Author: Matt Zoller Seitz
Publisher: Abrams
Buy it here

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon's first short story collection is titled A Model World. The title works in two directions. With one glance it means an ideal world, one to be imitated. But shift your perspective and the title comes to mean a three-dimensional representation of a world, a little papier mâché planet hanging in a child's bedroom.

Keep this in mind when reading film and TV critic Matt Zoller Seitz's first book, The Wes Anderson Collection, for which Chabon penned the introduction. A labor of love drawing on years of studying Anderson's movies and speaking with the director himself about his work, Seitz's study of one of the most idiosyncratic American filmmakers is a small world unto itself. Original illustrations and bright collections of behind-the-scenes photos and ephemera fill the pages of this hardbound book-cum-art-object. The Wes Anderson Collection is divided into seven chapters, one for each of the director's films. Every chapter contains a small essay from Seitz, and then a longer interview between the critic and director.

Reading the book, you feel as if you're disappearing into the miniature world of Anderson's movies, like you're playing around in the files and fastidiously kept dossiers assembled for each project. In this way, the book mimics the work. It's smart, informative, and looks beautiful. In other words, it's the perfect gift. —Ross Scarano