If you wanted to distill a modern college education down to a single book, The Knowledge Book would likely be it. These 400 pages offer overviews on everything from philosophy and culture to rundowns on all the major religions, systems of government and technological developments, as well as the basics of science and mathematics and historical delineation of humankind’s artistic movements over the centuries. Put a ribbon and bow on it and it’s like a B.A. in a box, or buy it for yourself to brush up on all the stuff you forgot or wanted to avoid to protect your GPA. It’s a great coffee table book for those commercial breaks if you’re feeling brain rot coming on from your overindulgence in evening TV vegging out. Meanwhile, if you or your intended gift recipient failed science class or avoided it altogether, National Geographic’s Concise History of Science and Invention will fill in all those knowledge gaps with its wide-ranging look at human ingenuity from pre-history to the present.