<snip>"Zappa Family Trust Accepted Reading List(tm),"<snip>
Zappa's close relatives are hiding behind the "Zappa Family Trust" (ZFT) label. So if there's a list of "accepted reading", it could either mean that the content is "more accurate" or that the ZFT simply doesn't like opinions expressed in other books. This doesn't mean that these other books are bad.
On the Zappa.com website (see http://www.zappa.com/fz/books/index.shtml
, there are only two books. Maybe that you shouldn't focus too much on this "accepted reading quality label".
I'm currently reading "Frank Zappa" by Barry Miles. It's a recent biography (2004) with interesting interviews. I like it because it sometimes confronts Zappa's own point of views expressed in interviews or in his self-writtten biography ("The Real FZ Book") with opinions of other band members or witnesses. Maybe that this tend to provide for a bit more "objectivity", although I don't believe that a biography could be "objective" anyway.
Before that, I read Neil Slaven's "Zappa: Electric Don Quixote", also a good biography, very well known among Zappa fans.
There are indeed books on the market that "analyse" Zappa's work, but some folks tend to see things behind Zappa's work that were never intended in the first place and that FZ himself would probably find really weird. I'm not sure that these books are really interesting. I for one, as a Zappa fan, wouldn't buy them myself.
Please note, that there are also recently published CDs, like "Trance-Fusion", or the "Making of Freak Out" (MO/FO), a collector available only through direct order at Zappa.com. Maybe it could still arrive on time. These are certainly must-haves for every loyal Zappa fan. If your husband hasn't bought these yet, you should consider the purchase. But on the other hand... the torture inflicted to you by this music will never end -and a book is quiet.
Hey, and if you really do want to make your husband a favor, listen to some Zappa's lyrics as an inspiration for the Xmas evening (try some "Dina-moe-hum"... or "pinguin in bondage")
OK ok... sorry... just kidding