Friday, December 11, 2009


With the holidays approaching ever faster -- (whichever holiday, of course) -- it's more than a good time to review some of the best books of the season, with a particular emphasis on the kinds of books we love to give and receive. Here are some of our favorites!

For the Bookworms (Male or Female):

Jonathan Lethem's Chronic City (Doubleday, 27.95 -- Hardcover): Lethem's newest and best since Motherless Brooklyn is a tale of Manhattan and replete with facades, charades, facsimiles and falsities. In close, it stars a former child star, an anarchist, and their budding, fraught relationships with each other, themselves, and the place they call home. Brilliantly stylized brilliant stuff.

Alice Munro's Too Much Happiness (Knopf, 25.95 -- Hardcover): Another book of short stories by one of the last 25 years most prolific, proven masters of the genre. Always hilarious and yet always sardonic, biting -- even broken-heartedly numb -- Munro's stories never fail to teach, while somehow alternately managing to show us the time of our life. Discover her for yourself or let someone else who hasn't yet had the pleasure!

Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall (Holt, 27.95 -- Hardcover): This book can't be recommended highly enough. A story about the reign of Henry the VIII told from inside the great head of Thomas Cromwell, Wolf Hall is packed with machinations of deliciously political, sexual, and familial natures. Great for romance lovers, better for history buffs, and written sweetly enough for you or me, this one's a serous keeper and a great gift for that picky name on your list!

ALSO: Winner of the 2009 Booker Man

And For An Older Man:

Peter Mathiessen's Shadow Country (Modern Library, 10.95 -- Paperback): This year's National Book Award winner is the story of Watsons, and a wet, swampy, and Faulknerian tome which takes place across a pair of centuries. As a warning, Mathiessen's trilogy (yes, it it is a trilogy) is at times dark, and at others, approaches the downright lurid. It taps that vein or a cousin to that vein that McCarthy milks in The Road. A great book.


No comments:

Post a Comment