Monday, December 5, 2022
Monday, November 21, 2022
It looks like the holiday shopping season is in full gear already, so it’s time for our annual Books Are Great Gifts Guide. Books make great gifts because they are never the wrong size or color and they’re easy to wrap. And if you’ve been invited to Thanksgiving dinner this year, why not bring a book as a host gift instead of the usual flowers or wine?
In Nonfiction: For your father-in-law who wakes up to CNBC everyday, When McKinsey Comes to Town by Walt Bogdanich and Michael Forsythe about how the consulting company has become the major player in the world (for good and bad) is a good choice.
Your uncle the history buff would enjoy Stacy Schiff’s new biography The Revolutionary- Samuel Adams that takes a fresh look at an historical figure. Jon Meacham’s And There Was Light is his latest book about Abraham Lincoln.
For your aunt the movie buff, give her the Paul Newman memoir The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man.
The sister who listens to True Crime podcasts will want to read Kathryn Miles’ Trailed about the murder of two female hikers in the Shenandoah National Park, and the journalist who tries to find the killer.
Sharon Gless’ memoir Apparently There Were Complaints is for someone who read Matthew Perry’s recent memoir Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing. Both share their stories of Hollywood and addiction that almost destroyed them.
Baseball is over, but if your son can’t wait until pitchers and catchers report in February, give him three-time Major League Baseball Manager of the Year’s Joe Maddon's memoir (written with Tom Verducci) The Book of Joe.
Your nephew the musician will appreciate Bono’s memoir Surrender- Forty Songs, One Story. For your best friend who just turned fifty and could use a good laugh, Laurie Notaro’s Excuse Me While I Disappear is just the ticket.
For the cook on your gift list, it’s that time of year for Ina Garten’s new cookbook, Go-To Dinners filled with recipes she made during pandemic. The baker in the family would appreciate a copy of The King Arthur Baking School, and maybe you’ll get some delicious treats as a thank you.
In Fiction: Historical Fiction is a perennial favorite and Susan Elia MacNeal’s WWII story Mother Daughter Traitor Spy about a mother and daughter team who spy on the growing Nazi movement in Los Angeles is for fans of Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale.
Allison Pataki’s The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post fictionalizes the life of a woman of major accomplishments whom most of us don’t know about but should, and your mom would love it.
For your sister-in-law who enjoys watching all the Hallmark Christmas movies starting the day after Halloween, Susan Mallery’s Home Sweet Christmas takes readers back to the holiday-loving town of Wishing Tree for romance and holiday atmosphere.
Romance fans have been patiently waiting for Lyssa Kay Adams newest in her Bromance series and it’s holiday-themed- A Very Merry Bromance; your best friend would love it.
For the Mystery reader, Patricia Crisafulli’s The Secrets of Ohnita Harbor has a librarian sleuth, a missing historical icon from an Italian saint, and a setting that stands in for Oswego- what more could you want?
Deanna Raybourn’s Killers of a Certain Age has movie written all over it. It’s about four 60-something female assassins who upon retirement find themselves targeted for assassination. It’s fast-paced and clever.
Books are wonderful to put in children’s stockings, and if you have a wee one, Mo Willems’ Pigeon Will Ride The Roller Coaster is a good one. Beginning chapter book readers love Nick Bruel’s funny Bad Kitty series.
The A to Z Mysteries series by Ron Roy is popular with chapter book readers, and for fans of the popular Netflix series, The School of Good and Evil, the books by Sonan Chainani would make great stocking stuffers.
Rick Riordan’s newest series, The Trials of Apollo is filled with action and mythology.
You can support your local bookstore by purchasing books from them in person, online, or through Bookshop.org, which has raised over $23 million for independent bookstores. If you buy any book of your choosing at my Bookshop page, (use the search bar to find any book) my 10% commission goes to The Book Cellar, a used bookstore run by volunteers and whose proceeds benefit branch libraries of the New York Public Library. Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Friday, November 18, 2022
Friday, November 11, 2022
Friday, November 4, 2022
5) I'm still on my nonfiction kick, reading Ann Hood's memoir Fly Girl about her years working as a TWA flight attendant during the anything-goes 1970's. The things the women in that job had to put up with would shock people today. Hood shares her experiences at the training school in Kansas, where the competition to get into the school was tougher than getting into Harvard. They had to learn everything about all the different types of aircraft they would be working on, and any small infraction could lead to being dismissed from school. Once they got their "wing" (singular, only pilots got to wear two wings on their lapel), they could exit their flight only to find a supervisor waiting for them just outside the jetway ready to weigh them to make sure they were under the maximum required weight or measure their skirt to make sure it wasn't too short or long. One of the most interesting things I learned was that for first class passengers, the flight attendants had to slice chateaubriand tableside, and toss salads in the aisle. Now you can barely get a bag of chips. Hood loved her time as a flight attendant (until the end), traveling the world and frequently able to take her parents with her. The experiences she shares in Fly Girl will make you nostalgic for a time when people dressed up in fancy clothes to fly as you look around the airport and see people looking as if they are going to a sleepover at a friend's house and it's bedtime.
Have a safe, healthy week and don't forget to VOTE.