Holiday Recommendations from Our Staff

Like The Principles of Uncertainty, Maira’s new marvel is a collection of illustrated blog posts from The New York Times. And like her previous book, And the Pursuit of Happiness is full of joy, warmth, delight, wonder, gratitude and hope.

Each chapter, beginning with the January inauguration of Barack Obama, represents a month of Maira’s year-long quest to visit America’s historical landmarks. And the Pursuit of Happiness is a remarkable tribute to our nation, and an inspiration to be thankful, proud, and hopeful about our future. –Leah


Listen to This by Alex Ross (2010 Holiday Gazette)

New Yorker columnist Alex Ross collects nineteen of his best essays on music and sets them to shuffle, creating a chapter playlist that doesn’t reject genre so much as tune it out completely. Featured artists include Mahler and Pere Ubu, Schubert and Bob Dylan. Moments of Beethoven’s Eroica are compared to punk rock, and a sixteenth-century Spanish bass line becomes the common denominator between Bach and Led Zeppelin. Throughout, it is Mr. Ross’s eloquent prose and spirited musical curiosity that strings these disparate notes into a unified whole, making Listen to This a polyphonic treat for readers and listeners alike. –Matthew


This Is NPR: The First Forty Years by NPR, Cokie Roberts, Susan Stamberg

Nothing short of a who’s-who and what’s-what of National Public Radio, This Is NPR acts as a candid history, yearbook, scrapbook, memoir, timeline, and detailed analysis of your favorite radio phenomenon’s first forty years. This book includes fascinating stories about NPR’s inception in 1971 and its introduction of programs like All Things Considered and Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me alongside captivating photo spreads and reports of internationally groundbreaking events up through the close of 2009. With contributions from Cokie Roberts, Susan Stamberg, Noah Adams, Renée Montagne, Ira Flatow, and David Sedaris, just to name a few, This Is NPR is a treasure trove I wouldn’t dream of going without. Dave


Ann Beattie: The New Yorker Stories by Ann Beattie(2010 Holiday Gazette)

Do you keep stacks of old unread or half-read magazines under your coffee table, or desk, or bed like I do? Or maybe in a nice wire or wicker rack in your bathroom? Do you growl when someone suggests that maybe the recycling bin could use some new reading material? If so, this book is for you, and for any fan of The New Yorker‘s excellent fiction.

Now, you can safely dump those old magazines without batting an eye because here, in chronological order, is every Ann Beattie story The New Yorker has ever published. I only wish they’d titled this wonderful collection Beattiesque. –Candra

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