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Holiday book selections

Nora Rawlinson, editor-in-chief of Publishers Weekly magazine, shares her picks for everyone on your list.
/ Source: TODAY

Fish, DC Comics, Audrey Hepburn and Bond girls are just a few subjects of some great books for last minute gifts or for the picky gift recipient. Nora Rawlinson, editor-in-chief of Publishers Weekly magazine, shares her picks for everyone on your list.

‘Audrey Hepburn: An Elegant Spirit’By Sean Hepburn Ferrer In an era of Hollywood icons, no star shined brighter than Audrey Hepburn. Her charm, her grace, her frail humanity and, of course, that stunning face delighted moviegoers across the world. On-screen and onstage she dazzled millions as Gigi, Eliza Doolittle and Holly Golightly. But to her son Sean she was simply "Mummy." In the first insider portrait of Audrey Hepburn, Sean Hepburn Ferrer offers an intimate glimpse into the life of Hollywood's most celebrated actress. In this emotional and candid memoir, Sean tells his mother's remarkable story, from her childhood in war-torn Holland to the height of her fame to her autumn years far from the camera and the crush of the paparazzi. It is a rare look at Audrey not from the photographer's lens, but through the eyes of the son who adored her.

‘Bitter With Baggage Seeks Same: The Life And Times Of Some Chickens’
By Sloane Tanen, Stefan Hagen (Photographer)
This book is a great conversation piece about chickens.  But these aren't just any chickens, they are chickens with personality and attitude normally attributed to humans.  Artist Sloane Tanen sets up little diorama's with brief captions that get to the heart of the diorama.  This book is witty and entertaining, and relatable to people's lives.  From overcrowded yoga classes, the agony of childbirth, to issues with relationships, this book is sure to spark conversation and be thought-provoking.

‘The Sound Of One Thigh Clapping: Haiku For A Thinner You’ By Meredith Clair Instead of having inspiration, Clark has “Thinspirations.” Combining the briefness of Haiku with the desire to lose weight, Meredith Clair gives us a new appreciation for trying to lose weight.  Even the title "The Sound of One Thigh Clapping" describes the inner thoughts most women have: not having their upper thighs touch as they walk.  With such insights as, "With a private cook and a personal trainer, I could lose weight too" (p. 61) and 'Thinspirations' as, "Waste not, want not. Mind if I finish that?" (p. 88).  This is a funny book for anyone who has tried to lose weight and trying to be happy with themselves.

'Muhammad Ali: The Glory Years'
By Felix Dennis & Don Atyeo
Muhammad Ali is known throughout the world as the all time greatest Heavyweight Champion of the World.  Many books have been written about Muhammad Ali and this book tackles the glory days, from his start as Cassius Clay to his conversion to The Nation of Islam and his name change to Muhammad Ali, to his incarceration and title-stripping for refusing to fight in the Vietnam War, and eventual reinstatement and rise to icon status.  This book details Muhammad Ali's ability to manipulate the press as well and defeating opponents with extraordinary strength and agility. With photographs that were never before published as well as pictures that show the power of Ali's punches, this book is a must have for anyone who has followed his career and boxing enthusiasts.

‘Goat: Greatest Of All Time: A Tribute To Muhammad AliBy Benedikt Taschen, Muhammad Ali, Jeff Koons (Illustrator), Howard L. Bingham (photograher), Neil Leifer (photographer)Muhammad Ali is one of the most remarkable personalities of our time and the greatest sportsman to ever walk the earth. To honor this living legend, TASCHEN has created a work that is both epic in scale and just as unique and vibrant as the man himself. It is more than appropriate that a worthy tribute to his life would reflect the scale of his achievements, and GOAT - Greatest of All Time proves itself up to the task. Four years in the making, and the most comprehensive look at Ali to date, GOAT tips the scales at 34 kgs (75 lbs) and is 50 cm x 50 cm (20" x 20") in size. 800 pages of archival and original photographs, graphic artwork and articles and essays - many of them previously unpublished - chronicle six decades of his life in stunning detail. To cap it all, the project takes place with the participation of Ali himself and those members of his inner circle who have been closest to him over the years: from managers and key ringside cornermen to friends, family and children; from spiritual and other advisers to broadcasters, essayists and journalists.

'The Complete Book Of Oscar Fashion: Variety's 75 Years Of Glamour On The Red Carpet'
By Reeve Chace
If you are the type of person that loves Oscar season for the fashions rather than who wins the Oscar, this is the perfect book for you.  This book traces Oscar fashions from the early days to the 2002 Oscars, detailing 'daring' styles, throwback fashions styles.  Some of the topics this books tackles includes: family at the Oscars, pregnancy and fashion at the Oscars, and the sometimes overlooked menswear at the Oscars.  No Oscar book would be complete without the highly talked about best dressed and worst dressed picks.

