From Our Shelves to Yours: Gift Guide No. 3

For this third and final installment of the 2022 Musing Gift Guide, we’re highlighting some of this year’s most giftable coffee table books! Some feature gorgeous artwork, others are informative and insightful, and a few will even make you laugh out loud. But rest assured, all of them will make for a perfect holiday gift. Still not sure what to get for the bookish folks on your list? Don’t forget about our subscription boxes! Scroll down for information about all four of our clubs, plus a special offer for the young readers in your life!

Recommended by Lindsay

American Wildflowers: A Literary Field Guide By Susan Barba (Editor), Leanne Shapton (Illustrator) Cover ImageAmerican Wildflowers: A Literary Field Guide

By Susan Barba (Editor), Leanne Shapton (Illustrator)

I’m a simple woman: I like flowers and I like poetry. So how lovely that Susan Barba and Leanne Shapton compiled this beautiful book of flowers and poetry. I’m sure you know someone who just wants flowers and poetry–here’s the perfect gift for them.

Recommended by Sissy

This devotional quietly asks you to gather together and contemplate what is sacred. If you are like me and have resisted returning to the church building during these crazy times, pick up this volume and be blessed by my wise friend Bonnie.

Recommended by Sydney

Revenge of the Librarians By Tom Gauld Cover ImageRevenge of the Librarians

By Tom Gauld

Looking for a gift for the voracious reader in your life, but have no idea where to start? Let me introduce you to Tom Gauld, an incredible literary cartoonist based out of London. His newest comic strip collection lies somewhere between a coffee table book and a graphic novel—accompanied by Gauld’s witty, wry humor and signature illustration style.

Recommended by Sissy

All Creation Waits — Gift Edition: The Advent Mystery of New Beginnings (An illustrated Advent devotional with 25 woodcut animal portraits) By Gayle Boss, David G. Klein (Illustrator) Cover ImageAll Creation Waits — Gift Edition

By Gayle BossDavid G. Klein (Illustrator)

Gorgeous woodcuts of animals preparing for winter will quiet your spirit this Advent. Darkness, waiting, preparing, anticipating… Each creature represents a day of the calendar as the world anticipates rebirth and light.

Recommended by Katie

Inciting Joy: Essays By Ross Gay Cover ImageInciting Joy: Essays

By Ross Gay

Whenever I need a pick me up I grab this beautiful book of essays by Ross Gay. He is just a balm in chaotic times. This new one is no different. The perfect gift for that person in your life who needs a reminder that there are absolutely beautiful things around us always.

Recommended by Jenness

Punk 45: The Singles Cover Art of Punk 1976-80 By Jon Savage (Editor), Stuart Baker (Editor), Bobby Gillespie (Foreword by) Cover ImagePunk 45: The Singles Cover Art of Punk 1976-80

By Jon Savage (Editor), Stuart Baker (Editor), Bobby Gillespie (Foreword by)

An in-depth compilation of the four (arguably) greatest years in music history. Cover artwork, band history, and interviews with some of the drivers behind the singles that defined the birth of punk (as well as some that faded into history). An amazing look at an era and a must for any punk fan (like me!)

Recommended by Heath

The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present By Paul McCartney, Paul Muldoon (Editor) Cover ImageThe Lyrics: 1956 to the Present

By Paul McCartneyPaul Muldoon (Editor)

This two-volume set spans over 60 years with McCartney’s commentary, notes, and photos for 154 of his songs. This collection includes pre-Beatles, Beatles, Wings, and solo songs from McCartney’s iconic career. Get this for the Macca superfan in your life, and they will love you for it.

Recommended by Katie

Mythology (75th Anniversary Illustrated Edition): Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes By Edith Hamilton, Jim Tierney (By (artist)) Cover ImageMythology (75th Anniversary Illustrated Edition): Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes

Everyone loves a Greek retelling but keeping up with all of pantheon is so hard. This beautifully illustrated version of Edith Hamilton classic is perfect for the person in your life who wants a beautiful reference book for the wild cast of characters in Greek Mythology.

