One of the oldest standbys for Christmas presents, books are so taste-dependent that they can also be the stocking stuffer most likely to disappoint. This year, make it the big whopper, the doorstopper, the slambang coffee table–breaking tome they could never justify buying for themselves — and will actually want to have sitting out for everyone to see. Unless otherwise indicated, all gift pricing is in (sometimes adjusted) Canadian dollars; no pricing includes S&H fees.
Oeuvre: The Art Of Drew Struzan
Your imagination knows these images, burned on the back of your eyelids and in your dreams from the videostore racks and theatre lobbies of your youth. Struzan is the commercial and concept artist behind the stylized, photorealistic poster art of George Lucas and Spielberg classics, including the Star Wars and Indiana Jones series. Still, this amazing collection also covers a range of iconic work you wouldn’t even guess. Goonies and Explorers anyone? $40
The Art Museum
This ridiculously-sized collection claims to be a complete overview of world art, covering off everything from the prehistoric paintings of the Lascaux Caves to the splattered canvases of Jackson Pollock. Certainly, all the big classics are here: “Mona Lisa,” Rothko’s Reds, Tutankhamen’s burial mask. Should you choose, this book could guarantee you’ll never suffer “Museum-legs” again. Even if it’s admittedly not the greatest book of art ever collected, clocking in at 20 lbs, it’s certainly the heaviest. $70
Kate Moss, by Mario Testino
Just like a dirty magazine on the newsstands, Kate Moss comes wrapped in gaudy red plastic. Also like one of those mags, it doesn’t disappoint, packed with nude, nude and more nude photographs of Britain’s most long-leggedy and lustiest model. Skip the Maxim subscription and instead pick up this filthy gorgeous collection for the photography fan in your life. The closest you’ll get to sniffing coke off a model’s rack between two covers. $2,000 limited-edition hardcover SOLD OUT (damn!); $70 cloth
Oil, by Edward Burtynsky
Toronto-based photographer famed for epically-scaled images as profiled in the documentary Manufactured Landscapes. Through his extreme wide-angled lens, Burtynsky captures our staggering effect on the natural world in processes such as shipbreaking and mining, that are as thought-provoking as they are strangely beautiful. His latest collection tackles oil in its industrial entirety, from the tar sands of Alberta to the tangled freeways of L.A. Eye opening. $130
Salmon Country, by Doug Underhill and André Gallant
C’mon, you big-city asshole: Buy your dad a book he’ll actually like for a change. Quite possibly Salmon Country, which just might be the ultimate guide to New Brunswick’s Great Angling Rivers. A keen and engaging look at the relaxed pleasures of life, in which Maritime sport fisherman share their favourite bends, forks and shallows, it’s the book of choice for those whose idea of perfection is the quiet hum of a misty river morning. Basically: your dad, right? $45
Image courtesy of justinrussell.