I just got this book, The Martian, by Andy Weir last week for Pete for our 16th wedding anniversary and he read it in two days. Giving fiction is always tricky, especially as a gift and especially having not read it myself, but I got a very enthusiastic recommendation from a bookseller at Annie Bloom Books, here in Portland, who said it was wonderful. He said it was like MacGyver being stuck on Mars. Sold. Pete said this was so stressful and exciting to read—the most fun he's had reading a book in a very long time. I love the cover.
How Music Works, by David Byrne. He hasn't read it all, but really likes it. He keeps going back to it. He's not a hardcore David Byrne fan, but is a music major, and is facinatined by these essays. I see this book out often, he's had it about a year. It's also very pleasing to look at. I do buy books for their cover.
Atlas of Remote Islands, by Judith Schalansky. I bought this for him years ago and again, I see it around a lot. Reading reviews will help describe it—it's beautifully crafted (which is why I bought it) and he says it's fascinating. Especially for someone into islands, which he is.
I haven't read any of these, but would like to, or more precisely, I like it when he talks about them and then I feel like I have read them and can get back to my historical romances and werewolf stories. I read legit stuff, to, but you know what I mean. I need to find a historical romance with a werewolf in it. There must be one, surely.