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15 gift-worthy coffee table books for the holidays

The holidays bring out the inner-coffee table book obsessive in gift buyers. They're easy, weighty and satisfying to give. You've done your job with your pricey treat.

A few to consider for music lovers, history buffs, foodies, fashionistas and more:

 

MUSIC

"The Beatles: The BBC Archives: 1962-1970," by Kevin Howlett, Harper Design, $60. The Fab Four's years on air at home, as told in transcripts of interviews, photos and internal documents. Coincides with the November release of a new album, "On Air — at the BBC, Volume 2."

"Soul Train: The Music, Dance and Style of a Generation," by Questlove, Harper Design, $45. Aretha, Smokey, Ike and Tina, Marvin, Michael, Diana — and plenty of photos and text covering the work of Don Cornelius, host of the longest running syndicated program in TV history. The frontman for the Roots takes us on the journey through the show's debut in 1971 to 1993, the final episode Cornelius, the creator, hosted.

"Legends, Icons & Rebels: Music that Changed the World," by Robbie Robertson, Jim Guerinot, Sebastian Robertson and Jared Levine, Tundra Books, $29. For young readers, the music industry vets offer an introduction to 27 legends, including James Brown, Curtis Mayfield, Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye and Otis Redding. Includes two CDs totaling 27 tracks.

 

HISTORY & MEDIA

"Smithsonian Civil War: Inside the National Collection," edited by Neil Kagan and Stephen G. Hyslop, Smithsonian Books, $40. From the story of Winchester, the swift-footed horse of Union commander Philip Sheridan, to Winslow Homer sketches.

"Vanity Fair 100 Years: From the Jazz Age to Our Age," edited by Graydon Carter, Abrams, $65. Anything you ever wanted to know about the magazine in archival black-and-white, color covers and illustrations, all spanning the arts, war and politics.

"Vietnam: The Real War," by The Associated Press, $40. Mostly black-and-white, up-close photography of the fog and debris of war, including an injured John McCain and the cut of a knife into the belly of a Viet Cong prisoner under interrogation by a South Vietnamese soldier.

 

FILM & PHOTOGRAPHY

"Guillermo del Toro, Cabinet of Curiosities: My Notebooks, Collections and Other Obsessions," by del Toro and Marc Scott Zicree, Harper Design, $60. Notebooks, sketches and interviews from the mind of the "Hellboy" and "Pan's Labrynth" creator. Thoughts from Neil Gaiman, Ron Perlman and others.

"Humans of New York," by Brandon Stanton, St. Martin's Press, $29.99. Includes 400 color portraits from the meandering chronicler of the New York condition.

"The Wizard of Oz: The Official 75th Anniversary Companion," by Jay Scarfone and William Stillman, Harper Design, $40. Production stills, munchkin and Dorothy hair and wardrobe tests. Mock certificates for a brain, courage, heart and home are included in a back envelope of memorabilia, along with a death certificate for the Wicked Witch of the East.

"Caught in the Act: Actors Acting," by Howard Schatz, Beverly J. Ornstein and Owen Edwards, Glitterati Inc., $65. Portraiture by Schatz with oral histories and improvisation at his direction. See Sam Waterston respond to the prompt: "You're a dairy farmer who hates cows, hates milk and hates getting up at 4 a.m. seven days a week, just after signing a mineral rights deal with a natural gas drilling company." One hundred percent of royalties from sale of the book to be donated in equal shares to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and the SAG Foundation.

 

FASHION & CELEBRITY

"Dior Glamour," by Mark Shaw, Rizzoli New York, $115. Shaw was behind the lens at the House of Dior shooting haute couture from 1952 to 1962. Color and black-and-white candids, portraits, commercial spreads and shots of intimate fashion shows for small crowds, conducted in utter silence and without music.

