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37 Incredibly Unique Books To Buy Everyone On Your List

Books make the best-last minute gift. Actually, books make the best ANY-minute gift.

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2. The Short Stack Cookbook, for people who have very passionate feelings about butter, bacon, brussels sprouts, and other ingredients that don't begin with the letter B.

Harry N. Abrams

Promising review: "This cookbook feels inspired. Not only by people passionate about ingredients and the cooking process, but also by the goal of making home cooking a joyful experience. The colorful book is sectioned by main ingredient. Choose one and build a meal around it." —M.A. Gates

Get it from Amazon for $22.72.

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3. The Nest, for children (and adults) who like their books to be eerie rather than cute.

Simon & Schuster

Promising review: "Kenneth Oppel and Jon Klassen are both titans of children's literature. Their first collaboration is a creepy confection sure to delight fans of Coraline. I hate to make the same comparison as the marketing, but this is one of those cases where it is true. I expect this scary story will become a new children's classic. If it doesn't, that's a true shame." —Liviania

Get it from Amazon for $7.98.

5. The Terrible Two, for pranksters young and old.

Amulet Books

Promising review: "I bought this as a bedtime book to read aloud to my 6-year-old daughter. We both loved it! In fact, the whole family loved it! This book did not stay relegated to bedtime for long. We cuddled on the couch on a Saturday afternoon and read it. I started taking it whenever we were in the car to read while my husband drove. You will not want to put this book down; it is just that fun." —Helen

Get it from Amazon for $8.08.

6. The 50 States, for pint-sized travelers.

Wide Eyed Editions

Promising review: "This is the most readable book I've seen on the 50 states. It is smartly written, gorgeously illustrated, and designed to a tee. It's the sort of book that you can dip into and out of for years... flip to an unknown state with your kid and learn something new, anytime! You can read it as random bits of interesting trivia, or study up on a particular state before a visit... the information is so stunningly curated and the little icons make it all very easy to find. I don't think anything here will expire -- the facts are timeless, making the book worth at least three times the price. Well done! I wish I'd published it." —Children's Publisher and Parent

Get it from Amazon for $21.21.

7. Unabrow, for late bloomers.

Plume

Promising review: "Laugh out loud, yes, you will. Unabrow is painful in the way that makes you cringe when you've been the one with the unabrow, or the too skinny legs, or the size 10 flipper feet, or.... any of the things that kept us from feeling like we fit in when we were kids. Were you an odd child? Were you always trying to figure out the password to the secret clubs everyone seemed to have found access to? Then you'll find your best friend in Una, even if she doesn't know it. But my feeling is, she wrote this, because she knows. LOVE this work by Ms. LaMarche. Gut busting hilarious, and charming." —Alexandra

Get it from Amazon for $14.44.

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8. An Illustrated Guide to Cocktails, for aspiring mixologists.

Avery

Promising review: "This is a fantastic book for both novice and the experienced cocktail drinkers. Filled with witty illustrations on every page, this book is not only fun to look at, but hilarious to read. I now have a nice long list of new drinks to try out. The recipes are easy to read (and there's a helpful index of where to locate them) and there are great stories with tidbits of information throughout. I was more than pleased with my purchase, and plan on purchasing another copy of this book as a gift in the near future." —Celery

Get it from Amazon for $16.36.

9. Nothing Like a Dame, for your friend who spends most of his paycheck on tickets to shows.

Oxford University Press

Promising review: "These really are conversations, not interviews - and that makes them invaluable. Each of these women reveal things that I haven't heard/read them reveal anywhere else, and by the time I got to the end of the book, I felt sad that the conversations were over. There's a lot to be learned here, not just about working in the theater, but about resilience and grace and humor and confidence and food poisoning." —FranklinT

Get it from Amazon for $19.76.

10. Ghostly, for anyone in the mood for a few goosebumps.

Scribner

Promising review: "Audrey Niffenegger is an expert in the off-beat and creepy (see Her Fearful Symmetry), so it's only fitting that she bring together a collection of non-traditional ghost stories. Sure, it's got your standard work of Poe, but Niffenegger also includes stories from authors not normally known for hauntings, including P. G. Wodehouse, Edith Wharton and Ray Bradbury. This is a book that makes you rethink what constitutes a ghost story, and whether hauntings are really scarier than what exists inside the human mind." —Kperelman

Get it from Amazon for $22.87.

11. What to Bake & How to Bake It, for wannabe bakers.

Phaidon Press

Promising review: "I love this book! It's perfect for those who are just starting out in the kitchen, or for those who might cook, but maybe not necessarily bake. Don't get me wrong, I would consider myself more than just the 'average' baker, and I loved it! I have so many delicious recipes marked for cakes, cookies, pies, frostings, and more! Each recipe is photographed beautifully and lists (and photographs) the ingredients needed in a well-organized and structured manner, which I very much appreciated. This is a 'larger' in size book and perfect to lay out in the kitchen while you're baking through each and every delicious recipe." —Blaise Doubman

Get it from Amazon for $23.33.

