Janson's History of Art: The Western Tradition, Seventh Edition, $144By Penelope J.E. Davies and others. Find everything you need to know about influential art styles in this comprehensive and beautiful volume.
The New Doubleday Cookbook, $35By Jean Anderson and Elaine Hanna. Cooking is more than what's in the pot. With nutritional facts, tips for storing food in a pantry, and more than 4,000 recipes, this book has the kitchen covered.
A Dedicated Follower of Fashion, $30By Holly Brubach. In incisive, witty essays she originally wrote for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and The New York Times Magazine, journalist Brubach reflects on the social significance of what we wear.
The Firefly Five Language Visual Dictionary, $50By Jean-Claude Corbeil and Ariane Archambault. Vivid illustrations draw you into this clever compendium of 35,000 terms translated from English into Spanish, French, Italian, and German.
The Merck Manual of Medical Information, Second Home Edition, $8By Mark H. Beers and others. No home should be without this information-jammed guide, which covers just about every conceivable medical condition, from blisters to the mumps.
The Well-Tended Perennial Garden: Planting and Pruning Techniques, Expanded Edition, $35By Tracy DiSabato-Aust. Perfect for the entry-level gardener, this practical guide is lush with clear, step-by-step advice for good growing.
William Shakespeare: Complete Works, $65Edited by Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen for the Royal Shakespeare Company. Where else can you find murderers, lovers, sprites, witches, and kings all in one expertly edited volume?
Tiffany's Table Manners for Teenagers, $17By Walter Hoving. A witty style and amusing illustrations make a seemingly dull topic surprisingly fun. Handy for anyone wanting to brush up on which fork to use.
The Film Encyclopedia, 5th Edition, $30By Ephraim Katz. "Which well-known actress got her start in horror films?" "What is a key grip, anyway?" Solve all such movie mysteries with the cinema buff's go-to source, packed with biographies, filmographies, and facts.
The World: A History, Combined Volume, $132By Felipe Fernández-Armesto. Sure, it's a broad topic, but Fernández-Armesto, a respected historian and scholar, delivers his colorful narrative in a way that won't remind you of your ninth-grade textbook.
Reader's Digest Complete Do-It-Yourself Manual, $35By the editors of The Family Handyman magazine. Whether you want to fix a leaky faucet or install a wood floor, get it done with the help of this comprehensive counselor.
The New Way Things Work, $35By David Macaulay. Updated to include digital devices, this classic title is a must-have for curious kids and befuddled adults when it comes to explaining the inner workings of the objects we use every day.