Lists, Reviews

Merry + Happy: A Literary Gift Guide

What do you get the bookish person in your life (and how do you tell your family what you want for Christmas without actually telling them)? A gift guide. This serves three purposes. The first: to see if my family is actually reading this. Because if my brother texts me and ask what I want for Christmas… The second: in the hopes of actually getting some of the things I’m pining for. The third: to provide ideas for any of you who have a bookish person in your life and can’t think of what to get them.

(Hint: I own none of the following, though I’m not in need of confetti, baby books, or anything associated with Wuthering Heights. I nearly can’t get past how selfish it seems to publish this, but somehow I’m coping.)

11. Speedboat by Renata AdlerRumor has it that this one is really good (anything published by NYRB is worth a chance).

10. Hard Rain Falling by Don Carpenter. See above description.

9. Read Instead. This print, because it’s applicable to me on so many levels. Obviously.

Read Instead8. Subduction leads to orogeny. For the bookish science nerd out there: a geology bookmark. I know there are a few of you…

7. Wood&Faulk Northwesterner Bag. This handcrafted bag is made in the US and is large enough to hold a a couple of books, my iPad, wallet, and phone. It’s on sale until Dec. 31, 2013. So, in other words, it’s perfect.

6. Books and Shoes? Yes.

Books Shoes5. Night Film by Marisha Pessi. Because I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things from everyone.

4. Roald Dahl’s Book of Ghost Stories. Do you know a fan of the macabre with a soft spot for all things Roald Dahl? This would be perfect.

3. This Jane Eyre PrintBecause I would always rather be happy than dignified. Not that I’m particularly dignified in the first place.
Jane Eyre print

2. Pia Wallen Large Cross Blanket. Because what is the point of curling up with a good book if you are cold? Pia Wallen’s iconic blanket is a good option. Too Swedish? This is a good alternative.

(Yes I’ll acknowledge how ridiculously expensive these are, that’s why this is a wish list.)

1.Literary Maps. For that rare person you know that has a degree in geography but decided to become a librarian instead. That’s not just me, right?

A few other ideas: for the music fan (not all music photos, clearly, but there are several – I may or may not be coveting that Dylan one…), for that person you know who has cold feet  (won’t help with figurative cold feet), for the person getting married – it’s literary confetti: Mills & Boon, Austen, and my personal favorite science fiction, for the reluctant reader, for the person with a baby, and for the person who loves Wuthering Heights.

So what are you pining for this holiday season? Any literary gifts that I should include?

Images: 1/2/3

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  • Shannon @ River City Reading

    So in love with the literary map of the US, I don’t think I’ve seen that before!

    • Rory

      I hadn’t seen it before either, I love it. I love most maps though, I’ve recently taken to searching for those old pull down school maps. So far I’ve found two that I love and have hung up in my house.

  • Bonnie @ For the Love of Words

    I do love that Read instead print. Definitely fitting for me as well. 🙂
    You really must read Night Film. I’m very interested to see what you think of it. If I hadn’t just sent my ARC to my mother I would gladly send it your way. Maybe when she’s done? I have no idea when that will be though. lol

    • Rory

      If I don’t get it for Christmas, I might take you up on that…

      Of all the things on this list – aside from the books – I’m hoping to get that print.

      • Bonnie @ For the Love of Words

        Okay! It’s one that must be read in print. I mean I GUESS it’d work on Kindle. But it’s got all the pictures and news articles that are best experienced in print. 🙂

  • RebeccaScaglione – Love at First Book

    Love these!

    • Rory

      Thank you. 🙂

  • Acid Free Pulp

    The literary maps are a real winner. I hope you get Speedboat, too. I am interested to hear your take (I can’t get enough of those NYRB–but still behind on Autobio of a Corpse, so I am delaying my read of your review until I’ve finished it).
    I do have The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories on my list of wants.

    • Rory

      Really, I could’ve made this list entirely of NYRB releases, because I’d also love Stoner and Butcher’s Crossing. Corpse wasn’t my favorite, though I still thought it was good. I felt the author rambled a bit at times. I’ll be curious to hear what you think. Although I liked the stories, the cover is still – by far – the best part.

  • alice-jane

    Loving all the posters featured! They’re all so pretty. I just learned of literary maps after your post and I have to admit, they’re pretty neat. I’m personally pining for OutofPrint apparel and another Litographs poster.

