OK, it's a little late for Christmas gift ideas, but here are some really good data design and visualization books:
- Rapid Graphs with Tableau Software 6 by Eileen and Stephen McDaniel. This is a solid introduction to the basics of Tableau. Power users should skip it.
- Visual Complexity by Manuel Lima. Fellow New Schooler Lima really explores the evolution of problems and how to illustrate connections and complexity.
- Information Graphics by Sandra Rendgen and Julius Wiedemann (Ed.) I'm not a huge fan of infographics but any book by Taschen is going to be good.