I have a habit of going a bit wild with the book gift guides (It must be the librarian in me!) But this year, I challenged myself to keep the list on the shorter side. So I chose my 15 favorite books that have come out this year (and one oldie but goodie). (If you’re looking for more recommendations, one of my favorite sites for book review is Brain Pickings. And of course, there’s always the book gift guides from 2012, 2011, and 2010. Those should keep you busy for a while.) -Amy
See the full list of books after the jump!
- Phaidon Design Classics – Not a new book but it’s such a favorite at the office that we thought it was a must to include it here. This three-volume set is a source book on manufactured design from the early 1800s to the present.
- Studio Life – a peek inside the studios of 100 artists throughout the United States – each artist shares working habits and the stories behind the work they create in their space. It’s a fascinating and unique look at the creative process.
- Archi-Doodle – The perfect gift for a child on your list or just a creative adult. Archi-Doodle is an artist’s activity book that teaches you about architecture while you color.
- Franny’s – One of our favorite cookbooks this year. Franny’s is a beloved Brooklyn restaurant. Max has this one at home and he swears by the Bucatini Fra Diavolo.
- Kinfolk Table – A companion to the popular journal, Kinfolk Table is filled with beautiful photographs and profiles of creative individuals throughout the country.
- Roy G. BIV: An Exceedingly Surprising Book about Color – This is awesomely fun book that answers all your questions about colors (even the ones you didn’t realize you had) like why isn’t brown in the rainbow and why is pink for girls and blue for boys? (Gifting to a color fiend? All my favorite color books are right here)
- Paper to Petal – If you’re looking for inexpensive party decorations, this is the book for you. All you need is crepe paper, and you can create your indoor garden.
- Past & Present – I didn’t want to play favorites here, but honestly after 2 1/2 years working on this book, I am pretty darn proud of it, and I think it would make a great gift for anyone who have a love of design and who is interested in knowing where things came from. (Bonus: Amazon has it on deep discount so it’s only $6)
- Remodelista – We got a sneak peek of this book a few months before it came and were just totally bowled over by how awesome it is. My favorite part: The “Remodelista 100″ – the website’s favorite everyday objects from laundry bags to pepper mills
- Modern Rustic – OK – so you know you like a rustic look but do you know what kind of rustic? This book takes you through the elements of the modern rustic look, a sophisticated rustic look and a bohemian rustic look
- I Like it What Is It – A book of 30 posters by Anthony Burrill featuring catchy slogans and typography.
- Maps – This book is awesome! It’s a huge atlas by the Mizielinski brothers illustrated with great and humorous detail (an alien near Roswell!) Illustrations also include places of interest, iconic animals and plants, cultural events and many more details that describe each country. Love this one.
- The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert: Take a Whiff of That – Scratch and Sniff Wine book. Need I say more? If you need more info, the best review is over on Brain Pickings.
- Daily Rituals: How Artists Work – I’ve already sung the praises of this one, and I’ve read this twice and given as a gift to three others. One of my absolute favorite books of the year.
- The Flower Recipe Book – A beautiful book from our friends over at San Francisco’s Studio Choo, this book breaks down floral arranging into simple recipes. See the d*s review of the book here.