"The Dirty Side of Glamour," by Tyler Shields, HarperCollins, $25. Celebrities bloodied, naked, on fire and otherwise staged for the unrelenting, Los Angeles-based provocateur. He includes the infamous chainsaw hacking of a $100,000 Birkin bag, Gary Busey in a straitjacket and never-before-seen work.

"Hollywood Costume," edited by Deborah Nadoolman Landis, Abrams, $55. Spans the silent era to present day with brief histories, accounts by costume greats like Edith Head and the people they dress. Learn what Johnny Depp thinks about the impact of his costumes on his work, along with Robert De Niro, a collector of the clothes he wears on set.

 

FOOD

"The Photography of Modernist Cuisine," by Nathan Myhrvold, The Cooking Lab, $120. Composed dishes levitated to reveal every delectable part. Food bisected in ovens and pots and beautifully scrutinized microscopically. The photo-scientists at The Cooking Lab offer lush, oversized spreads and all their secrets on how the work was done. Not a cookbook.

"Fruit: Edible, Inedible, Incredible," by Wolfgang Stuppy and Rob Kesseler, Earth Aware Editions, $35. Similar microscopic cross-sections focused on fruit, seeds and nature's seed dispersers from the toucan to the fruit bat. Exhaustive scientific text. Stuppy is the seed morphologist for the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership, the international conservation project.

