There’s something about a guy who has shelves loaded with his favorite books.  Not only do we love to receive them, we also love to give them. Here are a few of our holiday favorites to inspire you to share with your family and friends…

FOR MOM:  A luxurious, oversized new volume, RUBY: The King of Gems (Thames & Hudson) is dedicated to exploring the history of this precious stone and showcases more than sixty of the world’s most significant, notable, and famous rubies, ruby jewelry, and ruby artifacts, including many previously unseen designs from royal and private collections. From emperors and empresses, kings and queens, Maharanis to Hollywood royalty, a stunning array of style icons are pictured wearing their favorite ruby jewels throughout the book’s pages, alongside classic images of rubies through the centuries.

FOR DAD:  DUANE MICHALS: PORTRAITS (Thames & Hudson) presents for the first time a comprehensive look at more than a half century of portrait photos by one of our era’s most influential artists. With inventive, improvisational flair, he has documented outstanding creative personalities of our era in portraits that constitute a major and underappreciated side of his creative legacy. Accompanied by his inimitable, sometimes hilarious, observations and reminiscences, the subjects of the portraits, most not previously seen in book form, include contemporary artists including Andy Warhol, David Hockney, Alice Neel, and Jasper Johns, outstanding authors like Norman Mailer, Maya Angelou, and Philip Roth; and such performers as Barbra Streisand, Tilda Swinton, Johnny Cash, and Meryl Streep. Included is Michals’s probing self-portraits and “imaginary portraits.”

FOR SISTER:  Shedding light on a key moment in fashion history, the new book THE HOUSE OF WORTH, 1958-1954 The Birth of Haute Couture (Thames & Hudson) is an inspiring tribute to the house that started it all, with breathtaking photography detailing sublime creations and fascinating archival illustrations and documents. Arriving in Paris in 1846 at the age of 20 and with only a few francs in his pocket, Charles Frederick Worth would go on to build the most prominent, innovative, and successful fashion house of the century. Worth defined 19th-century style—and was soon recognized as “the father of haute couture.”

FOR BROTHER:  I SEE A CITY: Todd Webb’s New York (Thames & Hudson) presents master documentary photographer Todd Webb’s intimate and wonderfully rich exploration of the everyday life and architecture of New York in the years following World War II. Armed with a large format camera and tripod, Webb walked around New York day and night, in all seasons and weather, engaging with the people and the landscape surrounding him. He captured in his candid and inimitable way a city of contrasts—Midtown skyscrapers, the elevated train tracks along Third Avenue, quirky signs and storefronts, food vendors and open-air markets, and the bustling street life in the Bowery, Harlem near 125th Street, and old ethnic enclaves in Lower Manhattan. Webb loved to work at street level, which gave him a more human vantage point. His work is clear, direct and layered with light and shadow, capturing the soul of New York’s distinct neighborhoods shaped by the friction and frisson of humanity.

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