Every holiday season our staff of voracious readers finds those books that we believe will make truly loved and cherished gifts. We then collect these gems into this Holiday Gazette to help you find the perfect something for your special someone. If you want something more special, consider our Maiden Voyage Program, in which a first edition of a novel arrives in the mail every two months for a year. If you still aren’t completely certain that you can find the perfect book, we also offer gift certificates in any amount you choose. Gift wrapping is always free and we will ship your gift books to any destination world wide. We look forward to serving you this holiday season.
Twenty-five years after Maus I was first published, this beautiful volume revisits Spiegelman’s profound depiction of his parents’ survival of the Holocaust. Filled with interviews, sketches, notebooks, primary source material, as well as a hyperlinked DVD featuring the full text of Maus along with audio recordings and much more, METAMAUS is an extensive and moving document. By engaging three questions: Why the Holocaust? Why Mice? Why Comics?, Spiegelman illuminates how the accomplishment of Maus resulted from both his formal innovation and his insistent engagement with the most harrowing and uncomfortable complexities of his subject. —Casey O.
Whether your winter is cold and dark, bright and frosty, mountainous and adventurous, warm and homey, or quiet and meditative, there’s something attractive about the season. Adam Gopnik’s tone betrays his childlike fascination with winter as he takes us from sacred Dickensian holidays to intense hockey games to give us an atmospheric survey of the shortest, dimmest days in the northern hemisphere. Whether you’re a snowbird or a ski bum, Gopnik writes a wonderland you’ll enjoy. —Dave
Carol Field’s The Italian Baker is a gem of a book. There is nothing I like more than good rustic Italian bread, and this, short of travelling to Italy, is the way to find it. What one discovers in the course of reading and perusing this book is that there are over one thousand varieties of Italian bread—all regionally unique— and don’t you dare confuse them. Field covers it all, from breads to cookies and everything in between. This is a must-have baking book. I was bowled over.—Greg
Simonini is a fervent gourmand with a splintered psyche, a penchant for deceit, and a hatred of just about everyone. After much devious plotting, he is on the cusp of a forgery so incendiary that it may alter the course of history. In putting his diabolical plan into action he becomes something of an odious Zelig, affecting famous events and interacting with all manner of actual historical personages. Eco has again succeeded in delivering a compulsively readable story deeply rooted in actual events. —Jamil
Wowsa! For the first time ever, all 3,022 paintings from the Louvre’s permanent collection are brought together in one staggeringly beautiful book. Expertly assembled and magnificently detailed, The Louvre: All the Paintings provides lavish, full-color reproductions, comprehensive background information on each piece and its artist, illuminating extended essays on 400 highly celebrated works, and immersive DVD-ROM software allowing you to virtually explore the Louvre’s labyrinthine passageways. Here is a book you can be dreamily lost in for days. Just look at Mona Lisa’s smile; she’s practically daring you to do it. What a mind-boggle. —Matthew
There are many Hemingway biographies out there, but this one stands above the rest. Hemingway’s Boat focuses less on the author’s infamously disagreeable behavior, which has been exhaustively chronicled elsewhere, and more on his relationships, his love of fishing, and his sense of adventure on the ocean. It offers a fresh perspective that reveals the person, rather than the legend. Pilar, Hemingway’s 1934 custom fishing boat, is the actual vehicle that the author uses to guide the narrative. Hendrickson has created an amazingly detailed and thorough investigation of Hemingway’s life with Pilar. The upbeat, straightforward, and enjoyable narrative will leave you feeling like you’ve sailed with Ernest Hemingway. —Hilary
Karoo is a beguiling mystery to her art school friends in Prague. She’s been known to run off for weeks without notice, returning only to nurse vague excuses and bruises, her sketch pads are inhabited by the most curious horned and winged creatures, and she has the uncanny ability to make wishes come true. Raised by a creature named Brimstone, Karoo has no clue who her real family is, where she came from, or that she might have a pivotal part to play in an ancient battle between good and evil. Readers of The Golden Compass will devour this gorgeous urban fantasy! —Leighanne
This is Don DeLillo’s one and only collection of short stories, dating from 1979 through 2011. In some ways, it’s too bad DeLillo hasn’t written more short stories because it’s a form that he is very adept at—to no surprise. There is a precision of language in each story—an ambiguity—and I was unsettled by them in subtle ways. These stories are the perfect introduction to DeLillo for the uninitiated, and for those who are fans, they are a confirmation of his place among the best of contemporary American writers. This is a book that can be savored over time and returned to again and again. —Greg
Most known for his biographies of Stalin and works on Russian history, Simon Sebag Montefiore turns his eye to the city of Jerusalem—Judean hilltown-turned-cradle of the Abrahamic religions, crossroads and meeting place, Holy City and place of worldly ferment. With superb narrative writing, Montefiore makes thousands of years—every epic rise, fall, and rise again, from King David to the 1967 Six-Day War—come compellingly alive. As it is a biography, this book gives a great sense of life and all that is encompassed in the lives of so many who have been part of its history over time. —Rick