Friday, November 26, 2010
A few books to add to your Black Friday shopping cart
Happy Black Friday and welcome to a slew of shopping madness as the holiday season officially begins. Whether you've been standing outside in the cold for hours or frantically clicking around online to find some great gifts for bargain prices,this is surely the most overwhelming time of the year.
So,to refresh your busy buyer's brain,let me recommend a handful of literary items to consider picking up if your inspiration has started to wear out. Books are easy to gift wrap,after all,and their value lasts far beyond the end of New Year's Eve(plus,no hangover).
First on our list is Dewey's Nine Lives,a follow-up to Vicki Myron's book about the beloved Spencer Library mascot,Dewey Readmore Books. In addition to a few new tales from those who were quietly but strongly touched by that remarkable cat's presence(including the man that married Vicki herself)but stories about other faithful felines shared by people who wanted to let folks know that cats are just as loving and loyal as man's best friend is,in their own special way.
Dogs have had their day for quite some time now and making room for these incredible kitties on your bookshelf or bedside table is purr-fectly right(please don't hold my pitiful pun against this sweet book,I beg of you!):
For a tasty tome fit for any coffee table,Carl Warner's Food Landscapes is a real feast for the eyes. This innovative British photographer has been taking the world by storm with his recreations of reality carved,sliced and diced from various edible items.
In addition to the book,a fabulous 2011 wall calendar that features many of the amazing pictures from Carl's collection(alas,not the gorgeous chocolate train seen here on the left)but a number of pics that make every month truly mouth watering. I treated myself to this calendar and can barely wait for the proper time to hang it proudly in just the right spot:
For the teen girl who needs a read that's educational and entertaining,we have a pair of intriguing looks at the past. Jennifer Donnelly's Revolution has a present day heroine,Andi,who is mourning the death of her brother but finds new purpose in life when she discovers the diary of Alexandrine,a confidante to a prince during the time of the French Revolution.
As Andi learns more about the perils that Alexandrine faced in order to save the prince,the connections between their struggles become a bit too close for comfort. Donnelly has written historical fiction for adults as well as young people and this emotional mystery can be appreciated by both:
Cora Harrison takes a real life acquaintance of author Jane Austen and launches her into a romantic leading lady role in I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend. When Jenny Cooper visits her cousin Jane,the world of courtship is a rather new yet delightful experience to behold.
Soon enough,Jenny is lost in love with Captain Thomas Williams and is in desperate need of advice from Dear Jane on how to govern her actions,along with her heart. A good way to introduce Austen to an unfamiliar reader or enchant a devoted fan:
Speaking of Austen,it may seem difficult to find something fresh for the person who has just about everything to do with her but you should never say never,folks. David M. Shapard,who came out with a nicely annotated edition of Pride & Prejudice,has now turned his attention to one of the best known posthumous works of that good lady.
The Annotated Persuasion comes complete with helpful factoids on every opposite page of the original text,plus numerous maps of the locales mentioned in the course of the plot and illustrations that highlight the everyday details of the character's lives.
As many an Austen player will agree with,it is good to have other perspectives on even such well trod ground as this:
Finally,for those who adore the Regency period in all of it's glory, especially as fuel for fiction,no better guide can be had than Georgette Heyer's Regency World by Jennifer Kloester.
The beloved writer of historical romances did intensive research as part of her creative process to bring her classic couples to vivid life on the page,from the social hierarchy to the slang of the streets and Kloester puts it all together for you in a neatly written and illustrated volume.
Even if your friend or family member hasn't read any of Heyer's books,they may be encouraged to do so with this tempting tome as a timely gift. Since her works are now readily available,it might be good to pair one of them with this handy guide and let their literary adventures into this delightful domain get off to a roaring start:
Have a happy and hopefully not too hectic time holiday shopping this season,folks and try to remember that while it is supposed to be better to give than receive, giving a break to the person who's not the best shopper in the world on what ever sad choice they made for you is a gift in itself:
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