Recommended by Katie

Ruth Asawa: Citizen of the Universe By Emma Ridgway, Vibece Salthe, Sigrun Åsebø, John R. Blakinger, Emily Pringle Cover ImageRuth Asawa: Citizen of the Universe

This is not your average “coffee table art book”. What I love most of about this book is that while it is filled with lovely images of Asawa at work, creating her beautiful sculptures and details of her incredible life it also has guides for doing your own recycled art projects that liken to some of her most famous work. This book is so cool!

Recommended by Cat

Hayao Miyazaki By Hayao Miyazaki (Artist), Jessica Niebel, Toshio Suzuki (Foreword by) Cover ImageHayao Miyazaki

By Hayao Miyazaki (Artist), Jessica NiebelToshio Suzuki (Foreword by)

This book is a must-have for anyone who adores Studio Ghibli and the characters Hayao Miyazaki created. Anyone who has seen a Studio Ghibli film is more than familiar with what fantastical works of art they are- and who doesn’t need that in their lives even when they can’t sit down to watch a movie?

Recommended by Aly

Delicious Metropolis: The Desserts and Urban Scenes of Wayne Thiebaud (Fine Art Book, California Artist Gift Book, Book of Cityscapes and Sweets) By Wayne Thiebaud Cover ImageDelicious Metropolis: The Desserts and Urban Scenes of Wayne Thiebaud

The prettiest art book I have ever seen. The pastel colors only amplify the seemingly unrelated juxtaposition between sweet treats and cityscapes. I could stare at this all day.

Recommended by Aly

Cryptid Club By Sarah Andersen Cover ImageCryptid Club

This hilarious collection of charmingly drawn comics is perfect for the person in your life who might love anything weird, strange, or cute, or just needs a laugh.

Recommended by Lindsay

Joan Didion: What She Means By Joan Didion, Hilton Als (Editor), Connie Butler (Editor) Cover ImageJoan Didion: What She Means

By Joan DidionHilton Als (Editor), Connie Butler (Editor)

I love Joan Didion. I love Hilton Als. I’m so glad that there’s a book combining the two in an homage to Didion’s life and the art that inspired her!

Recommended by Hannah

Pride and Prejudice: Illustrations by Marjolein Bastin (Marjolein Bastin Classics Series) By Jane Austen, Marjolein Bastin (Illustrator) Cover ImagePride and Prejudice: Illustrations by Marjolein Bastin (Marjolein Bastin Classics Series)

By Jane AustenMarjolein Bastin (Illustrator)

You can’t go wrong with any of Bastin’s stellar editions of classic books. Perfect for the Austen-loving book collector in your life, you’ll find family trees, maps, and actual letters from the story within the gold foil! I collect editions of Pride and Prejudice, and this is easily the most beautiful I’ve found.

Recommended by Jenny

Little Women (Painted Edition) By Louisa May Alcott Cover ImageLittle Women (Painted Edition)

An illustrated copy of a well-loved classic, this painted version of Little Women is the perfect gift for all readers young at heart.

Recommended by Sissy

The United States of Cryptids: A Tour of American Myths and Monsters By J. W. Ocker Cover ImageThe United States of Cryptids: A Tour of American Myths and Monsters

Ocker is one of my favorite horror writers, and this beautiful volume is HILARIOUS. The perfect gift for a literary nerd who has read everything out there.

Recommended by Jake

Film Noir Portraits By Tony Nourmand (Editor), Paul Duncan (Text by (Art/Photo Books)) Cover ImageFilm Noir Portraits

By Tony Nourmand (Editor), Paul Duncan (Text by)

In addition to being one of the most influential film movements ever, film noir also boasts a strong claim as the most gorgeous. This striking photography collection, which features Humphrey Bogart, Joan Crawford, and everyone in between, is a great gift for the film fan in your life.

