Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
especially welcome to extensive readers

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Shop 'til you drop or How I stopped hating holiday shopping and learned to love the commericalism

Well,it's that time of year when folks decided to celebrate the season of winter's arrival by divebombing into the stores and fighting to the death over the latest hot
ticket item of the month. To make things easier and to help you avoid the embarrassment
of giving someone a rather odd present(do you think Tom Cruise put a big bow on the
sonogram machine before he gave it to Katie?),I've put together a list of recommended
goodies for gift giving this year:


Had to start with that-okay,paperbacks first,

Popco by Scarlett Thomas:I've mentioned this book before but I really think this
would be perfect for many people. You can give it to Sudoku fans(plenty of number
codes in this story),corporate slacker types,Brit Lit readers and just anyone who
wants to know a smart and quirky heroine with a mysterious locket that may lead to
a buried treasure.

The Know-It-All by A.J. Jacobs:I blurbed this one for Booksense(and nearly wrote to
the NYT after Joe Queenan's snarky review). It's a fun factoid read about Jacobs' reading the entire Encyclopdia Britannica for a year and his adventures with that-getting to meet Alex Treback,for one(which disqualified him to be a Jeopardy contestant-Jacobs had to settle for Who wants to be a Millionaire). A good gift
for any serious and not-so serious reader.

Mammoth Cheese by Sheri Holman: This is the little book that could. When it first came out in hardcover,everyone at my store had already read it and loved it. The plot
is basically about a small town that decides to recreate a historical presentation of
a mammoth cheese to Thomas Jefferson to the newly elected President as not only a way
of reminding him about his pledge to help small farms(the local chesse maker is a main force behind the cheese stunt)but to revive the community spirits after a local
family event goes askew. Mammoth Cheese is a strong and sympathic look at people and
politics without major stump thumping. Before you give it to someone,read it for your
self and savor the flavor.

Lily of the Valley by Suzanne Strempek Shea:This is my personal favorite of Suzanne's novels,mainly I think due to the fact that my father was an artist. It's the story of Lily Wilk,struggling painter whose fortunes may change when she gets a commission from local supermarket heiress,Mary Ziemba. A sweet novel that doesn't drip with sentiment,this book should satisfy anyone looking for a great book to recommend for
their next book club meeting.


Adored by Tilly Bagshawe: I know this book didn't sell very well over the summer but
that doesn't mean it can't be the perfect holiday gift for that gal who's read every
other bigtime splashy-trashy book around! Some presents should just be fun and Adored
fits the bill.

Rereadings by Anne Fadiman:Fadiman put together this collection of essays from American Scholar magazine about going back to a book that influenced you in your
youth and how it plays to you now. The rereadings are a mixed bunch,from Pride &
Prejudice to the Sgt. Pepper Album. Will definately inspire you to check out some
of the books mentioned.

The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette by Carrolly Erickson: Erickson has written a
number of historical books but this one is a novel based on the famous queen that
gives her some heart and soul. Should please the historical fiction fan and those
who love a good soap opera with smarts.


King Kong-if you know someone who plans to check out the new Peter Jackson version,make sure they have this two-disc set that is a true classic. There is also
a three pack of King King,Son of Kong and Mighty Joe Young for the converted(while
I enjoyed PJ's re-enactment of the lost Spider Pit scene,I'm not interested in seeing
his feature length Kong. Why fix what's not broken?).

Greatest American Hero,volume 3:This set not only has the episode where Ralph gets to
meet his alien benefactors(very hokey F/X),when you press the cover of the box the show's theme song plays! How cool is that?

Veronica Mars,season 1:Not alot of extras but a great way to catch up with one of the
best shows since Buffy on the air now. Plus,Weevil rules(sorry Logan fans but I think
he's a total jerk)!

Batman and Batman Returns special editions:Worth getting and giving due to the excellant bonues-the Batman disc alone not only has nice featurettes on the making
and marketing of the film but three Prince videos as well! Yep,Batdance is one of

Other Stuff:

Barbie may be overdone to death but I for one,am happy to know that both Harley Quinn Barbie and Poison Ivy Barbie will be under my tree this year. If you click the link in the post title,you'll see what I plan to send to one of my good friends this year.
There's alot of King Kong stuff out now but I predict that the Chronicles of Narnia
toys will find happy homes.

Also,Corpse Bride toys are finally available-I personally recommend getting one of
throws. The one I have is incredibly soft and goes well with my Sally from Nightmare before Christmas one. Don't be ashamed to let your geek flag fly,people. Now,as Wilma
and Betty used to say at the mall"DunaDumDum-Charge IT!"

No comments: