imagineers with a forward by Michael D. Eisner, Hyperion ($50). This coffee-table book offers a richly illustrated behind-the-scenes look at the artists, designers, engineers and other specialists responsible for every detail of Disney park attractions, restaurants, shops, themed trash cans and even light fixtures. Most of the hundreds of photos and illustrations have never been seen outside the Walt Disney Imagineering offices.

"THE GREATEST ROCK & ROLL STORIES," by Art Fein, Rhino Books ($14.95). This collection features 100 tales spanning the last four decades of rock. Highlights include the scoop on Stephen Stills' failure to become a Monkee; the Frank Zappa and Lou Reed feud; the Paul Is Dead hoax; and Chrissie Hynde's refusal to marry both Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious.

"THE ROAD TO TARA: THE MAKING OF GONE WITH THE WIND," by Aljean Harmetz, Abrams ($39.95). Sixty years ago, producer David O. Selznick bought the rights to Margaret Mitchell's best-selling novel about the Old South. This lavish history chronicles the enormous difficulties Selznick faced in bringing the most popular picture of all time to the screen. The book features more than 100 color plates and never-before-seen memos from Selznick to cast members.

"GOOD MORNING, CAPTAIN: FIFTY WONDERFUL YEARS WITH BOB KEESHAN, TV'S CAPTAIN KANGAROO," by Bob Keeshan, Fairview Press ($24.95). Boomers and their kids will get a kick out of thisphoto history of the career of the beloved Keeshan, who educated and entertained children with his daily morning show for more than 30 years, thus becoming the longest-running character in TV history. Included are photos and stories about Mr. Green Jeans, Dancing Bear, Bunny Rabbit, Mister Moose and Grandfather Clock.

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