Cathy Erway The Art of Eating In
While Erway is not gluten-free, she DID take two years off from eating out in NYC, such that she needed to cook almost every single morsel that touched her lips. Sound familiar? Erway's book resonated with me more than many gluten-free how-to guides, especially as a fellow NYCer and food aficionado. In particular, it was heartening to see her find alternate ways to socialize around food - and without it. (She also has a blog which is filled with lots of beautiful and easy to prepare food that is often naturally GF or easily converted.)
Sloane Miller Allergic Girl
This book literally had me in tears at times - good tears - tears of recognition and understanding. (That weepy girl on the 5 train this past winter? ME.) Miller names those often awkward or awful things we have to deal with as folks with food intolerances/allergies (dating, unsupportive family members, getting sick during social events) and offers ways to make them better next time. And even if you can't get your great aunt Berta to stop telling people that it's all in your head, Miller's book can help you shake it off and move on. (Miller's blog is also a great resource for allergy/intolerance info, including restaurant recommendations!)
Harold McGee On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen
Alright, so this 800+ page tome may not be for everyone. But if you have a GF food nerd on your gift list, this food science guide is a must. No need to read it straight through; it's organized into 15 chapters with titles such as "Seeds: Grains, Legumes, and Nuts", Cereal Doughs and Batters: Bread, Cakes, Pastry, Pasta" (AHEM), and "Wine, Beer, and Distilled Spirits" - all of which it would behoove the gluten-free home cook to know more about, especially if you plan to convert regular recipes to GF. (To be clear: the book doesn't provide conversions, but it does explain the science behind why, say, bread and pasta "work".)
So there's my personal short list. What's on your's? Please share!