This holiday season, give a gift that makes an impact beyond the "Wow!" upon initially opening it. The best books, CDs and DVDs offer hours of reading, listening and viewing pleasure for the lucky recipients. Compiled by Tom Beer, Glenn Gamboa, Rafer Guzmán and Diane Werts.

To see more holiday gift guides, visit .

'The Nutcracker in Harlem'

Credit: Harper Collins

Montauk resident T.E. McMorrow's "The Nutcracker in Harlem" is a jazz-inspired reimagining of the children's Christmas classic, $17.99,

"Beastie Boys Book"

Credit: Spiegel & Grau

This scrapbook of remembrances, photos, artwork and other ephemera was compiled by Michael Diamond and Adam Horovitz of the influential New York City rap trio (Adam Yauch died of cancer in 2012). They've also thrown in a mini cookbook by  Roy Choi (of Korean taco truck fame), a Beastie Boys style critique by fashion maven André Leon Talley (did he love every outfit? No) and appreciations by Spike Jonze, Amy Poehler, Wes Anderson and others. The book is a concentrated shot of anarchic Beastie Boys energy -- which is to say it's rad. Spiegel & Grau, $50. More info:

"Marvelocity: The Marvel Comics Art of Alex Ross"

Credit: Pantheon

"Once upon a time, there was a little boy . . . who decided that drawing superheroes was his only realistic option, if he couldn't actually become one." So begins this eye-popping compendium  -- designed and written by Chip Kidd -- of artwork by Alex Ross depicting the hot, hot properties of the Marvel universe: Spider-Man, Black Panther, Captain America, Iron Man, the Avengers, the X-Men, Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy and the Fantastic Four. There's even an original 10-page story featuring Spider-Man and the Sinister Six. Pantheon, $50. More info:

"Fred W. McDarrah: New York Scenes"

Credit: Abrams

This volume of 300 black-and-white photographs, taken by a longtime Village Voice staffer, sweeps you back to the New York of the 1950s, '60s and '70s -- especially the freewheeling scene of art, music, theater and protest in downtown Manhattan. Here is young Allen Ginsberg howling at a New Year's Eve 1958 party; 19-year-old Bob Dylan sharing a stage at Cafe Wha?; Susan Sontag smoking at a 1962 symposium on sex; a group of young people outside the Stonewall Inn the night of the 1969 gay riots; and much more.  Abrams, $40. More info:

"Robin Williams: Comic Genius"

Credit: Time Life

He could do anything, so here's a little bit of everything -- Williams' five HBO standup specials (1978-2009), unseen concerts, USO shows, talk/variety appearances, "Inside the Actors Studio" stop, top "Mork & Mindy" episodes, early standup clips and raw footage. List price: $200 for 22 DVDs, from Time Life, sold only at

"Author: The Portraits of Beowulf Sheehan"

Credit: Black Dog & Leventhal

Photographer Beowulf Sheehan's subjects are a who's who of the contemporary literary world, including Donna Tartt, Salman Rushdie (who wrote the foreword), Margaret Atwood, J.K. Rowling, Colson Whitehead, Louise Erdrich and more. They may be in color or black & white, serious or playful, spontaneous or posed -- Sheehan's pictures capture the literary community in all its range and complexity. Black Dog & Leventhal, $40. More info:

David Bowie, "Loving the Alien (1983-1988)"


The fourth in a series of retrospective box sets (11 CDs or 15 LPs, Parlophone) collects Bowie's work in the "Let's Dance" era, when he was biggest in America - including the "Let's Dance," "Tonight," "Never Let Me Down" studio albums and the "Glass Spider" live album. List prices: $119.98 (CDs); $279.98 (LPs).

"Universal Classic Monsters Complete 30-Film Collection"

Credit: Universal Pictures Home Entertai

The Hollywood originals are all collected here in even-eerier HD -- Boris Karloff's "Frankenstein" and "The Mummy," Bela Lugosi's "Dracula," Claude Rains' "The Invisible Man," Lon Chaney Jr.'s "The Wolf Man," and "Creature From the Black Lagoon," and more. List price: $150 Blu-ray/$120 DVD, Universal.

"The Shield": Complete Series (Blu-ray)

Credit: Mill Creek Entertainment

Ten years after this series' universally acclaimed final comes a collectible Digi-book with all 88 episodes sparkling from a recent 4K restoration, plus new bonus features (added after DVD release) -- cast reunion, writers reunion, restoration featurette, look-back at the show's impact, lots more. List price: $230 for 18 Blu-ray discs, Mill Creek. Out Nov. 6.

Soft Cell, "Keychains & Snowstorms" collection


This massive retrospective (9 CDs, 1 DVD, Universal) includes synth-pop singles such as "Say Hello, Wave Goodbye" and "Sex Dwarf," remixes, demos and two live CDs, as well as surprises such as the epic 10-minute "Hendrix Medley." List price: $124.98.    

Tom Petty, "An American Treasure" (4 CDs, Reprise)

Credit: Reprise

The 60-track deluxe version includes previously unreleased songs, including a charming demo of "The Apartment Song" with Stevie Nicks, as well as live versions and alternate takes of the late Petty's impressive rock catalog. List price: $44.99.

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