Browse our coast-inspired book picks for everyone on your gift list.
Any surf fanatic knows Kelly Slater as an eight-time world champion. Kelly Slater: For the Love, an artistic coffee table book, offers a revealing, personal look at the man behind the success. Anecdotes, random musings, and competition memories fill 192 pages. Photographs, some never before published, follow Kelly from his childhood to the present. Sequence shots capture every moment of rides in oceans around the world. By Kelly Slater with Phil Jarratt, 2008; $35. Visit chroniclebooks.com.
If Aunt Sally always brings the most unique dishes to family gatherings, she’ll love the recipe twists in The Cape Cod Table. Think ginger pumpkin bisque, saffron-scented cod and tomato soup, and smoked salmon cheesecake. The paperback compilation also includes classic Cape dinners such as chicken pot pie and lobster rolls. Chefs can quickly find recipes in chapters divided by dish, and conveniently convert measurements with the closing page’s table of equivalents. By Lora Brody, 2003; $19.95. Visit harvardcommonpress.com.
Perfect for preschoolers, I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean tells the tale of a bright-blue giant squid cruising through the ocean, noting he’s larger than most marine animals. When a whale swallows him whole, the squid stays in high spirits, saying, “I’m the biggest thing in this whale!” The colorful, oversized pages engage young readers with simple text and collage art. By Kevin Sherry, 2007; $16.99. Visit penguingroup.com.
Whether your friend volunteers each summer on sea turtle patrol or just enjoys learning about marine creatures, Sea Turtles of the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts of the United States will delight. The book thoroughly describes species that frequent those areas. An introduction to sea turtles’ lives precedes chapters dedicated to particular species: leatherback, loggerhead, Kemp’s ridley, olive ridley, green turtle, and hawksbill. Who knew that green turtles aren’t green and loggerheads are carnivores? By Carol Ruckdeschel and C. Robert Shoop, 2006; $19.95. Visit ugapress.com.
From exploring Maui’s black sand beaches to fishing in East Hampton, Where to Go When: The Americas outlines a month-by-month vacation guide for the avid traveler. With coastal destinations in North, Central, and South America as well as the Caribbean, the book categorizes trips as one of six types: festivals and culture, unforgettable journeys, natural wonders, luxury and romance, active adventures, and family getaways. Find the best time to visit each destination, the best sites to see, and the best things to do. Edited by Joseph Rosendo, 2008; $40. Visit dk.com.
A comprehensive, fully illustrated guide, Sea & Coastal Birds of North America details characteristics of nearly 100 key species found in the wild. In-depth profiles give information on appearance, habitat, behavior, food, migration, sounds, family life, and more. Individual range maps mark which coasts provide the best chance for viewing each bird. Preservation-minded readers will appreciate the maps accompanying threatened species that show the conservation status for every state, province, and territory. By Scott Leslie, 2008; $29.95. Visit keyporter.com.