20 December 2007

Santa Special: Books I'm giving for Christmas.

Are you done with your holiday shopping yet? I hope so. (Especially if you're buying Hanukkah presents... that ship, I fear, has sailed. Sorry, friends of mine who celebrate Hanukkah and haven't gotten their cards yet!) In case you need a few last-minute ideas, here are some books I'm giving this year. If you are related to me, TURN BACK NOW. Here be spoilers.

For Grandma: Francine du Plessix Gray, THEM: A MEMOIR OF PARENTS. My maternal grandmother loves it when we recommend books to her, so while she's visiting us this December I hope she'll enjoy this memoir of Russian expatriates in Paris and New York which I so loved earlier this year. The author's mother had an affair with the man who would be her stepfather in wartime Paris, and later they moved to New York City and joined the cultural elite through his job at the Condé Nast Corporation. What I loved about this book was the way the author both described these lives, so full of boldface names and fancy parties, and her own experiences on the margins of all that excitement, never fully understanding her mother and stepfather until she started working on the book.

For my traveling aunt: I drew Aunt Mel in this year's family gift swap and my other aunt clued me in that she was going to Vancouver this year, so I picked her out two books about Vancouver: Douglas Coupland's CITY OF GLASS, a series of short nonfiction sketches about his home city, and M. Wylie Blanchet's THE CURVE OF TIME, about a single mom raising her kids on an island outside Vancouver. I hope in '08 they inspire her to have a great trip (even if they're not proper guidebooks).

For my mom, who has everything: Mom's kind of infamous for buying things we had been planning to get her during the holidays, but I'm pretty sure she hasn't had time to get into THE MITFORDS: LETTERS BETWEEN SIX SISTERS, edited by Charlotte Mosley. She went through a Mitfords phase a few years ago (and recommended me a few books from it which I haven't gotten around to... sorry, Mom!) and this ought to occupy her nightstand for at least a few nights.

What books are you giving for the holidays, if any?

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