Friday Reads: 15 Gifts

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With less than a week before Hanukkah and Christmas, perhaps you are feeling stumped about what to get someone on your list? Bookstores make the best one-stop shops. Before you go, check out these recommendations: One book each in 15 categories sure to please their recipients:



Lucian Freud Herbarium by Giovanni AloiLUCIAN FREUD HERBARIUM by Giovanni Aloi

As intimate and meticulous as his revered portraits, Lucian Freud’s magnificent paintings and drawings of plant life are gathered for the first time in book form.



Edison by Edmund MorrisEDISON by Edmund Morris

From Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edmund Morris comes a revelatory new biography of Thomas Alva Edison, the most prolific genius in American history. Edmund Morris has spent seven years exploring the prodigious, five-million-page archive of papers preserved under a bombproof concrete shell at the inventor’s laboratory in West Orange, New Jersey—an archive supplemented by thousands of audio and film records and artifacts. In the process he has not only resurrected Edison, literarily speaking, as a human being, but as a polymath of staggering variety – Edison the botanist, the naval strategist, the iron miner, the chemist and telegrapher and audio producer and publisher.



Sababa by Adeena SussmanSABABA: FRESH, SUNNY FLAVORS FROM MY ISRAELI KITCHEN by Adeena Sussman, Michael Solomonov

In an Israeli cookbook as personal as it is global, Adeena Sussman celebrates the tableau of flavors the region has to offer, in all its staggering and delicious variety.

“We should all be cooking like Adeena Sussman.” —The Wall Street Journal



The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan StradalTHE LAGER QUEEN OF MINNESOTA: A NOVEL by J. Ryan Stradal

A novel of family, Midwestern values, hard work, fate and the secrets of making a world-class beer, from the bestselling author of Kitchens of the Great Midwest. In this deeply affecting family saga, resolution can take generations, but when it finally comes, we’re surprised, moved, and delighted.




The New York Times Book of Movies: The Essential 1,000 Films to See by Wallace Schroeder, A.O. Scott, Manohla Dargis

A collection of reviews for the 1,000 most important, popular, and influential movies of all time.




Joan Didion: The 1960s & 70s (LOA #325) by Joan DidionJOAN DIDION: THE 1960S & 70S by Joan Didion, edited by David L. Ulin

Library of America launches a definitive collected edition of one of the most original and electric writers of our time with a volume gathering her five iconic books of the 1960s & 70s: Run River, Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Play It As It Lays, A Book of Common Prayer, and The White Album. Whether writing about countercultural San Francisco, the Las Vegas wedding industry, Lucille Miller, Charles Manson, or the shopping mall, Didion achieves a wonderful negative sublimity without condemning her subjects or condescending to her readers.



The Beautiful Ones by PrinceTHE BEAUTIFUL ONES by Prince

The brilliant coming-of-age-and-into-superstardom story of one of the greatest artists of all time, in his own words—featuring never-before-seen photos, original scrapbooks and lyric sheets, and the exquisite memoir he began writing before his tragic death.




The Other End of the Line by Andrea CamilleriTHE OTHER END OF THE LINE by Andrea Camilleri, Stephen Sartarelli

“Wholly addictive, entirely magical series, set in Sicily and starring a detective unlike any other in crime fiction…altogether transporting.”—A.J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author




Small in the City by Sydney SmithSMALL IN THE CITY by Sydney Smith

A New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Book of the Year!

It can be a little scary to be small in a big city, but this child has some good advice for a very special friend in need. In the first book that he has both written and illustrated, award-winning artist Sydney Smith spins a quiet, contemplative tale about seeing a big world through little eyes.



How to Love a Country by Richard BlancoHOW TO LOVE A COUNTRY: POEMS by Richard Blanco

A new collection from the renowned inaugural poet exploring immigration, gun violence, racism, LGBTQ issues, and more, in accessible and emotive verses.




The Bride Test by Helen HoangTHE BRIDE TEST by Helen Hoang

“a sexy, compassionate story about the power of love and the enduring American Dream.” – The Washington Post

From the critically acclaimed author of The Kiss Quotient comes a romantic novel about love that crosses international borders and all boundaries of the heart…



The Body by Bill BrysonTHE BODY: A GUIDE FOR OCCUPANTS by Bill Bryson

Named a Best Book of the Year by The Washington Post

Bill Bryson once again proves himself to be an incomparable companion as he guides us through the human body—how it functions, its remarkable ability to heal itself, and (unfortunately) the ways it can fail.

“Glorious…You will marvel at the brilliance and vast weirdness of your design.” —The Washington Post



Binti: The Complete Trilogy by Nnedi OkoraforBINTI: THE COMPLETE TRILOGY by Nnedi Okorafor

Collected for the first time in an omnibus, the Hugo- and Nebula-award-winning Binti trilogy, the story of one extraordinary girl’s journey from her home to distant Oomza University.




Say Nothing by Patrick Radden KeefeSAY NOTHING: A TRUE STORY OF MURDER AND MEMORY IN NORTHERN IRELAND by Patrick Radden Keefe


One of the New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year

From award-winning New Yorker staff writer Patrick Radden Keefe, Say Nothing is a stunning, intricate narrative about a notorious killing in Northern Ireland and its devastating repercussions.



The Fountains of Silence by Ruta SepetysTHE FOUNTAINS OF SILENCE by Ruta Sepetys

Master storyteller Ruta Sepetys once again shines light into one of history’s darkest corners in this epic, heart-wrenching novel about identity, unforgettable love, repercussions of war, and the hidden violence of silence—inspired by the true postwar struggles of Spain. Includes vintage media reports, oral history commentary, photos, and more.


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Posted: December 20, 2019