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This Year’s Best Books For Everyone In Your Life

No excuses! Even the busiest person can make time for these beautiful collections and graphic novels — especially since many of these are perfect for picking up months after you left them, no worries about remembering what happened last.

Leslie Stein’s Present is a collection of diarylike graphic short stories — frank, charming, insightful meditations on daily life that manage to be sentimental but not cloyingly so. Emily Spivack’s Worn in New York is made up of short stories — this time centered on clothing and accessories that each storyteller (including Eileen Myles, Jenji Kohan, and Adam Horowitz) associates with New York, and paired with spare images of those items. Sneakers, by Rodrigo Corral, Alex French, and Howie Kahn, is also an anthology of sartorial tales — technically about sneakers but really much broader, touching on design, branding, street culture, and entrepreneurship.

The graphic memoirs of the group — Kristen Radtke’s Imagine Wanting Only This, a poignant meditation on abandonment by people and of places; Thi Bui’s The Best We Could Do, an intimate tale of family, immigration, and displacement — are a little bit more of a time commitment, but so, so worth it. (Check out a story by Kristen Radtke here.)

And for a collection of fascinating facts, there’s Manuel Lima’s The Book of Circles, full of circular diagrams about circles themselves, and the shape’s connection to subjects as wide-ranging as architecture, urban planning, fine art, design, technology, religion, and science.

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