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This is probably incredibly obvious, but: If you really love “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” and also really love cats, and especially if you like clever/humorous illustration, well, this is the book for you. Happily, our family is in all three groups, so it’s perfect for us, too! A lot of the fun is seeing which cat breeds are matched up to each role in the long-running, beloved series.

Then, there are several directions each illustration takes: Some are re-created moments of ultra dramatic (melo)drama from ST:TNG, which is fun. Others are classic repeated moments (“Tea, Earl Grey, hot.”) And yet others are the costumed cats doing things that cats would do if they were on the Enterprise-D, like gazing longingly at a fish take. The illustrations are well done, true to the series, often quite funny, and all are really cute, too. This is, without question, the absolute greatest book about TNG, with the characters being replaced by cats, in any quadrant of the galaxy. “Engage!”

Wow, this is a book where the cover’s subtitle, “Stunning Monochromatic Arrangements for Every Season” is not only entirely appropriate, but also entirely too modest. The book goes well beyond merely “stunning.” The photos within are truly amazing, making it not only a fantastic guide to flower arranging throughout the four seasons, but also a truly gorgeous coffee table book, too. I say this because I recently finished a large-scale documentary project where I documented and edited video and photography of the greatest floral still life paintings in history. The paintings were lovely, and often among the more beautiful artworks I’d ever seen.

And yet, I have to say, these photos go beyond the great masters with brilliant arrangements, lush lighting, and a subtle control of such profuse colors that many pages are literally breathtaking. The arrangements are very cleverly designed, with the limits of keeping each within the proper season becoming more inspiration than limitation. The book itself is large, with rich printing on high quality paper, and is very well bound. It would make a fantastic gift for anyone who appreciates the beauty of flowers, especially since this book will transport that appreciation into one of awe. And to be clear, I am entirely serious and sober, and I say these things without exaggeration. Having reviewed thousands of books in my lifetime, this is very likely the most beautiful book I have ever seen, bar none. Truly astonishing. What a triumph!

In the 1920’s, a remarkably detailed dollhouse was commissioned for Queen Mary, partly as a delightfully elaborate toy, but also as something of a time capsule of life in the Twenties — at least for the very/royal elite. In fact, among the tiny wine cellar filled with minuscule bottles of actual wines, and the real flower garden, and the other delightfully realistic furnishings of the home, was a library stocked with tiny books, with actual writings from famous authors of the day.

Some have been published beyond that dollhouse library. But one was lost, until now. Among those miniature, leather-bound volumes was this story, now published in this collector’s edition. The book is lovingly illustrated in an Art Deco style by Kate Baylay, and the text is, of course, a charming tale of a mini/not-miniature ghost/not-ghost, who has taken up residence within the dollhouse. Her stories span her surprising interactions, over many centuries, with the most interesting characters from both fable and history. Altogether, it is a lovely and charming book, well-written and beautifully illustrated and bound.

“Why is the dog doing that?” That’s something I’ve wondered about for literally every dog I’ve ever owned. I’ve researched things online, and read other books, yet found little info that was understandable or actually gave me a greater appreciation for the dogs that, one way or another, life has placed in my care. Finally, I have my answers.

This is a remarkable book which considers the history, breeding, temperament, the good, the bad, and the ugly of each general breed of dog. It’s a revelation. Well designed, engagingly written, helpful photos, and more. Great gift for any dog owner, new or old.