Flavorwire has posted a brief selection of gift books for the bibliophile in your life. Of the items on their list, I recently purchased Charles Johnson’s The Way of the Writer and am confident of learning a lot from that thoughtful man. The 1990 novel Middle Passage is his best known creation from a lifetime of work. You may also be aware that The Guardian has begun to publish its annual lists of the best books in a variety of fields–fiction, biography, art, and so on.
I still think Diane Ackerman and Jeanne Mackin’s anthology The Book of Love and Jerry Brotton’s A History of the World in Twelve Maps are two of the best general-audience gift books I’ve run across in the last several years.