One of these quirky little books might be just the last-minute gift you need.
The Curious World of Christmas: Celebrating All That Is Weird, Wonderful and Festive (Perigee) by Niall Edworthy is a charming little compendium of history, recipes, lists, tips and stories factual and fictional related to the holiday.
The Hedgehog's Dilemma: A Tale of Obsession, Nostalgia, and the World's Most Charming Mammal (Bloomsbury) by Hugh Warwick relates an environmental writer-photographer's enchantment with and investigation of the spiny little critters.
Nothing With Strings: NPR's Beloved Holiday Stories (Scribner) by Bailey White collects all 13 of the captivating small-town tales the author has contributed to All Things Considered over the years.
Colette Bancroft, Times book editor