(Graphic: Helen Jane Hearn/TueNight)
Each year I try to solve your book-gifting problems by choosing a handful of titles you can present to the, shall we say, “particular” people on your list.
This year, I’m adding a bonus round: A few waggish book-related items for the reader who has everything — or to bundle up along with a carefully selected tome. (And I take care in selection so you don’t have to!)
1. For Your Fiercest Kitchen Queen:
First, she’s Alice Waters, founder of Chez Panisse. Second, this book, written with her daughter Fanny (Fanny’s Granola namesake), is beautifully produced and has an internal spiral binding so the book will lay flat as you gather your amateur “mise en place,” meaning you can try Alice’s chicken stock, or tomato sauce, or…
2. For Your Hard-to-Impress Aesthete:
Is it a novel? A manifesto? A museum tour? A mystery? The answer is all of the above. Sierra, whose last big book here in the U.S. was 2006’s The Secret Supper, manages to make Madrid’s famed Prado art museum come to life both through instruction and reproduction — the included color prints are totally stunning.
3. For (All) Your Female Relatives:
To my dismay, Groff’s new title didn’t win the National Book Award (although Adam Johnson’s Fortune Smiles is pretty damn great, too). I wish it had because this novel-in-two-acts is a searing indictment of how we tell stories, while itself being a superb technical example of why the novel form still matters to readers.
4. For Your Know-It-All:
It doesn’t matter whether or not your giftee has had the good fortune to visit Manhattan’s newest, smartest park — she or he will be gobsmacked by its beauty and creative planning. Since most know-it-alls miss things along the way, once they’ve cracked the covers, throw out your own knowledge about the upcoming underground Low Line.
5. For Your Smart, Spiritual Bestie:
No, not everyone chooses to process her grief by training a goshawk, but anyone who reads MacDonald’s soaring memoir will be grateful that she did. Already an academic, a writer, a poet and an illustrator, the author is now also a professional falconer who assists in bird-of-prey conservation and training. Wow. Just…wow.
And a few book gifts…
1. Just Type – A Calendar of Big Numbers, Big Letters & Big Grids 2016
Just look at this page-a-day doodad — it’s a veritable font of information! Hahaha, see what I did there? You’re bound to enjoy clicking through The Literary Gift Company’s other offerings, too.
2. Austen Book Ornaments Set
Reader, I hung them on my tree. If only they’d bring these out in sets for Dickens, Woolf, Rendell, Wharton…like your friend who will love these, I’d be happy to have a tree bedecked with little books.
3. Litographs T-Shirts
For that pal who is never without a book, t-shirts and tote bags that include the entire text of a beloved literary work. The side benefit is that these shirts are made of the softest, comfiest cotton.
4. Typewriter Key Jewelry
I know you’ve seen it before, but you can’t go wrong with it, either. This shop has the largest selection I’ve ever seen, including a typewriter-key-with-bling ring that you just might find “Sold Out” soon…
5. Flask Book Box
Abigail Adams exhorted her husband to “Remember the ladies,” but I did not want TueNight readers to think I am neglecting the gents. Recipients of either gender will enjoy this clever “stash” cache.