By Ian Barry and Nicolas Stecher (Assouline, 172 pages, $695)
The perfect gift for the boys (and girls) who love their toys. The French publisher spared no expense with this tribute to the 100 greatest motorcycles ever; the stunning oversize high-resolution photos were printed separately on heavy stock and then glued to the pages. The presentation of the book -- it weighs a hefty 16 pounds and measures 14" x 17" -- is equally impressive: It's encased in a black rubber clamshell case embossed with a metal motorcycle that practically growls, even while sitting on the table.
'The Photography of Modernist Cuisine'
By Nathan Myhrvold (Cooking Lab, 312 pages, $120)
The Microsoft executive turned molecular gastronomy whiz transforms his high-tech cookbook into a whiz-bang coffee-table book that shows food like you've never seen it before.
Boiling Vegetables in 'Modernist Cuisine'
This shot of boiling vegetables looks Photoshopped but is 100 percent real -- an illusion created by literally cutting a pot in half and gluing heat-resistant Pyrex over the open half.
Blueberries, 'Modernist Cuisine' Style
A close-up of blueberries looks like an alien landscape.
Close-Up of Salmon Being Cut
Freshly cut salmon is as much art as it is food.
By Deborah Nadoolman Landis (Abrams, 272 pages, $55)
A beautiful collection of the most beloved costumes in Hollywood's greatest movies, from the homeless couture Charlie Chaplin wore as The Tramp to Johnny Depp's buccaneer garb in Pirates of the Caribbean. Curated by Oscar-nominated costume designer Deborah Nadoolman Landis (Coming to America), the book celebrates an important but often overlooked contribution to films. Nadoolman Landis (wife of writer-director John and mother of screenwriter Max) pairs the photos with fascinating historical essays, clothing actors in a CGI world and interviews with well-known actors.
Hollywood Costume Exhibit in London
The author posing at the costume exhibit at London's Victoria and Albert Museum upon which the book is based.
'Jewels by JAR'
By Adrian Sassoon (Metropolitan Museum of Art, 120 pages, $40)
New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art is celebrating Parisian jeweler Joel A. Rosenthal -- aka JAR -- with the first American retrospective of his work in an exhibition that runs through March 9. The book highlights 40 of the 400 pieces on display at the Met from this cult favorite designer who was called "the Faberge of our time" by Diane von Furstenberg. JAR's ability to transform metals and precious stones into miniature pieces of art (see his raspberry brooch made of rubies, diamonds, gold, silver and platinum or his sapphire, ruby, opal, amethyst, diamond and gold butterfly) is jaw-droppingly cool. No prices are listed, but Lily Safra sold a collection of 18 JAR bracelets and brooches for $11.5 million in 2012.
Brooch from 'Jewels by JAR'
An exquisite diamond and ruby brooch from the shop of the famed Parisian jeweler Joel A. Rosenthal.
Cameo by JAR
Joel A. Rosenthal's ability to transform an ordinary piece of jewelry into something remarkable is demonstrated in this ruby, emerald, gold and ivory cameo.
'Star Wars: Frames'
By George Lucas (Abrams, 736 pages, $150)
The Star Wars creator has culled his favorite 1,416 frames from the six movies of the billion-dollar saga for this two-volume book that comes in a box that resembles Darth Vader's TIE fighter. (A 2008 six-volume limited edition commands upward of $10,000.) Editor J.W. Rinzler says the goal was to allow fans to "see each film through George Lucas' eyes." The pictures come unadorned with captions or notes, but Guillermo del Toro provides all the words a fan needs in his introduction: "For my generation -- for me -- the first two Star Wars films were pillars of not only entertainment but of filmic myth-generating and mythmaking."
Darth Vader From 'Star Wars: Frames'
A tight shot of Darth Vader from Return of the Jedi is one of the movie stills featured in the new book about the hit franchise.
'Revenge of the Sith' Still
In this frame from Episode III: 'Revenge of the Sith,Ewan McGregor as the young Obi-Wan Kenobi faces off against Anakin Skywalker.
'Never Built Los Angeles'
By Sam Lubell and Greg Goldin (Metropolis Books, 376 pages, $55)
If you happen to know Brad Pitt (or another architecture buff), this look at the Los Angeles that could have been is the perfect gift. The cool projects featured in the catalog for the just-completed exhibit at L.A.'s Architecture and Design museum, which range from a 1930s plan to build an elevated monorail to a 2008 proposal to build a grass-and-plant-covered condominium, look more like set designs for a sci-fi movie than urban-planning proposals. Some will make you wonder how they even got to the concept stage: One mid-'60s plan envisioned building a series of artificial islands in Santa Monica Bay for an offshore freeway. Cooler heads saved L.A. from ending up looking like an American Dubai.
Proposed elevated rail track that was never built
This mid-century plan envisioned an elevated rail track to ferry passengers around the city.
Proposed 1925 Downtown Arts Center
Frank Lloyd Wright proposed this arts center for downtown Los Angeles in 1925.
'The Wes Anderson Collection'
By Matt Zoller Seitz (Abrams, 336 pages, $40)
The critic Matt Zoller Seitz takes readers on a tour through everything Wes Anderson, devoting a chapter to each of his films, from Bottle Rocket to Moonrise. The volume includes never-published Anderson ephemera, including photos, artwork and notes.
'Rushmore' in 'Wes Anderson Collection'
Jason Schwartzman as Rushmore's main character, Max Fischer, highlights the opening page of the chapter devoted to the 1998 cult classic.
Table of Contents for 'Wes Anderson Collection'
A particularly Anderson-inspired design for the table of contents.
'National Geographic: Around the World in 125 Years'
Edited by Reuel Golden (Taschen, 1,468 pages, $499)
This three-volume set collects more than a century's worth of the best photography to appear in the fabled magazine, from rare early black-and-white photos to stunning contemporary color pictures taken digitally. It's organized by continent and limited to just 125,000 copies worldwide.
Tibetan Girl in Traditional Costume in 'Around the World in 125 Years'
An elaborately arranged portrait of a four-year-old Tibetan girl in a traditional costume photographed in 2008.
Breaking for Lunch on a Nevada Farm in 'National Geographic'
A 17-year-old working as a buckaroo in Nevada in 1979 breaks for a lunch of peanut butter and maple syrup sandwiches.
Hollywood's most powerful woman quits at the top after 18 years to become a TV director (yes, really!) as Disney CEO Bob Iger reveals his succession plan ("My goal is to do it fast") and both detail the full backstory in interviews with THR. Read More