Last-minute gifts

BY

December 05 2005 1:00 AM ET

BOOKS

Who
doesn’t love a pop-up book? Two of this
season’s best are Matthew Reinhart’s
Cinderella and Robert Sabuda’s
Winter’s Tale: An Original Pop-up Journey
(Simon & Schuster, $26.95 each).

Those Queer
Eye
guys just can’t stop making your life
hipper and more fun. Share Ted Allen’s The Food
You Want to Eat: 100 Smart, Simple Recipes

(Clarkson Potter, $27.50) with the overscheduled cook in
your life. For gender-venturous children and their
families, there’s Carson Kressley’s fun
You’re Different and That’s
Super
(Simon & Schuster, $12.95), a storybook about
an ostracized unicorn with adorable illustrations by
Jared Lee.

Stocking-stuffer
alert: BükAmerica’s series of $1.49
Büks (available from bukamerica.com) offer
complete short works in sturdy, handsome bindings.
Selections include an Edith Wharton story, Lynn
Davis’s photo essay on icebergs, and art critic
Christopher Knight’s essay on the National Mall in
Washington, D.C.

Think
“craft fair” is synonymous with
“losers’ creepy hobbies”? Not so:
Greg Der Ananian’s Bazaar Bizarre (Viking
Studio, $16.95) will speak to the tattooed cross-stitch or
print-making artist in your life. It includes profiles
of the book’s many countercultural contributors
and handy directions to make anarchy soap, hair
extensions, sock monkeys, and more. And yes, Der Ananian
created the cross-stitch art on the cover.

For your
friends’ coffee tables: Relive the 1970s with the
photos and stories in Bar Mitzvah Disco (Crown,
$23.95), “with a foreword by the Village
People” (need we say more?). Remake your home
with Jonathan Adler: My Prescription for
Anti-Depressive Living
(ReganBooks, $34.95).
Rediscover the gorgeous abstract paintings of living
lesbian legend Joan Snyder in a stunning new monograph
(Harry N. Abrams, $50). Rekindle desire with Kal
Yee’s sensual black-and-white portraits of
mostly nude men in Slide ($45 from slidethebook.com).

DVDS

Bugs, bats, and apes

Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume Three
(Warner, $64.92) offers 60 newly restored animated shorts,
many starring notorious cross-dresser Bugs Bunny.
Cartoons go live action in Batman: The Motion Picture
Anthology 1989–1997
(Warner, $72.92),
complete with nippled costumes in two of the four
original features. And purists will love The King
Kong Collection
(Warner: $39.92), which includes the
1933 classic; the sequel from the same year, The
Son of Kong;
and 1949’s Mighty Joe Young.

A-singin’ and a-dancin’

Souped-up new
packages turn several classics into attractive gifts for
the movie-musical maniac in your life. Warner Home Video
offers two-disc ($26.99) and three-disc ($39.92)
versions of The Wizard of Oz, so you can decide
yourself just how good a friend of Dorothy your gift
recipient is. Fox Home Entertainment has rolled out
sumptuous anniversary editions ($26.98 each) of The
Sound of Music
(40th), Oklahoma!
(50th), and State Fair (60th).

And for song and
spectacle, there’s always the eagerly awaited
Barbra Streisand: The Television Specials
($59.98; Rhino), featuring five classic hours of TV,
and Cher: Extravaganza—Live at the Mirage
($14.98; Eagle Rock), a typically over-the-top TV special
from 1992.

The boob tube

DVD choices for
TV addicts include the 1980s’ Hart to Hart: The
Complete First Season
(Sony, $49.95), on which out
playwright Mart Crowley (The Boys in the Band)
was a producer, and the comic genius of SCTV:
Volume 4
(Shout Factory, $89.98). More recent
series sets include the quippy dramedy of Gilmore Girls:
The Complete Fifth Season
(Warner, $59.98);
the underrated (and gay-inclusive) Mission Hill:
The Complete Series
(Warner, $29.98); the original
Project Runway (Miramax, $39.99) with
“deleted seams” (get it?); and three
versions of Fox’s American Idol: “Best
Of” and “Worst Of”

compilations (Capital Entertainment, $19.98 each) and a
three-disc combo set ($34.98). And for friends you’ll
spend $200 or $300 not to see for weeks on end, there
are complete sets of Buffy the Vampire Slayer
(Fox, $199.98) and Sex and the City (HBO,
$299.95).

CDS

Soul parade

For your
buddies’ macking pleasure, there’s Ultimate
Isaac Hayes: Can You Dig It?
(Stax): Covering
his work from Shaft to Chef, this double disc
(plus DVD) compiles the finest hard-hitting Memphis soul and
’70s soundtrack grooves from the man once christened
“Black Moses.” The soul train continues
with Gilles Peterson Presents the BBC Sessions
(Ether): U.K. radio tastemaker cherry-picks in-studio
performances from leading lights of neo-soul, down-tempo and
hip-hop. Philly newcomer Jazmine Sullivan should give Alicia
Keyes fans pause. Keep their booties shaking with DJ
Dan’s Lift (Thrive): It’s a
consistently thrilling seat-of-the-pants two-CD set of
dark, funky house and techno, programmed by this
perennial people’s favorite—and
gay—club music groundbreaker. —Kurt B.
Reighley

Eclectic avenue

Surprise your
more eclectic pals with In the Heart of the Moon
(Nonesuch), mesmerizing duets by African guitar master
Ali Farka Touré and kora (21-string gourd-harp)
virtuoso Toumani Diabaté. Or go way out there with
The East Village Opera Company (Decca), a fab
marriage of hard rock and opera: “Nessun
Dorma” nails that tricky high note between
Rent and classic Queen. Then there’s
Señor Coconut Presents Coconut FM:
Legendary Latin Club Tunes
(Essay), a set of
distinctive, contemporary South American dance-floor
jams; think Fannypack slathered in salsa.
—K.B.R.

Girls’ march

Whether your
loved one likes girls that way or just feels sisterly pride,
this year’s crop of CDs by, for, or about women will
liven up your holiday giving. Start with the sass of
Music From and Inspired by Desperate
Housewives
(Hollywood): A ladies-only lineup (k.d.
lang, Indigo Girls, Shania) overhauls pop and country
classics like “One’s on the Way,” and
the disc features bitchy dialogue snippets to boot.
U.K. songbird Kate Bush is back with Aerial
(Columbia)—sublime ruminations, perfect for
your favorite yoga mama. Know a Norah Jones or Diana Krall
diehard? Dreaming Wide Awake by Lizz Wright
(Verve Forecast) hits the spot, and Toshi Reagon
guests. Most delicious of all is One Kiss Can Lead
to Another: Girl Group Sounds Lost & Found

(Rhino): It’s four discs of
lip-gloss-smackin’ ’60s ditties by Lulu,
Lesley, Dusty, and future gay icons Dolly Parton and
Cher. Deceptive hatbox packaging will confound pesky
gift-guessers! —K.B.R.

Team works

Singer and
entrepreneur Lee Lessack (whose LML Music supports dozens of
recording artists) hit a career peak this year with In
Good Company
(LML), an album of delicious
duets with stage and cabaret stars including Susan Egan and
Michael Feinstein— a must-have for lounge
lizards and the musical-mad. Not sure what tunes will
please a pal? Give the benefit set Love Rocks (www.
hrc.org): Out of 32 tracks, everyone will find
something to rip onto their iPod.

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