Books That Make Great Gifts for Men

shelved under Books to Give as Gifts

No matter how well you know someone, there's always someone in your life that's a challenge when it comes to gifts. If that someone is a man, then the list below may help.

All the books are excellent, there's something there for everyone and almost all of them are far from the beaten path and/or extremely new... so don't worry that he's already read it. :-)

 

The New York Times: The Complete Front Pages: 1851-2008

introduction by Bill Keller

My family has had this book lying around for years; it's a very large (perfectly legible) reproduction of the 300 most important front pages of the New York Times since 1851. But wait, there's more! Included are 3 DVDs that have ALL 54,266 front pages printed by The Times over the past 157 years. (And it gets even better. Click on any headline on a front page and you'll go straight to that article on the Times' website.) If the man in your life enjoys history in any way, this is a pretty fail-safe choice.

 

Willie & Joe: The World War II Years

by Bill Mauldin, edited by Todd DePastino

With this book we leap back 60+ years to a fascinating collection of the "Willie & Joe" cartoons from World War II. These cartoons are an incredible way to immerse yourself in the day-to-day trials of the war. Bill Mauldin captured the war perfectly because he was in it. He had created his characters, Willie and Joe, at age 18, before Pearl Harbor, while training with the 45th Infantry Division and cartooning part-time for the camp newspaper. His brilliant send-ups of officers were pure infantry, and the men loved it. He continued his cartoons throughout the war — right through his unit's 4 beach invasions.

 

What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures

by Malcolm Gladwell

Before this volume Gladwell had 3 books. The first was amazing. The second was pretty good. The third? Truth be told, not so great. With What the Dog Saw Gladwell retreats to a safe place — his excellent long-form essays for the New Yorker. Engaging from beginning to end, this book is a nice return to sturdy ground.

This book also appears on The Books of Malcolm Gladwell

 

Intrepid: The Epic Story of America's Most Legendary Warship

by John McCain, Robert Gandt, Bill White

This book doesn't have the most sophisticated prose, but it's an excellent recounting of the missions of the U.S.S. Intrepid — an aircraft carrier during World War II.

If the person you're buying for enjoys W.W. II books or was a fan of Stephen Ambrose then this will go over well.

Finally, what makes this book so interesting is that after reading the book, you can take a field trip. The Intrepid is still afloat — it's a naval and aircraft museum floating in the Hudson river on the west side of Manhattan.

 

In Pursuit of the Common Good: Twenty-Five Years of Improving the World, One Bottle of Salad Dressing at a Time

by A.E. Hotchner, Paul Newman

What I find so interesting about this book is that Newman could have directed his energy towards a memoir about his acting. Instead — recognizing that the world would benefit more from a recounting of his charitable work — this book is where he focused during his last year or so.

 

Call Me Ted

by Bill Burke, Ted Turner

Ted Turner. He's about 70% amazing and 30% annoying. But he's also 100% interesting. And guess what? This memoir of his is also 100% interesting. As you might expect, he just dumps it all out there — good and bad.

 

The Billionaire's Vinegar: The Mystery of the World's Most Expensive Bottle of Wine

by Benjamin Wallace

This would make a great gift for anyone interested in wine or history or business — the book is about all three. It's not a perfect book but the flaws are made up for by covering such an interesting topic.

 

The Digital Photography Book

by Scott Kelby

This isn't a book of theory of digital photography — full of confusing jargon and detailed concepts. This is a book on which button to push, which setting to use, and when to use it. Each page covers a single concept on how to make your photography better.

I'd buy it for any man with a newborn child and one of those massive digital cameras that he uses endlessly.

 

Scott Kelby's Digital Photography Boxed Set, Volumes 1 and 2

by Scott Kelby

Want to take it to the gift to the next level along with the digital photography? Then take a look at this boxed set. It includes the book above along with a 2nd volume of additional advice. There's also a signed print by the author.