Lori's Book Nook

“Merry Bookmas!”

Posted on: December 27, 2006

Luckily, I’ve married into a bookish family, and my man is bookish, and his friends are…and my mother has been trained to give me a book gift certificate every year.

Books and consumables are the best presents (consumables…you know — wine, cheese, cookies, jam…).

This year was a nice mess of books:

I found The Art of Blacksmithing by Alex Bealer for Metro. He’s always talking about how he’d like to learn more about it, etc. Well, now he can.

Metro’s sister found him John Hodgman’s The Areas of My Expertise.  An odd book of satirical essays and the like…perfect.  The same sister sent me the Pulitzer Prize winning Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides.

I put a lot of browsing time to use in my local 2ndhand bookstore…made my husband a list of books that were there, that he could pick up for me. And he took me up on it, and bought me the rather unusual Truly Wilde: The Unsettling Story of Dolly Wilde, Oscar’s Unusual Niece by Joan Schenkar. I’ll have to blog on this book individually one day, soon.

Metro also got me two more books — I feel spoiled! The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls was one. New York Times bestseller, winner of various awards…I think that’s the next book I’m reading. He also bought me Think: Why Crucial Decisions Can’t be Made in the Blink of an Eye by Michael R. LeGault. The interesting thing about this book is that LeGault wrote it in reaction to Malcolm Gladwell’s book Blink…Blink essentially glorifies the decisions we make subconsciously, in the moment, while I believe LeGault’s point is that we need to put more thought into our decisions. I’ll let you know more when I’ve read LeGault’s book (I’ve already read Gladwell’s).

Funny thing, is that our friends sent us some books too…one is Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, and appropriately enough, Literary Feuds: A Century of Celebrated Quarrels — from Mark Twain to Tom Wolfe by Anthony Arthur. His sequel will have to include Gladwell & LeGault.

The final book on the list is Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. This one is also from the same friends…and again, a good call. We bought this for Metro’s mother last Christmas, so it’s been on our radar for awhile.

So, leave me a comment to tell me what books you got for Christmas!!

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4 Responses to "“Merry Bookmas!”"

I got “Time and the River Flowing”, by Francoise Leydet. This is a beautiful coffee table book published in the early 60s. It’s purpose was to educate people about the ecosystem, history, and geology of the Grand Canyon so that the cries of outrage regarding the proposed damming of the River IN the Canyon would cause the idea to die. It succeeded, thank heavens.

Also received Amy Tan’s “Saving Fish from Drowning”, “The Motive” by John Lescroart (a law and order sort of book), and “The Sex Lives of Cannibals” by J Maarten Troost. The back of the book says: “At the age of 26, Maarten Troost — who had been pushing the snooze button on the alarm clock of life by racking up useless graduate degrees and muddling through a series of temp jobs — decided to pakc up his flip-flops and move to Tarawa, a remote South Pacific Island in teh Republic of Kiribati. He was restless and lacked direction, and the idea of dropping everything and moving to the ends of hte earth was irresisitibly romantic. He should have known better.” I am looking forward to reading this book. My husband has been giggling and cackling as he peruses it.

I’m deep in Amy Tan, and really enjoying it.

What a great, rather random, assortment of books! Let me know how the Troost book is — sounds like something I might enjoy. Amy Tan is always a good bet…but I haven’t read this one. She definitely has the ability to pull you into a story though.

I received a boxed set including the three Lord of the Rings books and The Hobbit. I enjoyed reading The Hobbit for the first time in years, and I’m starting the trilogy again. My favorite part of Tolkien is the journey through the empty wastelands and the relics of a more ancient time. It’s really kind of dystopian, and I love dystopian. My favorite books as a kid were the “tripod” books by John Christopher. I loved the story of the boys traveling through the ruins of human civilization on their way to the “White Mountains” of the first book.

You know, Rich, I remember those ‘White Mountain’ books — but in a very nebulous way. I’ve been wondering what they were, if I’d imagined them, ’cause I read them so long ago! Thanks for the lead, I’ll look them up.

Enjoy your re-read of Tolkien…always a pleasure.

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