Thursday, December 12, 2013

Holiday Recommendations from our Staff!

Need help deciding on what books you should buy for the holidays? Julie, Lynn, James, and Kim (and Dylan from the east coast!) are putting together a list of books we think will be good for any occasion or circumstance.

Staff Recommends

Kim's Category: Books to enjoy with a holiday cocktail
1. The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore

"Moorons" will delight in another adventure in the ever-charming-yet slightly oddball village of Pine Cove. True to the title, the angel is not the shiniest halo in the heavenly choir. Also, zombies. You'll spit-take your egg nog, ladies!

2. The 3 pages from a Prayer for Owen Meany in which they produce the Christmas pageant.

Kim's Category: Baby it's cold outside, but it's subzero somewhere else.

1. The entire box of Scandinavian Crime novels. 
Who wouldn't want to snuggle up with Kurt Wallander, or Lisbeth Salander this holiday season?
So many more in our Scandinavian crime box!

New in paperback.

2. The Blue Fox or From the Mouth of the Whale by Sjon (on the new paperbacks table)
Mythology meets magic in a harsh Icelandic climate. These dainty titles are deceptively rich, blending lyrical poetry with intricate, thought provoking narrative. Also, A.S. Byatt totes adores these books, and you can read about that, here.

Kim's Category: Books Kim has read aloud to her Cat

My cat likes things library quiet. He hides under the bed when my 6 year old nephew comes to visit. He'll put his ears back and heave a sigh if I'm singing too loud. He doesn't usually tolerate being read to, but he did seem to enjoy these books:
1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
2. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
3. Staring at the Sun by Irvin D. Yolum
4. Mr. Wuffles by David Wiesner

Dylan's Category: Ga-Ga for the Short Story

Pretty much the only thing I'm doing these days involves the reading or the writing of the short story. So here's some short stories you should really check out!

1. What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank by Nathan Englander

For the eclectic reader, this is a nice mix of Englander's strange & traditional work. Humorous.  

2. We Live in Water by Jess Walter
Jess Walter doing his thing. The title story alone is worth the price of a new paperback. Deadbeats, weirdos, zombies, and a journalist who manipulates his papers horoscope section to get back at an ex. Great range and bite size stories perfect for sneaking in during the holidays when that one uncle starts in on that one story you've heard a thousand times.

Dylan's Category: Novels, Literary

For the serious readers of the family, here are the books I'm buying for all my friends. 

My mom's new book. She liked "The Gold Finch"
1. Empire Falls by Richard Russo

Kind of a Sometimes A Great Notion for the east coast.

2. The Gold Finch by Donna Tartt

I haven't read it but my mom loved it. Also, have to respect an author that takes their time coming out with their novels. Speaking of my mom, her novel Things We Set on Fire has come out in paperback and is selling at Wallace Books!

James' Category: Books for Your War-Lovin' (Grand)Mom/Dad

History, yo. There's some very good things, old and new, that the military buff in your family may not have come across yet. Here's a list of some of the books I've read and enjoyed the last couple of years, and I'm sure will be a holiday hit.

1. Operation Mincemeat by Ben McIntyre

Pretty much going to be the best thing you can hope for, a "truth-is-stranger-than-fiction" piece about how British intelligence dropped a dead body off the Spanish coast in order to trick the Nazis into thinking the invasion of Sicily would happen somewhere else, saving countless soldiers lives. Strange enough? That doesn't even begin to describe this amazing story.

2. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

The fad of historical fiction during the Tudor dynasty just keeps going, and this is the best there can be. Mantel won the 2009 Booker for the first book in this the Thomas Cromwell trilogy, and it was deserved. Incredibly riveting, wonderfully suspenseful (even though you history folk will know the outcome) I actually know a guy who has never finished the book but just rereads because he savors it so much.

3. Team of Rivals by Doris Kearnes Goodwin

So, yes, following Christmas LAST year it was the hot history book because of the film "Lincoln," but did anybody in your family really get it for your history-buffed grandma/pa? Maybe it's time. Hey, there are plenty of used copies, now.

James' Category: Gone Girl STILL Isn't Out in Paperback??
"Gone Girl" a la psycho-babble

That's okay. Here's a list of books that are.

1. The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison
2. Dance With Dragons by Robert Martin
3. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
4. The Man From Beijing by Henning Mankell
5. Fall of Giants by Ken Follett

Great Gifts You Thought You'd Never Ask For

1. The Adventure Collection - $59.95

This is a beautiful collection of classic books to get your kids hooked on reading. Each illustrated book (Robin Hood, White Fang, Gulliver's Travels, Treasure Island, and The Jungle Book) are housed inside a beautifully illustrated box. Also a wonderful gift for the young bibliophile of the family.