I want to sneak in a quick highlight of the release of the second edition of local author and Hour Detroit contributor Paul Vachon’s excellent Detroit: An Illustrated Timeline, from Reedy Press. Even for the most hard-core history buffs, Vachon’s approach to bringing over 300 years of facts and images to life is fresh and welcome—especially for a city with its fair share of coffee-table books boasting about it.

To give a Detroiter in your life an overview of the city’s history spanning from French farmers to Motown and everything in between, you’ll want to add Detroit: An Illustrated Timeline to your stocking-stuffer holiday shopping list.