Okay, so your recipient doesn't need any more beauty products (really, though?) Or maybe you need to stock up on some host(ess) gifts that can please either gender. Or maybe you just want to get all of your shopping done on Amazon. Whatever, no judgment here.
A few rules on buying books as presents: hardcover only, buy new, unless it's a first edition (but first editions are pretty overrated), don't give a Kindle without loading it with a few books first, and don't follow up with the recipient--if they've read/liked the book, they'll let you know.
1.) For the globetrotter--New York Times 36 Hours Collection: Taschen (all good things come from Taschen) has put out several volumes. They include Europe, USA, South America, etc. I have the European version, of course, and I love it. There are color photographs for every city, and the Europe volume really gives a fair treatment to the lesser known destinations. This book is great for travel inspiration and it looks pretty nice on a bookshelf as well. My only criticism is that the European version does not offer hotel recommendations, which are included in the articles published on the NYT website.
2.) For the foodie--Lucky Peach subscription: I believe that this a quarterly magazine. It is supposed to be amazing. It's created by the head chef of Momofuku--David Chang and features articles about and by many of the up-and-coming chefs today. This is Bon Appetit for the truly food snobbish.
3.) For the hipster--Detroit An American Autopsyl--I loved this book. It's probably the best book I read all year. If you have a friend who's interested in the nitty gritty story of the decay of an American icon, written by a troublemaking ex-NYT journalist, this is the book for him/her.
4.) For the Richie Rich--The Monocle Guide to Better Living: I've already sung the praises of Monocle in this blog (so pretentious, I love it) and this is their big book of snobbery. It's vastly overpriced for what it is, but it looks damn good on a coffee table and will instantly make you cooler to those in the know. This is for the friend who already has everything, and can move to one of Monocle's "most livable cities" on a whim.
5.) For the history buff--The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire: I'm a classicist. What do you want from me?
6.) For the non-reader--Cabinet of Natural Curiosities: Why would you buy a book for a non-reader? Because people can always use (re-gift) a nice coffee table book and people never really buy themselves coffee table books. Also, this book looks beautiful (yeah, it's another Taschen). It has gorgeous colorful drawings that feel very Victorian. I would love this for my coffee table or to add to the stack of books in my room/closet.