‘PicturesBy Jeff Bridges Four time Academy Award nominee Jeff Bridges has received many accolades for his acting, but people may not know he's also an accomplished photograher.  This book brings many intimate moments from his movie sets to life putting the reader in the moment with the actors. The book details moments from many of Bridges' movies and the wide variety of the actors he has worked with.  Photographs of Julianne Moore The Big Lebowski (p. 143), Michelle Pfeiffer The Fabulous Baker Boys (p. 28), Robin Williams The Fisher King (p. 65) Cuba Gooding, Jr. Blown Away (p. 114-5), Tim Robbins and Joan Cusack Arlington Road (p. 159) are just a few found in this book. The book includes insights from Jeff Bridges about the pictures he's taken and background stories to bring you closer to the photos. 

‘Bond Girls Are ForeverBy Maryam D'Abo (author), John Cork From Honey Ryder (Ursula Andress) rising from the sea in her sexy bikini in Dr. No to secret agent Jinx (Halle Berry) in Die Another Day, the Bond women have had a lasting impact on 007, on the lives of the actresses who played them, and on pop culture. Looking at these icons from both the male and female perspective, this elegant book shows us that no matter how they have changed over time, Bond girls are forever-in the fantasy lives of us all.

‘Golf's Greatest Moments’
By Robert Sidorsky
If your golf knowledge extends beyond Tiger Woods, Annika Sorenstam and Ernie Els, this book is for you. ‘Golf's Greatest Moments’ traces the history of golf and the sports greatest moments. The book also chronicles courses through the world known for their beauty and their difficulty as well as some of the greatest golfers in history. With the variety of writers tacking the subject of golf, they are able to capture the humor and drama of the game that will spark conversation for anyone who is interested in the game.

Mythology: The DC Comics Art of Alex RossBy Chip Kidd & Geoff Spear This book is a must have for any comic book junkie.  DC Comics and the cast it has assembled throughout the years are so familiar in the lexicon of our language. Superman, Batman & Robin, Wonder Woman, Cat Woman and the Justice League are just some of the characters that have been brought to into our homes through the comics, television and movies. This book chronicles how the comic strips come to their final version and their evolving reincarnations throughout the years.

‘Peanuts: The Art of Charles M. Schulz’ Edited by Chip Kidd An essential book for anyone who loves Charles Schultz and the characters he created with thePeanuts comic strip.  This book gives people new insight into the world and mind of Charles Schultz and allows readers to see how thePeanuts evolved from the early drawings in 1951 for his daughter's bedroom to the last comic strip a day after his death in February, 2000.  A great book for anyone who has followed the characters Schultz lovingly created.

‘Alice's Adventures In Wonderland’
By Lewis Carroll (Author), Robert Sabuda (Illustrator)
This book is an absolutely amazing rendition of the original Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.  While this book really sticks to Carroll's original story-telling, the pop-ups are so brilliant that adults, who watched as children, will fall in love all over again with this childhood classic. The images really help bring the story to life and makes it more enjoyable for children to read. All in all, young or old, this book is an absolute must-have for the true Alice in Wonderland fan. 

‘101 Salivations’ By Rachel Hale For anyone who loves dogs, this is a great book.  The book contains many breeds of dogs and each photo allows the personalities of each dog to shine through.  A great conversation piece for both dog lovers and people who appreciate great photos of dogs.  The book includes quotes from authors about dogs to accompany  the beautiful photographs. It would be difficult to pick a favorite photograph among the many great photographs displayed in the book.

‘Fish Face PortraitsBy David Doubilet Have you ever wondered what fish look like up close and personal? Or have you wondered what fish are thinking in their own environment? This book brings you into the underwater world of fish. Each picture is a great conversation piece and the adage "Every picture is worth a thousand words" applies to this book.  If you've ever wondered what fish are thinking, photographer by David Doubliet captures their expressions in each photograph. The vivid colors of the fish are allowed to shine through with just the copy along the side to tell you when the picture was taken and what kind of fish has been photographed.

‘1,000 Places To See Before You Die’
By Patricia Schultz
If you want to know where you should go on your next trip, this book will guide you.  The book covers every continent and every country you can think of, and even more. The book divides the world into eight regions which are then subdivided geographically.  The book covers the what, where, how, where to stay, costs, trips while you are there, when you should travel and the important travel advisories. Along with the description of the places, there are photos to help you visualize where you want to go.