Recommended by Heath

Annie Leibovitz, Portraits 2005-2016 By Annie Leibovitz (By (photographer)), Alexandra Fuller (Contributions by) Cover ImageAnnie Leibovitz, Portraits 2005-2016

By Annie Leibovitz (Photographer), Alexandra Fuller (Contributions by)

I believe that Annie Leibovitz is the most important photographer of a generation, and this reissue of her latest book of portraits will not disappoint. Along with presidents and royalty, Leibovitz has captured portraits of icons in sports, literature, entertainment, fashion, and business in this collection. There is good reason why Leibovitz might be the best-known photographer in the world today.

Recommended by Jenness

Catffirmations: Mindful Mantras to Awaken Your Inner Cat By Lim Heng Swee (Illustrator) Cover ImageCatffirmations: Mindful Mantras to Awaken Your Inner Cat

By Lim Heng Swee (Illustrator)

This is a charming little book filled with beautiful illustrations – colorful, playful cats as part of nature, bursting out of the landscape! Each image is paired with an encouraging affirmation such as “Inner peace is just a catnap away.” Swee is a fantastic artist and this first book would be a lovely gift for a fellow cat-lover – or yourself!

Recommended by Heath

One-Hour Comfort: Quick, Cozy, Modern Dishes for All Your Cravings By America's Test Kitchen Cover ImageOne-Hour Comfort: Quick, Cozy, Modern Dishes for All Your Cravings

I feel like this cookbook is the gift that keeps on giving, because I always find something new that I want to cook whenever I pick it up. Those familiar with America’s Test Kitchen will already know that all the recipes are vigorously tested, which is a nice safety net. This is true comfort food that will be perfect for the upcoming months.

Still don’t know what to get? Try our subscription boxes!

And take advantage of our special offer for young (and young at heart) readers, happening Black Friday through Cyber Monday! Sign up for a 6- or 12-month subscription to Sprout, Spark, or ParnassusNext and get a $20 Parnassus gift card!* Learn more about each club below.

Sprout Book Club

Sprout Book Club is the book subscription box for picture book lovers. Every month members will receive a newly published, first edition picture book. Set up a subscription for yourself or buy a gift membership for your favorite picture book lover for 3, 6, or 12 months.

Past Sprout selections include Farmhouse by Sophie Blackall, A Library by Nikki Giovanni, & A Little Ferry Tale by Chad Otis

Spark Book Club

Spark Book Club is the first editions club for middle grade readers (usually readers age 8-12). Every month members will receive a first edition middle grade novel — plus a letter written by the author especially for club members. Makes a great gift for the independent reader! Sign ups are available for 3, 6, or 12 months.

Past Spark selections include Zachary Ying and the Dragon Emperor by Xiran Jay Zhao, Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston, and The Beatryce Prophecy by Kate DiCamillo


ParnassusNext is the book subscription box for YA lovers. Every member of ParnassusNext receives a first edition hardcover of each month’s selected book, signed by the author. There is no membership fee to join — and no line to stand in for the autograph. Not only will you have one of the best YA books of the month when it comes out, you’ll have it straight from the author’s hands, with an original, authentic signature! Set up a subscription for yourself or buy a gift membership for your favorite YA reader for 3, 6, or 12 months.

Past ParnassusNext selections include Gallant by V.E. Schwab, In the Wild Light by Jeff Zentner, and These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

First Editions Club

Every member of the First Editions Club receives a first edition of the selected book of the month (usually literary fiction, with the occasional nonfiction selection), signed by the author. Books are carefully chosen by our staff of readers, and our picks have gone on to earn major recognition including the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the PEN/Faulkner Award. Plus, there’s no membership fee or premium charge for these books. Build a treasured library of signed first editions and always have something great to read!

Past First Editions Club Selections include The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert, and The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich

*Offer valid 11/25/22 through 11/28/22 in-store and online. Applies to 6-month and 12-month prepaid memberships to Sprout, Spark, and ParnassusNext. Offer does not apply to the Signed First Editions Club.