___

Follow Leanne Italie on Twitter at http://twitter.com/litalie

Copyright The Associated Press

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  • Long before his short stints in jail turned into years behind bars, Khalid Masood was known as Adrian Elms, with a reputation for drinking and an unpredictable temper. At least twice he was convicted of violent crimes, well before he stabbed a police officer to death Wednesday with a motion one horrified witness described as like 'playing a drum on your back with two knives.' But as he checked out of his hotel to head toward London for his deadly rampage, the manager said he was struck by his guest's friendly and outgoing manner. Within hours, Masood drove his rented SUV across the crowded Westminster Bridge, leaving a trail of dead and wounded. Then he jumped out and attacked the officer at Parliament with a blade in each hand, before being shot to death by police. In all, he killed four people and left more than two dozen hospitalized in what authorities called a terrorist attack. Masood, who at 52 is considerably older than most extremists who carry out bloodshed in the West, had an arrest record dating to 1983. The violence came later, first in 2000 when he slashed a man across the face in a pub parking lot in a racially charged argument after drinking four pints of beer, according to a newspaper account from the time. The victim, Piers Mott, would keep the scar the rest of his life, said his widow, Heather. The last conviction was in 2003, also involving a knife attack. It's not clear when he took the name Masood, suggesting a conversion to Islam. Heather Mott said Masood appeared to come out of jail 'even worse.' She said she got chills when she learned the identity of the London attacker. 'And it makes you feel even sicker when you think, God, that was the guy who lived here. What a pity they didn't realize he was a nutter,' she said. Police are combing through 'massive amounts of computer data' and have contacted 3,500 witnesses as they look for clues as to why the British-born man launched the deadly attack. 'Clearly that's a main line of our investigation is what led him to be radicalized: Was it through influences in our community, influences from overseas or through online propaganda? Our investigations and our arrests will help in that, but the public appeal will make a big difference if people come forward with more information,' said Britain's top counterterrorism officer, Mark Rowley. Prime Minister Theresa May said Masood was 'investigated in relation to concerns about violent extremism' years ago. But she called him 'a peripheral figure.' The Islamic State group described Masood as 'a soldier,' claiming responsibility for the attack. Rowley said police are investigating whether he 'acted totally alone inspired by terrorist propaganda, or if others have encouraged, supported or directed him.' Ten people remained in custody Friday on suspicion of preparing terrorist acts. Detectives have searched 21 properties in London, Brighton, Wales, Manchester and the central English city of Birmingham in one of Britain's biggest counterterrorism operations in years. Wednesday's attack was the deadliest in Britain since suicide bombers killed 52 commuters on London's transit system on July 7, 2005. Once Masood's identity became known, police and the media began tracing his final hours. The manager of the Preston Park Hotel in the beachside city of Brighton where Masood stayed the night before the attack said he seemed unusually outgoing and mentioned details about his family, including having a sick father. 'He was normal, in fact friendly, because we spent possibly five or 10 minutes talking to him about his background and where he came from,' Sabeur Toumi told Sky News. He was 'laughing and joking, telling us stories about where he lived,' Toumi said. Police raided the room, searching for clues about Masood. Among the items seized were the trouser press and the toilet paper holder. Masood's mother lives in rural Wales, according to a website on which she sells handmade creations like cushions and handbags. The listings on Folksy by Janet Ajao have been taken down, but in an archived version of the site, she describes living in 'rural west Wales with my husband, border collie and a few chickens.' Calls to the home in remote Trelech, Wales, went unanswered Friday. When Masood was in school, he took his stepfather's name, Ajao. He was athletic and popular in high school, known as someone who liked to party, according to Stuart Knight, a former classmate who said the young man was one of only two black students in the school of 600. 'I am in shock — that is not sympathy for what he has done — he was a nice guy and I'm surprised he turned and did what he did,' Knight said. In one of the last places Masood lived, a home in Birmingham, neighbors recalled him as a quiet man whose wife was veiled and who wore traditional Muslim clothing. But the neighborhood is not among one of the city's many Muslim enclaves, suggesting he was not deeply embedded in his religious community. Moazzam Begg, a former Guantanamo prisoner who was born and raised in Birmingham, said details emerging of the attacker's life raised questions about whether he had strong ties to the Muslim community and where he may have been radicalized. Since British authorities began cracking down on mosques, many people were instead being radicalized online, he added. 'He did not live in a Muslim neighborhood. In my mind, in my analysis, he was probably a drifter,' said Begg, adding that no one he knew in the community had met Masood. 'I'd also be surprised if he had any connection with a mosque, because sadly they are places where you can no longer discuss politics or air grievances.' Cultural and religious alienation can fuel such violence, he said. Begg helps run a group called Cage that has encountered extremists who spoke of their alienation before they committed attacks. Begg said his group did not know of any impending attacks. 