Oxford Atlas of the World, 10th edition. Oxford, 448 pages, $75.
There are several worthy world atlases. Characteristically, they go through frequent edition changes, as borders, country names and other considerations change. Typically, they are big enough to hold open the most obstreperous of doors -- and it is approximately as dangerous to begin to leaf through one as it is to put a half-gallon bowl of popcorn beside your easy chair. With respect for all, my far favorite is the Oxford atlas, and by chance its brand-new 10th edition is out this month, with innovations right up to and including recognition of East Timor, which was formed on May 20 of this year. I can't precisely estimate how often I use the edition I have at home, but it is closer to weekly than monthly. And if there were kids in the house, that might move toward the daily column. A handsome, useful, inspiring thing to have, or to find under a tree.