  • Allison @ The Book Wheel

    I WANT THEM ALL! Especially the Read Instead poster. I’d put it over the TV 🙂

    • Rory

      Admittedly I do like TV (and what would you do without Law & Order…kidding), but I strongly prefer books too. I’d be happy with anything but the confetti. If I knew anyone getting married, I’d so convince them to use it though.

  • Words for Worms

    Oh my word, I LOVE that Jane Eyre print!

    • Rory

      Me too! Though pretty much anything Jane Eyre does it for me (except that bird quote and the Sorcha Cusack film version of the book – she drove me absolutely crazy).

  • Charleen

    “I nearly can’t get past how selfish it seems to publish this, but somehow I’m coping.”

    I think I need to take a page out of your book. (*rimshot*)

    • Rory

      YES. It exponentially increases the odds of getting something you actually want…instead of another pocket knife (as is the case for me).

  • DrFrood

    I’m struggling myself for books at the moment – I always get my friend’s wife a couple for Xmas but I haven’t read anything recently that I’ve wanted to share with the world. Any ideas?

    I thought maybe The Sisters Brothers, but y’know, violent western shot through with DeWitt’s trademark sense of humour seems like an acquired taste… Or possibly A Tale For The Time Being but I’m pretty convinced it’ll end up being insipid.

    Obviously it’s impossible to make recommendations based on no facts, but anything you think is good probably is worth a stab, so…



    • Rory

      Well, that’s a lot to go on…

      Any of these are good (and generally have mass appeal), but especially Brunt’s novel:
      Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
      Tigers in Red Weather by Liza Klaussman
      Straight Man by Richard Russo
      The Rathbones by Janice Clark (this has been hit or miss with people I’ve forced to read it, there’s a lot of incest (the primary objection), but otherwise it’s sort of like a modern Odyssey)
      The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion (everyone other than me loves it)
      Wool by Hugh Howey (science fiction, but accessible)
      Burial Rites by Hannah Kent (it’s received a lot of hype, but deservedly so – historical)
      Among the Missing by Dan Chaon (short stories, his novels are good too)
      The Last Girlfriend on Earth by Simon Rich (short stories, funny)
      Blithe Spirit, Hay Fever, Private Lives: Three Plays by Noel Coward (plays , funny)

      And some people really don’t think a philosophical, lonely hitman is funny. I have no idea why.

      If you choose any of these, you’re obligated to tell me (not really, of course). Either way, good luck!

      • DrFrood

        Thanks for the list, I’ll have a ganders…

        • Rory

          You’re welcome. I think it’s harder to buy books for people who read frequently. They tend to have an actual opinion about what they like.

          • DrFrood

            Her taste is fairly eclectic and I tend to find that if I like a book she usually does too, but I’ve not read much that I’d want to recommend recently, hence my difficulties, ya dig?

          • Rory

            Yes, actually most of those are older because it’s been at least a couple of months since I’ve read a really great book.

          • DrFrood

            Well clearly you haven’t read the new Bridget Jones in that case…


          • Rory

            You would be correct, but now that I know it has your stamp of approval, I’ll get right on that. I’ve heard that I’ll cry – true?

          • DrFrood

            Yes it has everything: tears, rage, pain, recriminations…

  • Wendy @ Wensend

    The literary maps were also on my wishlist, but I just wished they would have them in the Europe-version. And thanks for pointing out the ghost stories by Roald Dahl. On my wishlist they go!

    • Rory

      I just heard about that Roald Dahl collection this year, I can’t believe I had previously missed it. Maybe they will make a map of other European countries, I believe the US one that they make now is recent.

      • Wendy @ Wensend

        Yeah, Rebecca also told me she didn’t know about this collection. It sounds awesome. I’m not really his fan. I haven’t read much of him lately, but I’m planning on doing so, because I’ve read so much of him when I was younger.

        And let’s hope so. I love literary things and I love maps, so it would be a perfect combination.

  • Andi (@estellasrevenge)

    This is an AWESOME collection of goodies!

    • Rory

      Thanks. Now to convince everyone I need more books…

  • Sarah Says Read

    I love the “read instead” print! Although not to be snobby, but I feel like that’s something I could make myself… maybe I should aim to do that this summer!

    I hope you get some of these goodies for Christmas! 🙂

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