12. The Penguin Book of Victorian Women in Crime, for the most-skilled Google sleuth you know.

Penguin Classics

Promising review: "Each time I finished a story I thought to myself, 'Man, that was really good. I hope the next one isn't a let down.' And the next one would be even better than the last." —KathyZ

Get it from Amazon for $14.76.

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13. Raising Demons, for parents of young children.

Penguin Books

Promising review: "No one can touch Shirley Jackson. She is a master of the craft. If you're interested in Shirley Jackson, but horror isn't your favorite genre, start with Life Among the Savages and Raising Demons to follow the hilarious adventures of a woman raising four children." —R. Perry

Get it from Amazon for $14.56.

14. The Riverman, for storytellers.

Square Fish

Promising review: "Haunting, beautiful, memorable. In The Riverman, author Aaron Starmer takes the predictable fantasy formula and turns it upside down and inside out. It's a middle grade novel that is at times dark and creepy and at times funny and charming. Starmer's beautiful writing creates a fantasy world that is stunning and appealing." — PDXbibliophile

Get it from Amazon for $6.75.

15. Arcadian Nights, for anyone whose favorite high school reading assignment was The Odyssey.

The Overlook Press

Promising review: "A collection of stories from Greek mythology, but retold with a lot of creativity and imagination mixed in. Spurling keeps the storylines and characters intact from the old tales, but he adds tons of details into his versions that aren't in the originals." —Forris B. Day

Get it from Amazon for $16.47.

16. Bright-Eyed at Midnight, for diary-keepers and insomniacs.

Fantagraphics

Promising review: "Bright-Eyed shines light on the midnight sojourn of a chronically-challenged sleeper. Leslie takes us on a journey of discovery into the dark world of the insomniac. Leslie captures life's daily moments with water-colored glasses which so often need to be cleaned, evaluated and reconsidered. This is a book I will read again and again for the gems of life moments illuminated on every page." —Pattie

Get it from Amazon for $15.63.

17. Taste, for people who appreciate graphic design as much as they appreciate *cake* design.

Aurum Press

Promising review: "Beautiful graphics, very informative, and very addictive. A great coffee table book and conversation starter. A foodie must-have!" —Etruria

Get it from Amazon for $19.20.

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18. Let's Kill Uncle, for people who love Wes Anderson movies.

Bloomsbury

I say that because I just really wish Wes Anderson would make this book into a movie. He'd be the perfect director for it.

Promising review: "Some novels simply defy easy categorization and Rohan O'Grady's Let's Kill Uncle is decidedly one of them. It's not a children's novel, though I suspect a lot of children would strongly identify with the protagonists, ten-year-olds Barnaby and Christie, having to navigate hazardous adult waters with a child's moral compass. It's not exactly a murder mystery, as it's clear from early on who's intent on killing whom. It's too serious to be a black comedy, but too imbued with the invulnerable whimsy of childhood to be a typical drama. What it is, though, is thoroughly engaging and memorable, sure to stay with you long after you've finished reading it." —Whitt Patrick Pond

Get it from Amazon for $9.59.

19. Golden Girls Forever, for anyone you want to thank for being a friend.

Harper Design

Promising review: "Jim Colucci quite simply has raised the standard for what a TV show companion volume can and should be. Fans of the classic sitcom should prepare to have their minds blown by this combination of never-before-seen photos and a meticulously researched behind-the-scenes look at one of the most beloved series in TV history. And, most importantly, it's a great read. No coffee table should be without one. It's perfect lanai reading!" —Frank DeCaro

Get it from Amazon for $18.99.

20. Letters of Note, for your sister who prefers ink instead of email.

Chronicle Books

Promising review: "These letters range from the serious to the funny, from important historical moments to passages of little import. And yet, every one shows the power of the form" —Timothy Haugh

Get it from Amazon for $27.18.

21. The Drunken Botanist, for gardeners who enjoy a nice cocktail after a few hours weeding.

Algonquin

Promising review: "Love the book! It is a must for any bar (are there books in bars?) and for any gardener and plant lover. It's a great read, lots of theory, science, and fun." —Kerstin Poh

Get it from Amazon for $11.99.

22. Nanotecture, for anyone who has a Pinterest board filled only with tiny houses.

Phaidon

Promising review: "If you are interested in architecture, but small scale, this is a good book to look at." —Akire

Get it from Amazon for $15.99.

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24. Feeding Hannibal, for your uncle who still can't believe they cancelled the show.

Titan Books

Promising review: "An exquisite book full of delicate, high end, and delicious treats. This is not macaroni and cheese dressed up for a show, this is sea urchin and shattered tea cups for those who delight with bloody and insatiable jokes and palates. If you loved the show, this book is for you." —Lucy Kusanagi

Get it from Amazon for $23.13.

25. Other-Wordly, for word nerds.

Chronicle Books

Promising review: "Have you ever had moments, feelings, moods, or situations that you found hard to express in words? If so, you will enjoy and appreciate this book--the author discovers and interprets those special words in such a clever and precise way that will speak your mind. The illustrations of this book are beautiful and fit perfectly with the words, and I love the diversity of the people in the drawings. What a beautiful book!" —Winnie Jigsaw

Get it from Amazon for $10.96.

