Cocktails, crafts, rap, Bob Ross, yoga and cats: Great stocking stuffer books


Fun books that will make great stocking stuffers (although you may need an extra-large stocking).

Atlas Obscura: The Travel Posters

Atlas Obscura

Fans of the Atlas Obscura guidebook and online magazine, which chronicle curious travel destinations, can add that sense of wanderlust to their wall. Each month’s striking, graphic illustration features a new unique location to discover. (Workman)

Lagom (Not Too Little, Not Too Much): The Swedish Art of Living a Balanced, Happy Life

Niki Brantmark

An illustrated guide to living the Swedish way that touches on decor, diet, child-rearing and engaging with the natural world. (Harper Design)

Stephen Colbert’s Midnight Confessions

Stephen Colbert

These illustrated jokes from the segment on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” confessions are quick hits for the wicked. “When I’m at karaoke and someone starts singing ‘Don’t Stop Believin’… I stop believin’.” (Simon & Schuster)

Chuck D Presents This Day in Rap and Hip-Hop History

Chuck D

This chronological survey of rap compiles landmark events in hip-hop history — the debut of “Yo! MTV Raps,” Tupac Shakur’s “hologram” at Coachella — from 1973 to the present. Written by Chuck D of Public Enemy, with Duke Eatmon, Ron Maskell, Lorrie Boula and Jonathan Bernstein. Forward by street artist Shepard Fairey. (Black Dog & Leventhal)

A Christmas Carol & Other Stories

Charles Dickens

Pantone, the color company, has partnered with Puffin, an imprint of Penguin, to release paperback books in a single Pantone color. The winner for the holidays is Pantone 10119, gold, containing Charles Dickens’ classic “A Christmas Carol,” with other stories and illustrations. (Puffin + Pantone)

Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Essays

Joan Didion

This pocket-size hardcover bound in opalescent cloth, featuring a watercolor-like illustration of the young Joan Didion looking out at the reader, may be the loveliest edition of this book ever printed. (Picador Modern Classics)

Courage Is Contagious: And Other Reasons to Be Grateful for Michelle Obama

Nick Haramas, editor

Short essays by writers, entertainers and activists praising the former first lady and her inspiration by Issa Rae, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Janet Mock, Rashida Jones, Patton Oswalt and more. (Lenny)

Ultimate Slime

Alyssa Jagan

Homemade slime is huge with kids who’ve been entranced by a fleet of Instagram and YouTube slime masters. This recipe and DIY tutorial book comes from Jagan, a.k.a. @craftyslimecreator who has more than 720,000 Instagram followers. (Quarry)

Beloved Dog

Maira Kalman

A compendium of Kalman’s charming art through the years that features dogs, with a moving preface — illustrated, of course — about how she was an adult with a family before she got her first dog, Pete, who was beloved. (Penguin)

The Imbible: A Cocktail Guide for Beginning and Home Bartenders

Micah LeMon

A handsome guide that shows how to make sophisticated, classic mixed drinks as well as new concoctions; it includes a splash of history, a liquor tutorial and tips for budding mixologists hoping to invent their own. (University of Virginia Press)

The Usual Santas: A Collection of Soho Crime Christmas Capers

Peter Lovesey (forward)

For someone who needs a little noir with their holiday cheer, 18 crime writers take on the holidays in these short stories by Mette Ivie Harrison, Stuart Neville, Tod Goldberg, Cara Black and more. (Soho Crime)

The Best American Emails

Amanda Meadows, editor

A riff on both the “Best American” book series and a satire of one thing we all have in common, terrible emails. (The Devastator)

Yoga With Cats

Masako Miyakawa

Easy-to-follow yoga instructions of 31 stretches inspired by cats. There are diagrams and photos — of people and cats — doing the yoga poses so your cat can join in. Just don’t say “downward dog.” (Nippan IPS)

Made to Last: A Compendium of Artisans, Trades

Vanessa Murray

A manly how-to that features artisans who are serious but not precious, experts in one very specific field. Projects include distilling bathtub gin like the Prohibition liquor guys, making a tube garden trowel like a coppersmith and creating a wooden chest with dovetail joints like a Virginia woodsmith. (Hardie Grant Books)

What We See in the Stars: An Illustrated Tour of the Night Sky

Kelsey Oseid

Awash with inky illustrations, this guide to the cosmos combines mythology, history and science for an expansive look at the night sky. Learn the exact diameter of Venus — as well as what your yoga teacher means when he or she says that Mercury’s in retrograde. (10 Speed Press)

Paper Sculpture Seasons

Shobhna Patel

Swap out this year’s jigsaw puzzle in favor of something new: a DIY paper-cutting craft. Beginner templates include a bas relief kingfisher, while an expert level project produces a standalone paper carousel. (Atria Books)

Addicted to Americana: Celebrating Classic & Kitschy American Life & Style

Charles Phoenix

Phoenix celebrates midcentury excess — cars with big fins, Googie architecture, roadside kitsch and technicolor everything — with the enthusiasm of a man brought up on a used car lot (he really was). Includes images from his famous collection of found Kodachrome slides. (Prospect Park Books)

The Official Bob Ross Coloring Book

The enduring calm of the cult icon comes to a coloring book. Pages are based on Ross’ own work and interspersed with uplifting quotes and catchphrases from his beloved public television show “The Joy of Painting.” (Universe)

Dr. Eleanor’s Book of Common Ants of California

Eleanor Spice Rice and Rob Dunn, photos by Alex Wild

Entomologist Dr. Eleanor doesn’t make the mistake of humanizing ants, but she does elevate the tiny insects into a realm of fascination. Despite what the stream of ants in your back yard might indicate, the Argentine ant is not the only species in town. (Chicago University Press)


Patti Smith

This small book contains a piece of short fiction by the award-winning writer and iconic rocker, along with her Windham-Campbell lecture on creativity and inspiration. (Yale)

My Miniature Library: 30 Tiny Books to Make, Read and Treasure

Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini

The most precious gift set of the year, this craft kit contains 30 tiny books to hand-assemble. Once made, abbreviated (and adorable) versions of stories like “Thumbelina” are housed in a box that converts into a lilliputian library. (Laurence King Publishing)

A Coloring Book

Drawings by Andy Warhol

Warhol designed this coloring book himself in 1961 as a Christmas gift for the children of his then-employer. Whimsical illustrations of a grinning alligator and a two-headed giraffe provide a unique way for fans of all ages to engage with the pop artist. (Thames & Hudson)