'I've always felt negative radicalization is part push and pull,' Begg said. 'If a person feels like he doesn't belong ... this can be part of the push.' While in prison, Begg said he saw others who succumbed to radicalism. He said that groups like the Islamic State have exploited people's weaknesses and criminality. Further details of the London rampage continued to emerge Friday. A former British Army officer told the BBC that rescuers held the hand of Constable Keith Palmer and talked to him as they tried in vain to save his life after he was stabbed. Mike Crofts, a former Army captain who served in Afghanistan, said he was in the courtyard outside Parliament following a meeting with politicians about using boxing to engage young men when the attack took place. 'I rushed towards the scene,' he said, and began first aid along with Staff Sgt. Tony Davis, one of Crofts' instructors at Sandhurst, Britain's military academy. Ultimately, 20 to 30 people tried to save Palmer's life. 'Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we were unable to save him,' Crofts said. 'Palmer at the time was surrounded by a whole host of colleagues who really loved him. We held his hand through the experience. We talked to him throughout, but unfortunately, he passed away.' ___ Hinnant reported from London, where Associated Press writers Danica Kirka, Jill Lawless and Gregory Katz contributed.
  • A man died Thursday morning after driving a pickup truck off a 100-foot embankment on I-575, officials said. The accident happened on the southbound side of the interstate near Ridgewalk Parkway in Woodstock. The truck was found upside down. “It’s a significant drop,” Cherokee County sheriff’s Lt. Jay Baker told Channel 2 Action News. “It appears they were traveling at a pretty high rate of speed (considering) the distance where the car went airborne.” Officials told Channel 2 the man was in his mid-30s. The accident caused major delays during the morning commute. The Cherokee sheriff’s office and Woodstock police are investigating. In other news:
  • U.S. stocks are higher Friday as technology companies rise, but challenges to the Republican-backed American Health Care Act are again weighing on the market. For most of this week investors have been waiting for answers about the fate of the bill, which is scheduled to be voted on later Friday after it was delayed a day ago. Stocks are on track for their biggest weekly loss of 2017. KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index picked up 6 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,351 as of 1 p.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones industrial average added 13 points, or 0.1 percent, to 20,669. It rose as much as 61 points earlier on. The Nasdaq composite jumped 32 points, or 0.5 percent, to 5,849. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks advanced 6 points, or 0.4 percent, to 1,359. TECH LEADS: Technology companies made the biggest gains on the market, continuing a strong run over the last few months. Chipmaker Micron Technology surged $2.30, or 8.7 percent, to $28.77 after its second-quarter earnings were much better than analysts expected, and data storage company Western Digital jumped $2.49, or 3.3 percent, to $78.68. Also rising were utility companies like WEC Energy and PG&E, and consumer-focused companies like Starbucks, Nike, and clothing company PVH. HEALTH BILL HOLDUP: Investors aren't overwhelmingly concerned about the health care bill itself, but they wonder if a failed vote or a long debate would delay aspects of President Donald Trump's agenda that the market is more excited about. Those include tax cuts, greater infrastructure spending, and cuts in regulations. The legislation would provide tax credits for people buying their own insurance and would scale back the government's role in helping people afford coverage. It would likely leave more Americans uninsured and would make big changes to Medicaid, a joint federal-state health program for low-income Americans. Health care investors appeared to be wagering that the bill will fail. Hospital operators like HCA Holdings and Universal Health Systems rose, and so did insurers that do a lot of business with Medicaid, like Centene and Molina Healthcare. When the act was introduced, those stocks traded lower because investors were concerned hospitals would have to take in more patients who lack insurance and that insurers would get less money from Medicaid. The largest national health insurers were mixed Friday. MATERIALS SKIDDING: Construction materials maker Vulcan Materials fell $2.01, or 1.7 percent, to $113.38. Martin Marietta Materials, which sells granite, limestone, sand and gravel, lost $2.90, or 1.4 percent, to $210.59. Steel maker Nucor declined 87 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $60.39. MAKING A SPLASH: SeaWorld Entertainment jumped after a big investment from China. SeaWorld said real estate holding company Zhonghong Zhuoye Group bought a 21 percent stake from Blackstone Group. It said the Chinese firm paid $23 a share, and an executive will join SeaWorld's board. The stock has struggled in recent years because of controversy over the condition of SeaWorld's killer whales, which hurt attendance. The stock gained $1.08, or 6.2 percent, to $18.39 Friday. FULL STOP: Video game retailer GameStop disclosed weaker-than-expected revenue as consumers cut back on shopping while they waited for companies to introduce the next generation of game systems. GameStop's forecasts for this year fell far short of analyst forecasts. The company said it expects to earn between $3.10 to $3.40 per share in its current fiscal year, while FactSet says analysts expected $3.73 a share. The stock dropped $2.99, or 12.5 percent, to $20.97. NOT A PHOTO FINISH: Sport shoe retailer The Finish Line slumped after the company said it had to cut prices in the fourth quarter because consumers didn't like some of its products. Like many other retailers, it also faced generally tough business conditions. The company reported a loss due to impairment charges and it cut its annual profit outlook. The stock shed $3.09, or 19.2 percent, to $12.97. BONDS: Bond prices rose slightly. