8 Books to Give as Gifts This Holiday Season
From high-country homes to Rocky Mountain gardens, these fresh reads offer something for everyone
1. THE MAN BEHIND THE MAPS
Legendary Ski Artist James Niehues Skiers will love this book that details the work of Niehues, the man behind more than 260 ski-resort maps. Any of us who love to ski have held the labor of his efforts in our own hands without thinking about what went into its creation. Niehues—who shoots aerial images first, then consults topo maps before sketching out thumbnails, then painting—has the ability to take a multifaceted mountain and transform it into a beautiful, easily understood image on paper. Open Road Ski Company, $95.
2. COCKEYED HAPPY
Ernest Hemingway’s Wyoming Summers with Pauline In 1928, after returning to the U.S. from Paris with his new wife, Pauline Pfeiffer, Ernest Hemingway makes his first trip out West, where he’s heard the fishing is some of the best in the world. He stays at a dude ranch in Wyoming’s Bighorn Mountains and begins his love affair with Wyoming—returning to the state during summers with his family and friends through 1939. Pauline, once labeled as a homewrecker and shunned by many of their friends, and now in her role as devoted wife, has a starring role in this nonfiction tale that reads like a novel. Chicago Review Press, $28.99.
3. INSPIRED BY PLACE
Designed in CLB’s design studios in Wyoming and Montana, the 11 homes showcased in this monograph illustrate the firm’s bold contemporary spirit creatively expressed in regional form and materials. From a compound on the banks of the Snake River to a modest glass pavilion composed for wildlife viewing, CLB has crafted a new approach to architecture, and each project is unique to client, setting and nature. ORO Editions, $75.
4. BISON: Portrait of an Icon
With captivating images by Montana photographer Audrey Hall and an extended essay by Chase Reynolds Ewald, as well as writings and poetry by Henry Real Bird, a member of the Crown Nation and former Montana poet laureate, Bison tells the story of the animal’s history, majesty, cultural significance and comeback. The first book of its kind, Bison celebrates this Western icon as distinctly American as the bald eagle, brought back from the brink of extinction. Gibbs Smith, $50.
5. ON THE ROOF OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS: The Botanical Legacy of Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, Vail’s Alpine Treasure
With more than 285 full-color photographs, this book written by Sarah Chase Shaw examines the extraordinary effort behind the creation and evolution of Betty Ford Alpine Gardens in Vail, Colorado, devoted to high alpine plants. Named in honor of First Lady Betty Ford, an avid gardener and part time resident of Vail, the garden showcases some 3,000 alpine plants sourced from alpine environments around the globe. Gibbs Smith, $45.
6. MODERN AMERICANA
In this rich compilation of interior design inspiration, celebrity designer Max Humphrey encourages readers to enhance their style with décor that they collect, buy, inherit or dumpster-dive for. Humphrey’s advice works for a variety of styles from classic American country to sleek urban lofts and everything in between. Incorporating items like Pendleton blankets, camp vibes and vintage signs, Humphrey includes examples from his design and styling portfolio, along with photos and personal anecdotes. Gibbs Smith, $30.
7. CONNECTION: CCY Architects
A monograph of 10 residences located throughout the Rocky Mountain West by Colorado-based CCY Architects, Connection CCY Architects explores houses diverse in scale, site and intention. The showcase of CCY projects constructed in pristine nature, dense neighborhoods and even an avalanche path beautifully illustrates the firm’s design approach to creating architectural solutions rooted in natural places. The coffee table-size book contains over 300 photos, sketches, drawings, quotes and floorplans to inspire architecture fans around the world. Monacelli, $60.
8. BE A BOSS WHO GROWS LEADERS
Pat Wiesner, the retired CEO of Wiesner Publishing (now Wiesner Media, Mountain Living’s parent company) penned a popular monthly magazine column for 20 years. Compiled in this volume, Wiesner’s more than 100 essays about achieving meaningful business success are inspired by his experiences. More than a business book and timeless in its appeal, Be A Boss Who Grows Leaders provides inspiration on how to succeed—and help others succeed—in today’s corporate world. Amazon, $17.95.