Friday, November 26, 2010

Christmas Shopping: More Book Ideas

More bookish Christmas ideas for the art, book, or film lover on your list. Again, I have no finger in any of these pies - shop where you will. These are mostly books I've read (except for one or two) and think would make great presents. A few are new this year, most are old favorites. Tomorrow is Small Business Saturday, so you might think of patronizing any of the small, independent bookstores in your area.

THE ART OF NOIR by Eddie Muller.
Muller is a film noir guru, author of mysteries, film books and lecturer of all things having to do with film, most especially noir. This is an older book but definitely worth hunting down. Worth looking for too, are his other film noir book, DARK CITY and two of his noir-ish mysteries featuring boxing writer Billy Nichols: THE DISTANCE and SHADOW BOXER.

ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE EXQUSITE An Anecdotal History of Elegant Delights by Jessica Kerwin Jenkins. For the esoterically inclined, the Francophile, the Anglophile, for anyone who is inspired by the glamorous and delightful.

PIPPI LONGSTOCKING by Astrid Lindgren.
The book for the young girl on your list who hasn't, so far, met Pippi. This is the book that opened up the world of adventure to me when I was a kid thinking that girls couldn't do anything, that boys had all the fun. Pippi Longstocking quickly disabused me of that notion, thank goodness!

CHRISTMAS AT THRUSH GREEN by Miss Read.Well, you can't go wrong with a Miss Read novel about the quiet country doings in the village of Thrush Green. I love Miss Read. Haven't read all of them, just a few, but I'll keep reading until I've finished all of them.

This is such a brilliant concept: a quick introduction to painting. Each page shows one painting and a short explanation of the work, the school of painting and the painter. Open to any page and you're bound to find something of interest. I've had this for years and I'm still finding new things in it.

One of the best books I read this year. A love story for the grown-up who still believes in romance. A charming story that proves that just when you think life has passed you by, it hasn't.

THE LOST CITY OF Z by David Grann.
Another terrific read from this year. A non-fiction account of the search, in the Amazon, for the lost city of El Dorado and the fate of the father and son explorers who went missing in the early part of the 20th century. Fabulous, hair-raising story.

EYEWITNESS TRAVEL GUIDES published by DK Publishing.
I've included these because, to my mind, they are the most splendid guides for the actual or arm chair traveler. Each book features gorgeous photography, maps, artwork, unique points of interest, architecture, museums, you name it. All in a beautifully designed and easy to read (and hold) format. I love to sit and pretend I'm traveling and these books make it seem as if I'm there. They're a little pricey at about 20 - 25 bucks each, but far as I'm concerned, it's worth it to feel as if you've gone somewhere. These books are as close as you can get to a foreign country without actually being there. I love them.

Anderson wrote two classic satires of the Agatha Christie school of mystery writing (I most associate these books with Christie's SECRET OF CHIMNEYS - if you loved CHIMNEYS, you'll love the Anderson books). His second book THE AFFAIR OF THE BLOOD-STAINED EGG COSY is more or less the same sort of tale as the title above. Both books are bustling with eccentric British wits and nitwits. The stories take place in large country houses filled with servants and suspicious doings. TONS OF FUN.

A BOOK LOVERS DIARY is a wonderful journal filled with witty quotes and plenty of space in which to jot down titles or lists or whatever book-related things your heart desires. I have one. I love it.

ONE GOOD DOG by Susan Wilson.
The extraordinarily touching and life affirming story of a man and a dog who both get a second chance at life. I didn't think I'd like this book when it was recommended to me, but I wound up loving it.

61 HOURS by Lee Child.
This is the first of a two book year for Lee Child - you can't go wrong with either of them. For the thriller lover on your list, these are the books to have. I give a slight edge to 61 HOURS, but WORTH DYING FOR is terrific as well. Either/or. Next to Robert Crais, Lee Child is the best thriller writer working today.

ALICE IN WONDERLAND by Lewis Carroll, exquisite illustrations by Helen Oxenbury. The two volumes in one gorgeous slip-case. A gift that couldn't fail to please any reader on your list, young or old.

This is the latest book of movie essays, after Book I and Book II, by the movie maven extraordinaire and, far as I'm concerned, head honcho of the critic establishment.

THE DICTIONARY OF IMAGINARY PLACES by Alberto Manguel, Eric Beddows and Gianni Guadalupi.
A guide book that defines the places that never were from all the books we're read or are familiar with: Middle Earth, Hogwarts, Narnia, Oz, you name it. I can't think of any imaginative reader who wouldn't enjoy this.

A DOG ABOUT TOWN by J.F. Englert.
Meet Randolph, dog raconteur and wag about town. I happen to know that Santa is bringing me this Christmas morning. How do I know? Well, that would be telling.

Read my other Christmas Shopping Ideas for the Book Lover, here and here.


  1. Oh, I'd love a copy of that Book Lover's Diary!

  2. Then you'll have to drop appropriate hints in the right places. ;) Thanks for stopping by, Jillian.


Your comment will appear after I take a look.