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Give the gift of books this year

Date: 12/19/2011

(Family Features) — If you are looking for a holiday gift that will thrill, inspire and entertain, then you should be looking in your local bookstore this holiday season.

Not many gifts can put you on top of Mount Everest, teach you how to bake a soufflé, take you behind a Hollywood movie set, or hold a child’s attention for an entire night. This collection of books from DK Publishing can do just that and has something to offer just about everyone on your gift list, all for under $50 this holiday season.

A Family Favorite

Here is a great idea for the whole family — there is something in it for everyone.
  • “Animal” ($50) from the Smithsonian Institution.

    Animal lovers, nature lovers, biology buffs and anyone who appreciates natural beauty will appreciate this impressive volume. Dubbed “the ultimate visual guide,” this book captures nearly 2,000 profiles of the inhabitants of the animal kingdom — from the tiniest mammals to the biggest creatures of the sea and sky. Gorgeous photos and fascinating facts showcase the magnificent diversity on our planet.
For the Pop-Culture Nut

Need a gift for someone who knows everything about pop culture? These books will do the trick:
  • “Monsters in the Movies” ($40) by John Landis.

    From werewolves and zombies to vampires and aliens, this book showcases some of the most memorable movie monsters ever from the viewpoint of legendary Hollywood director John Landis. Get a kick out of poring through hundreds of classic images and reading some of the fascinating behind-the-scenes facts about how monster movie magic was made.

  • “The Lego Ideas Book” ($24.99) by Daniel Lipkowitz.

    You don’t need to be a kid to love creating things out of these iconic little bricks. This book is filled with ideas for making vehicles, castles, buildings and creations from space and the world of fantasy. The colorful photographs and helpful tips will inspire hours of fun for kids of all ages.

For the Foodie

Please the palate of your favorite foodie with an illustrated how-to or a visual feast from around the world.
  • “Ultimate Food Journeys” ($40).

    This gastronomic tour takes readers all across the globe, showcasing the best food experiences. Whether it is the best clam chowder in New England, mole in Mexico, or, yes, even mussels in Brussels, this beautifully illustrated book includes every must-try treat in some of the world's best destinations and places them in their cultural and geographical context.

  • “Illustrated Step-by-Step Baking” ($35).

    Help your favorite cook take his culinary skills to the next level with this illustrated cookbook. The book contains 350 recipes that cover a huge range of sweet and savory classics including quiches, pies, breads and cookies. Classic recipes such as quiche Lorraine and New York cheesecake are demystified and presented in a clear and accessible step-by-step format.
For the Thrill Seeker

Know someone who gets a thrill from going faster, higher and farther? Try these:
  • “Mountaineers” ($40) from the Smithsonian Institution.

    For centuries, the world’s mountains have dared the brave to climb their heights and explore their vast peaks. You’ll find stirring tales, amazing images and fascinating facts about the men and women who faced great danger and hardship in their efforts to pursue glory, knowledge and scientific advancement.

  • “Car: The Definitive Visual History of the Automobile” ($40). Go on an unforgettable road trip through automotive history with this exciting encyclopedia. Filled with sumptuous photography, detailed information, and fascinating stories of legendary cars and their makers, this guide is a must for anyone who loves the open road.

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