We’ve Got Your Gifts Wrapped Up #9: Life in Pictures

wrapped2.jpgThey’re a productive lot, the ABC booksellers. When we asked them for gift ideas, they inundated us with lists; so many that we couldn’t post them all before Christmas! We were too busy manning the cash desks and sellingbooks, to actually write about them, and lots of good ideas were left unposted in my in-box.

Which is a shame, since we know you shop at ABC all year round for presents, and the ABC-ers had some great ideas! If you’re ever stumped for what to buy, just click on ‘gifts’ on the category list in the sidebar to see all of our ideas. Our recommendations are also a good place to start.

Jasper, Amsterdam’s Art, Film & TV and Animation buyer compiled such a brilliant, useful, comprehensive list of gift ideas for art and film fans, that I just had to post it as soon as I recovered from all that turkey and wine and chivvied myself back to work.

Here are some of the most common gift problems Jasper hears, and the most common (and successful) answers he gives!


‘I know he/she likes to read about art theory and philosophy and wants to know more.’

30,000 Years of Art by Editors of Phaidon

Sculpture Today by Judith Collins

But is It Art?: An Introduction to Art Theory by Cynthia A. Freeland

About Looking by John Berger

‘I want to buy him/her a nice big expensive book about his/her favorite artist!’

Klimt by Alfred Weidinger

The Jean-Michel Basquiat Show by Jean-Michel Basquiat

The Keith Haring Show by Keith Haring

Frida Kahlo by Luis-Martin Lozano

‘I know he/she studied/makes art, but I don’t know anything about modern art.’

Tom Friedman by Dennis Cooper

Marlene Dumas by Dominic van den Boogerd

Learning to Love You More by Miranda July

The Principles of Uncertainty by Maria Kalman

‘He/she likes this new wave of American Pop Art, you know, sort of cartoonish.’

The Most Special Day of My Life by the Clayton Brothers

Dead Children Playing: A Picture Book (Radiohead) by Stanley Donwood

My Hunger for Venison by Gary Baseman

Lonely Heart: The Art of Tara McPherson by Tara McPherson

streetworld.jpgStreet Art / Grafitti

‘He/she likes Grafitti. Stuff with a spraycan.’

Street Sketchbook by Marco Tristan

Banksy Locations and Tours : a Collection of Graffiti Locations and Photographs in London by Martin Bull

Saber: Mad Society by Roger Gastman

Street World: Urban Art and Culture from Five Continents by Roger Gastman

Street Renegades: New Underground Art by Francesca Gavin

handjob.jpgGraphic Design

‘Something with design. -Graphic? -Yes, I think so…’

How to Be a Graphic Designer, Without Losing Your Soul by Adrian Shaughnessy

Illustration Now Volume 2 by Julius Wiedemann

Hand Job: A Catalog of Type by Michael Perry

Non-Format: Love Song by Kjell Ekhorn

The Little Know-It-All: Common Sense for Designers by Robert Klanten


‘He/she likes fashion, celebrities and beautiful women’

Let Me In! by Mario Testino

A Photographer’s Life: 1990-2005 by Annie Leibovitz

The Grace Kelly Years, Princess of Monaco by Frederic Mitterand

Big Book of Breasts by Dian Hanson

‘He/she likes classic photography, preferrably something black and white.’

Ansel Adams: 400 Photographs by Ansel Adams

The Kennedys: Portrait of a Family by Richard Avedon

Magnum Magnum by Brigitte Lardinois

In the Shadow of Mountains by Steve McCurry

‘He/she likes photography books, but I have no idea what kind of photography.’

Monkey Portraits by Jill Greenberg

Armed America: Portraits of Gun Owners in Their Homes by Kyle Cassidy

Alison Jackson: Confidential by Alison Jackson

H2O: The Underwater Photography of Howard Schatz by Howard Schatz


‘About fashion, you know, big books, dresses, models, what to wear.’

“VOGUE” Covers: on Fashion’s Front Page by Robin Derrick

Ralph Lauren by Ralph Lauren

Goddess Guide by Gisele Scanlon

The Little Black Book of Style by Nina Garcia

Gothic and Lolita by Masayuki Yoshinaga

lifetime-secrets.jpgHip & Hype

‘I don’t know what to buy, but I don’t want to walk through the whole ABC.’

Hot Pink Flying Saucers and Other Clouds by Gavin Pretor-Pinney

Gallop!: A Scanimation Picture Book by Rufus Seder

A Lifetime of Secrets: A Postsecret Book by Frank Warren

Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith

Fetish Bubblegirls: Worldwide Bubblegirls by Tilt

Dishwasher: One Man’s Quest to Wash Dishes in All Fifty States by Pete Jordan

special-effects.jpgFilm & TV

‘He/she likes classic movies. Or movies in general. Do you have something general?’

Cinema Now by Andrew Bailey

Film : a Critical Introduction by Maria Pramaggiore

1,000 Best Movies on DVD by Peter Travers

Time Out Film Guide by John Pym

‘It’s for a cinephile, can you recommend something?’

The Stanley Kubrick Archives by Alison Castle

Instant Light: Tarkovsky Polaroids by Andrei Tarkovsky

The Annotated Godfather: The Complete Screenplay by Jenny M. Jones

Rainer Werner Fassbinder: Berlin Alexanderplatz by Klaus Biesenbach

‘He/she is trying to make a film, at least he/she can’t stop talking about it…’

The Filmmakers Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide for the Digital Age by Steven Ascher

Digital Filmmaking by Mike Figgis

Save the Cat! Goes to the Movies: The Screenwriter’s Guide to Every Story Ever Told by Blake Snyder

The Eye Is Quicker: Film Editing: Making a Good Film Better by Richard D. Pepperman

‘He’s a bit of a nerd, he likes zombies and Star Wars.’

“Star Wars” Vault : Thirty Years of Treasures from the Lucasfilm Archives by Stephen J. Sansweet

Eiji Tsuburaya: Master of Monsters by August Ragone

Special Effects: The History and Technique by Richard Rickitt

DVD Delirium, Volume 3: The International Guide to Weird and Wonderful Films on DVD by Nathaniel Thompson

‘He/she really likes TV series, oh, and comedy, something about comedy.’

The Sopranos: The Complete Book by Brett Martin

24: The Official Companion Season 5 by Tara DiLullo

Finding Lost, Season Three: The Unofficial Guide by Nikki Stafford

Jokes My Father Never Taught Me: Life, Love, and Loss with Richard Pryor by Rain Pryor

‘He/she likes Disney and Shrek, Japanese cartoons. -You mean animation? -Yeah, exactly!’

To Infinity and Beyond!: The Story of Pixar Animation Studios by Karen Paik

Shrek: The Art of the Quest by Kathleen Jones

Simpsons Handbook: Secret Tips from the Pros by Bill Morrison

The Art of My Neighbor Totoro by Hayao Miyazaki

‘It’s for my mother.’

Oakdale Confidential: Secrets Revealed by Katie Peretti

The Sound of Music Companion by Laurence Maslon