1. BOOK EARTHSONG BY BERNHARD EDMAIER ($59.95)
There’s no place like home—especially when you’re looking at it from a distance. In this gorgeously produced volume (with informative captions by geologist Angelika Jung-Huttl), aerial photographer Edmaier reveals the beauty of uninhabited parts of the planet, from Bering Glacier in Alaska to Sikidang Crater in Java. You’ll feel proud to be an earthling.
2. CD THIS IS REGGAE MUSIC: THE GOLDEN ERA 1960-1975 VARIOUS ARTISTS ($54.98)
Wishing you could escape to Jamaica for the winter, mon? Here’s the next-best thing: a delightful four-CD, 90-track box set that traces the evolution of reggae with cuts by Toots and the May-tals, Jimmy Cliff and, of course, Bob Marley. You can also dive into 22-pages of liner notes covering the history of the island’s music.
3. DVD HERO ($29.99)
Journey across seas and centuries with this tricky tale of politics, love and revenge set in ancient China. Starring top Asian actors Jet Li, Maggic Cheung, Tony Leung Chiu Wai and Zhang Ziyi and enlivened by gee-whiz sword fights and battles, it’s a visually ravishing epic that’s pure movie magic. Extras include an interview with the omnipresent Quentin Tarantino, who was instrumental in getting Hero an American release.
4. DVD DREAM TICKET ELTON JOHN ($39.99)
Talk about enjoyable rides. Here’s a DVD set that dares us to compare the 1970s Elton—he of the mile-high platforms—with the knighted Lion King of today. Recorded at concerts in diverse locales from the ’70s to the present, the songs prove Sir Elton’s still got the punch of his prime. Even the interviews, in which he introduces old videos by saying how much he hated making them, are a treat.
5.GARMIN iQue 3200 ($535.70)
No more badly folded maps in the glove compartment. This sleek 5-oz. device not only runs Palm OS 5.2 (meaning it’s a fully working PDA) but also features GPS technology that pinpoints exactly where you are on its worldwide maps. Voice technology means the unit can call outturn-by-turn directions. What’s missing: You’ll never hear, “Honey, I said turn there!”
DVD THE BOURNE SUPREMACY ($29.98)
Former CIA assassin Jason Bourne (Matt Damon, here cruising in Naples) returns in a globe-trotting, nail-biting sequel that surpasses the 2002 original—and features wish-we-were-there scenery from India to Italy. Extras include deleted material and a very cool how-it-was-done short on the film’s explosive car chase.
DVD LIVE AID VARIOUS ARTISTS ($39.99)
When moussed shags were the rage and Bono looked like a teen, a legion of music legends (including Sting, Madonna and The Who) checked their egos and performed two concerts on two continents on the same day in 1985, raising $140 million for victims of starvation in Africa. Four DVDs revisit it all.
BOOK CHARIOTS OF CHROME: CLASSIC AMERICAN CARS OF CUBA BY SIMON BELL & GEORGE FISCHER ($29.95)
Since the 1961 U.S. trade embargo, Cubans have clung to their 1950s American cars, lovingly polishing the fins and keeping the engines humming. In standout color photos, the authors present the island as a sort of Jurassic Park for living automotive dinosaurs.
CD GRANDES EXITOS 91_04 SANZ ($30.99)
The Spanish star and 11-time Latin Grammy winner will bring Barcelona to your backyard with this smooth greatest-hits collection, which features two new songs, “Cuando Sea Espacio” and the passionate “Tu No Tienes Alma.”
BOOK UNDER ANTARCTIC ICE BY NORBERT WU ($39.95)
There’s more to Antarctica than penguins (though Wu’s stunning snaps of the birds are aww-inspiring). A renowned marine photographer, he’s seen what few humans ever will, from pearly fish eggs incubating in an iceberg to colonies of tangerine-colored sea stars and urchins on the ocean floor.
DVD BEFORE SUNSET ($27.95)
Want to tour Paris without ever leaving your La-Z-Boy? This delightful sequel reunites the lovers (Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy) from 1995’s Before Sunrise in the City of Lights nine years later. The two take a long, scenic walk-talking and flirting all the while-through the French capital.
BOOK TREEHOUSES OF THE WORLD BY PET! ($35)
The kid in you will revel in this envy-inducing photo collection of arbor-centric structures, from S simple garden follies to an elaborate Victorian playhouse in Mississippi (right).