Gifts of Information

Our last stop on the holiday book recommendation train includes some books about real, actual people and things.

Chuck Close: Face Book

Chuck Close

Abrams, 2012

The famous portraitist tells his remarkable story, overcoming severe dyslexia, prosoagnosia (the inability to recognize faces) and paraplegia to become one of the most celebrated artists alive in an interactive book brimming with stunning detail. A class of fifth grade students in Brooklyn asks him questions, and his candid, matter-of-fact responses give us a picture of the artist just as clear and impressive as the portraits he paints of others. Exquisite, tactile and inspirational.

Bomb: The Race to Build–and Steal–the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon

Steve Sheinkin

Macmillan, 2012

In this un-put-downable record of the Manhattan Project historian Sheinkin weaves three distinct narratives into an utterly compelling page-turner about spies, science and sabotage with abundant facts and indelible lessons. It’s always a pleasure to follow an enthusiast on a literary exploration, and the velocity of this particular journey makes it is especially exciting. Gripping, informative and scrupulous.

Children’s Book-A-Day Almanac

Anita Silvey

Macmillan, 2012

For the children’s-book-loving adult on your list, this treasure trove by noted critic Anita Silvey makes a different recommendation for every day of the year and comes overflowing with corollary tidbits of fascination. Look for Silvey’s book-a-day for more suggestions and more fun.  Erudite, expert and comprehensive.