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.41 percent from 2.42 percent. ENERGY: U.S. crude oil futures rose 14 cents to $47.84 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 13 cents to $50.79 a barrel in London. Energy companies took small losses, however. CURRENCIES: The dollar inched down to 111.05 yen from 111.07 yen. The euro edged up to $1.0804 from $1.0786. OVERSEAS: In Germany, the DAX added 0.2 percent and the French CAC 40 dropped 0.2 percent and Britain's FTSE 100 index dipped 0.1 percent. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index rose 0.9 percent following recent losses. The Kospi of South Korea shed 0.2 percent while Hong Kong's Hang Seng reversed earlier losses to finish 0.1 percent higher. ___ AP Markets Writer Marley Jay can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAP His work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/journalist/marley-jay
  • A judge has dismissed a large part of the case against the man accused of holding six women against their will inside a Sandy Springs mansion.Kenndric Roberts appeared before a judge Thursday and heard the extensive case against him.Channel 2's Mike Petchenik was inside the courtroom and live-tweeted the hearing as a detective went on the stand to detail the investigation.We'll have more on the new details released in the case on Channel 2 Action News starting at 4Roberts was facing 14 felony charges, including six counts of human trafficking and six counts of false imprisonment, and weapons charges.Charges that remain are:1. False Imprisonment 2. False Imprisonment 3. Weapons charge Prosecutors said Roberts held six women against their will at a mansion and forced them to dance at the Pink Pony strip club.They said he took their money, by one account, $78,000, for just two months of work. RELATED STORIES: Woman held captive was forced to dance at strip clubs, mother says Man accused of holding women captive faces 14 felony charges Man accused of holding 6 women captive in Sandy Springs mansion Investigators also said he also threatened harm to the women if they left him.'He took her phone, we found her passport in his bedroom,' said detective Justin Clutter. 'Basically she was in fear because she saw firearms. He ended up sending her to Dominican Republic to get a breast augmentation and a butt lift. And he started making threats.'Roberts attorney called him a 'poor man's Hugh Hefner,' who had legit contracts with these women to pay them for the work they were doing for him.He argued Roberts lavished them with expensive gifts as part of their payment and that they were free to leave as they wanted. Minute by minute coverage of the case: Judge also sets a bond for Kenndric Roberts. D.A. arguing victims weren't notified about potential bond.-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Breaking: Judge dismissed all but three charges against Kenndric Roberts. pic.twitter.com/v0Op6UrYqS-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Defense attorney argues women weren't held against their will, wanted to partake in the lavish lifestyle Kenndric Roberts was providing.-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Prosecutor: Roberts threatened to cut the breast implants out of a victim if she tried to leave him.-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Attorney: 'My client is a poor man's Hugh Hefner.'-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Attorney points out Kenndric Roberts has no previous arrest record, despite allegations of gang affiliations.-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Attorney: 'They were living pretty high off the hog, weren't they?' Det: 'That's debatable.'-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Attorney says Roberts paid for health insurance for the woman, provided them vehicles, expensive jewelry.-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Attorney says women had housing, personal chef, tanning contracts and beauty salon stipends while working for Roberts.-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Defense attorney argues all the girls had contracts with a 'termination clause' in it.-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 I obtained this handwritten note Roberts' attorney says he wrote showing items he says he gave one woman who worked for him. pic.twitter.com/uFQUsoiWLw-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Det. testifies Roberts forced the women to dance at the Pink Pony in Brookhaven, then took all their tips.-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Det: Kenndric Roberts put vehicles in the name of one victim who had good credit.-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Det.says one human trafficking victim wrote an e-mail to the Attorney General's office laying out allegations of abuse at the home.-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Det. says Roberts wouldn't allow the women to keep any money on them at all.-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Detective says Roberts stole $78k from women he forced to work at strip clubs.-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Detective testifies Roberts sent victim to Dominican republic to have breast work and butt lift.-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 A #SandySprings special investigator is testifying in human trafficking case. pic.twitter.com/Z4GGAli63x-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017 Kenndric Roberts is in court for his prelim hearing on human trafficking charges. pic.twitter.com/w0eXros87D-- Mike Petchenik (@MPetchenikWSB) March 23, 2017