Ideas for Book Giving this Holiday

Librarians give – and get – a lot of books this time of year. Seeing that familiar shape surrounded by festive wrapping is a special thrill. Sure, we know it is a book, but what book? We recently shared some ideas on how to choose good books for your loved ones. Now here are some titles we’re especially excited to be giving – or receiving – this year.

Mozart’s Starling by Lyanda Lynn Haupt. An uncommon look at a seemingly common bird, this is narrative nonfiction at its best. And, yes, Mozart had a pet starling. So did Haupt. From the Seattle author who brought you Crow Planet.  – Linda

Pie & Whiskey edited by Kate Lebo and Sam Ligon. These two Spokane authors have been hosting spirited literary events inspiring northwest authors to write poems, stories, and essays under the influence of butter and booze. The resulting anthology is funny, wise, insightful, irreverent — and handy. Fits in a (large) stocking!  – Linda Continue reading “Ideas for Book Giving this Holiday”

How to Succeed at Gifting Books this Holiday Season.

Books make the perfect gift, except when they don’t. Few presents are such a joy for a reader to open as a well-chosen book, but we all know that sinking feeling when a literary gift strikes out. Giving a book can be an emotional minefield, as the books we share are reflections our ourselves, bound up with our own values and sense of self. Rightly or wrongly, it is like giving a piece of yourself. For an amusing consideration of this, check out Jen Adams’ diverting collection The Books They Gave Me, which shares 200 anonymous accounts of literary gifts, and how wonderful and terrible those results can be.

The trick about bookish giving is to try to find something that your recipient will enjoy, rather than something you enjoyed. Continue reading “How to Succeed at Gifting Books this Holiday Season.”

D.I.Y. Holiday? The Time to Start is…NOW!

Yes, yes, it’s two weeks before Thanksgiving, and for many of us it’s too early to think of the holidays. But for those who are among the ranks of making gifts for loved ones, the time to start is…NOW!  Check out these do-it-yourself books to help you make that special gift that will be cherished forever. Continue reading “D.I.Y. Holiday? The Time to Start is…NOW!”

Finding ways to honor losses at the holidays

angel of grief
Angel of Grief monument in the Hill family plot, Glenwood Cemetery in Houston. Photo by Michael Schaffner.

by Ann G.

The winter holidays are a time of cheer and cozy family times—for many of us, but not all.   More than we realize, many people feel past losses more acutely at this time of year, and even changes from the usual rituals can bring sadness.   Beyond knowing that a bittersweet feeling at holiday times (and anniversaries) is normal, there are resources to turn to for help, and for ideas that will help us cope. Continue reading “Finding ways to honor losses at the holidays”

Movie Mondays: Holiday Edition from “The Spoiler”

By now, most everyone knows of both a traditional approach and perhaps a more cynical view of the holidays. Here are a few alternatives to the usual classics that may still brighten your days and lift your spirits, if you are so inclined.

The Capra classic It’s a Wonderful Life emphasizes the power of redemption and celebration in troubled times. Jacques Demy’s through-composed musical from the 60s, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg veers away from a traditional musical in a number of ways, yet still retains beautiful colors, composition, plaintive melodies and plenty of romance. Why is this a holiday pick? The snow falls at the end…and if there’s a dry eye by the last note, you’re truly a Grinch.   Continue reading “Movie Mondays: Holiday Edition from “The Spoiler””