CH Gift Guide: The Printed Page

"Madonna NYC 83," Questlove's "Mo' Meta Blues," Tom Dixon's "Dixonary" and more books and magazines that make the perfect present

Whether you’re looking for the ultimate book for the budding Thomas Jefferson in your life or you simply need to pick up a thoughtful last-minute gift, the printed page is always a solid option. Show how much you care by giving the gift of intellectual entertainment on a subject dear to their heart. To help, below are 10 magazines and books topping the Cool Hunting gift guide this holiday. Because, as Jefferson once declared, “I cannot live without books”—and really, no one should.

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Nendo: 10/10

Prepare to have your mind blown by the 320-page monograph “10/10“—a showcase of Nendo’s sublimely conceptual works. Founded by Oki Sato in 2002, the Tokyo-based studio has grown into one of the contemporary greats, committed to delivering awe-inspiring experiences through their designs. This most lavish of hardcovers brings these impactful moments in spades, as it catalogs an abundance of boundary-pushing work, from Nendo’s iconic sculptural furniture pieces to their mystical exhibition spaces, and is truly a must-have for any design aficionado. $78


Tom Dixon’s “Dixonary” explores the origins of the accomplished furniture designer’s inspiration. Juxtaposing photos and renderings of his illustrious designs with the images, anecdotes and musings that sparked each original idea, Dixonary reminds us that strokes of genius may come from the most unpredictable of places, from the shape of a hand grenade to a doodle on bar napkin. $39

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Modern Farmer Subscription

The brainchild of Ann Marie Gardner—formerly an editor at both the NY Times’ T Magazine and Monocle—Modern Farmer caters to “window-herb growers, career farmers, people who have chickens, people who want to have chickens and anyone who wants to know more about how food reaches their plate.” Pick up a subscription of this quarterly to stay in the know year-round. $20

L.A. Son

Chef Roy Choi helped kick off the food truck craze back in 2008 with his wildly popular Kogi Truck in LA, in which he served up his now-famous Korean tacos. The godfather of the street food revolution brings us his first book—a memoir and cookbook packing 85 recipes which pay homage to his experience and his city. $19

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Mo’ Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove

Questlove writes, “When you live your life through records, the records are a record of your life.” The iconic drummer, producer and co-founder of the The Roots has penned a stunning memoir about his epic journey to the top. His life’s work becomes a window into his background as he recalls growing up as the son of a 1950s doo-wop singer in Philly, various encounters with industry greats, and his witness of the evolution of hip-hop. All this told through a love and understanding of music that verges on the spiritual. $13


For music lovers, we give you a collector’s item, made even more relevant in light of Lou Reed’s recent passing. More bound work of art than book, “Transformer” showcases Mick Rock’s iconic collection of photographs, shot during the release of Reed’s 1972 album of the same title. Released in a limited edition of 2,000 books, signed by Rock and Reed, and featuring a 7″ vinyl picture disc with two of Reed’s anthems, this collection of captured moments serves as a great tribute to a legend who will be sorely missed. $475

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Susan Sontag

One of the contemporary world’s foremost thinkers, Susan Sontag contributed a wealth of critical analysis to a wide variety of subjects, and her singular intellect is as informative as it is provocative. In a new book, Rolling Stone vet Jonathan Cott delivers the hours of conversation he had with Sontag which weren’t published in his 1979 magazine interview, and the result is nothing short of a riveting. $19


Exploring the mind-bending question, “What does contemporary actually mean?” The MIT Press book “Time” explores how we measure minutes. If clock time is but a construct of capitalist structure, how else can we examine this abstract concept? Essays from thinkers like Walter Benjamin and Bruno Latour do so through the lens of recent art, which eschews this chronological experience for a new perspective. A heady read, this book is a great choice for academic intellectuals who appreciate art and want to dip a toe in further to the subject. $25

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Little White Lies Subscription

This bi-monthly British film magazine started out as a student project first released in 2005, and is now an award-winning independent publication that offers an alternative perspective to the much-loved medium that’s unfortunately often shrouded in millions of PR and advertising dollars. Each Little White Lies issue is themed around one film (past issues include Blue Jasmine and Elysium) but the conversation extends to relevant topics valuable to understanding the film itself, such as music, technology and politics. $40

Madonna NYC 83

An exciting new pictorial tome, “Madonna NYC 83” presents previously unreleased images from photographer Richard Corman’s extensive shoot with the Material Girl early on in both of their careers. The photos capture her singular energy as well as street life in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, and feel as fresh as the day they were taken. $35