It might seem too early to be thinking about holiday gifts, but just in case you're an overachiever, a few great gift ideas have been rolling into the Marie Claire books closet that we may be gifting to the dudelier characters on our list — or may just be keeping for ourselves. (Hey, there's nothing wrong with kind of loving Judd Apatow, or science, or maps, okay?)
I Found This Funny: My Favorite Pieces of Humor and Some That May Not Be Funny at All
Editor: Judd Apatow, the guy behind Freaks and Geeks, Undeclared, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, and pretty much every other movie your boyfriend has dragged you to that you ended up loving.
Genre: Lowbrow/highbrow/fiction/nonfiction funny stuff, and stuff that might not really be funny but is still a great read
What Happens: Apatow has pieced together what can really only be described as an anthology of entertaining stuff — essays, short stories, poems, and drawings by everyone from Adam Sandler to Ernest Hemingway (with plenty of David Sedaris, Nora Ephron, and Ian Frazier in between).
When to Read It: This nearly-500 page compendium of awesomeness is the perfect companion on a long trip — if you're bringing a big bag.
Details: McSweeney's, October 22, $25
Bad Science: Quacks, Hacks, and Big Pharma Flacks
Author: Ben Goldacre, a doctor and science blogger who writes the "Bad Science" column in The Guardian.
Genre: Up-in-arms mythbuster
What Happens: Dr. Goldacre exposes how everyone from doctors to drug companies mislead the public and arms readers with solid, science-backed info about what they really need to be worried about. (Hint: You know how cosmetics commercials make it seem like your favorite products are made by doctors in white coats who speak a language you can barely understand — "Microcellular Complexes," anyone? — well, they're doing that just to trick you into buying crap, because you are not as smart as those fake doctors so you should just take their word for it. So not true, dudes.)
Why Read It: You owe it to yourself as a consumer of, well, anything to know what's really going on with the products and health advice you're being fed. Plus, it's just really interesting, period.
Details: Faber and Faber, October 19, $15
National Geographic Atlas of the World: Ninth Edition
Author: Uh, National Geographic. You know.
Genre: Really great atlases with awesome images
What Happens: Okay, it's pretty straightforward — this is just a really nice atlas. But seriously, it's gorgeous and would make a super great gift for your favorite map enthusiast (and really, who doesn't love maps?).
When to Read It: If you're lost, or interested in learning about sweet stuff like tectonic plates, regional conflicts, and even outer space.
Details: National Geographic, October 19, $175