26. Labyrinth: The Ultimate Visual History, for Goblin Kings and Queens.

Insight Editions

Promising review: "All I have to say is THIS BOOK IS AMAZING!! I have never seen a 'Making of' book (and I own about 20 of them) with memos and details in leaflets in between the main pages. I am so pleased." —alorindanya

Get it from Amazon for $45.

27. Pink is For Blobfish, for anyone who thinks pink is the best color.

Knopf

Promising review: "This book is amazing! As a teacher, I love this book to spark creativity and higher level thinking. Students are drawn to learning about animals and this book is incredibly engaging. As a mom, I love this book because it's a great book to initiate conversation. Each page has a striking photograph of the animal, a comic-like illustration of the animal, and three types of text (an overview, fun fact, and encyclopedia-like information)." —Rogers

Get it from Amazon for $11.89.

28. Modern Folk Embroidery, for stitchers.

David & Charles

Promising review: "If you love folk embroidery (or would like to give it a try), this book is a must-have. No boring old hearts and flowers here. Instead you get traditional motifs arranged into colorful, clean-lined designs by Nancy Nicholson, a very talented British designer. The book itself is beautiful to look at, with photos of the projects that will have you reaching for thread and needle. The projects themselves are simple, yet classy: ornaments and framed pictures; bracelet and brooches; pillows and pincushions and bags. " —A Reader

Get it from Amazon for $16.89.

29. Professor Astro Cat's Frontiers of Space, for star gazers.

Flying Eye Books

Promising review: "This is a wonderful book for introducing kids to some pretty complex topics. My 6-year-old loves it and looks forward to reading a few pages every night. My husband and I are enjoying and learning from it, too. The graphics are beautiful. This book makes a scientific topic accessible, interesting, and fun for kids. Can't recommend it highly enough." —Amazon Customer

Get it from Amazon for $16.46.

30. Breeds, for anyone who's always covered in dog hair.

Flatiron Books

Promising review: "Charming little illustrations accompany the humorous (and somewhat accurate) descriptions of the many breeds of dogs. A nice gift for any dog lover...especially kids." —Grace K.

Get it from Amazon for $10.61.

31. The Adventure Time Encyclopaedia, for the Lumpy Space Princess in your life.

Harry N. Abrams

Promising review: "There are not enough great things I can say about this book, it is just so spectacular, we love it so much! It will be kept and treasured forever and forever." —Terbear

Get it from Amazon for $13.39.

32. Ladies Drawing Night, for artists.

Chronicle Books

Promising review: "I read the whole book in a day and was incredibly inspired! The trio set up 10 different themed Ladies Drawing Nights to inspire you to start your own. There's a definite sense that this sort of activity is a great way to infuse creativity into your life, especially for folks who may be creative professionals but don't get a lot of opportunity to make things with their hands anymore." —Ana Reinert

Get it from Amazon for $17.87.

33. Deep Dark Fears, for people who believe in facing theirs (or at least reading about them).

Ten Speed Press

Promising review: "Fran Krause's web comic immediately captures the essence of our, often unique and macabre, childhood fears. His book, a collection of never before seen comics as well as a few of the most popular ones displayed online, is an excellent coffee table book and conversation starter. One would be hard pressed to find a friend or relative who doesn't relate to at least one of Krause's scenarios, which range in tone from light hearted and ridiculous to downright bone-chilling. An absolute must-have for anyone wanting to be amused and unsettled in the same, glorious moment." —E. McCormick

Get it from Amazon for $10.73.

34. The Where, the Why, and the How, for the curious.

Chronicle Books

Promising review: "Here we have 75 of today's top scientists teamed up with some of the best artists, then turned loose on some of the most interesting or head-scratching mysteries of science. The art is lovely, the science is accessible. Solid science articles back up the great art. Sometimes a tad whimsical or even humorous." —Wulfstan

Get it from Amazon for $19.58.

35. Jane Austen Cover to Cover, for Janeites.

Quirk Books

Promising review: "Showcasing 200 years of Jane Austen book covers with large color photographs and entertainingly informative text, this is a book Austen fans will treasure, but really anyone interested in history, the evolution of book publishing, or changes in graphic art will have lots to enjoy in its pages. The covers chosen vary wildly, from gorgeous to hilarious, and the passages explaining their circumstances and putting them in historical context are fascinating." —Jaylia

Get it on Amazon for $20.22.

36. The Donut Chef, for anyone who could polish off a baker's dozen in one sitting.

Dragonfly Books

Promising review: "This beautiful, humorous, fun book was an instant hit in our house. My kids cannot get enough of it" —R.R. Shapira

Get it from Amazon for $6.69.

37. The Art of Clean Up, for perfectionists.

Chronicle Books

Promising review: "My only wish is that he did more of them. The photos are so clever and so inventive that I was smiling almost unrelentingly as I paged through it." —W. Carlin

Get it from Amazon for $10.81.

Still want more? Check out 47 more books that make incredible gifts here plus our round-up of the best fiction books of 2016 here.

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