Info: $159.99, www.polaroidstore.com
Capacitive gloves: It's winter, and you're visiting Grandma in Minnesota or Uncle Fred in Boston and you need to call Grams or text Fred. Which means you must remove your gloves to use your cellphone, thus freezing your fingers. Enter Boss Tech's one-size Cashmere Knit Touchscreen Gloves, which have six fingers that will work with your cellphone/tablet/e-reader screen. There are lots of these kinds of gloves out there; I liked these because they won't break the bank, come in various colors and fit my stubby fingers like, well, a glove.
Info: $6 or less from various merchants, www.accessoryhighway.com
Tidbits: It takes a special person to like "Gross America." Fortunately, among my friends and family, there are many who will enjoy Richard Faulk's semi-encyclopedic book about such places as Leila's Hair Museum in Independence, Mo. (which focuses on the Victorian practice of hair mourning art), the waste lagoons of eastern North Carolina and a statue to the Donner Party in Truckee, Calif. Well, I suppose it's a matter of taste — the book, I mean.
Info: $13.95, www.penguingroup
Movable feast: In his foreword to "Food Lover's Guide to the World," James Oseland, editor of Saveur magazine, writes, "For me, there is no better way to understand a place — to literally get it inside you — than by eating its food. Through food, I always find my way." In the lavishly illustrated pages of this coffee-table tome, you'll find food and drink from a host of countries, recipes (pork vindaloo from India, bibimap from South Korea) and explanations of local foods unique to those places. There's even an entry on California cuisine.
Info: $39.99, www.lonelyplanet.com
Thrill of it all: Not all of us are going to hike Ethiopia's Simien Mountains, but that doesn't mean we can't dream about seeing its gelada baboons. In Lonely Planet's "Great Adventures," the reader is treated to a breathtaking array of travel experiences, illustrated with beautiful photography. From washing elephants in Thailand (which even a tame traveler could do) to driving El Camino de la Muerte (Road of Death) in Bolivia (which seems redundant for freeway-loving Californians), the book will have you reveling in the sheer variety of a world without chain restaurants and strip malls.
Info: $39.99, www.lonelyplanet
McCarthyism: "The Longest Way Home: One Man's Quest for the Courage to Settle Down," by Andrew McCarthy. An actor is born again as a traveler and writer. "They say it's the male 'Eat Pray Love,' " said Greg Freitas, co-owner of the Traveler's Bookcase in Los Angeles, which has sold many copies. The key, Freitas said, is that "it's not too self-absorbed."
Info: $26, imprints.simonandschuster.biz/freepress