Book Scene: Holiday Special

A very special book scene - to help you with all that last minute decision-making.

To read on the plane/train/bus -

Disobedience - winner of the Orange Prize and absolutely great. Alderman's deftness shifiting between the voices of her characters is seamless and impressive, the complexity of issues she handles (religion, family, sexuality) are all deeply intertwined. Ideal travel reading. You'll be so engrossed, time will fly (sorry for the pun).

To give to...

your skinny, nerdy, comic-reading friend

The Best of Dinosaur Comics!. Clever and funny. My fav. is about the misuse of "begging the question". Local boy wonder Ryan North sells tee-shirts, too. I pine for the one that says "Feelings are boring. Kissing is awesome."

(and some twinkies).

your incredibly intellectual friend/dad/sibling


Remainder. I love Tom McCarthy because he is super smart and super readable. He was here for the IFOA and blew me away.

Also, keep in mind that smarty pants tend to read mysteries to relax, so if you want to surprise them with something a little less arduous, grab a potboiler like TO-er Howard Akler's The City Man. They'll love you.

your save-the-world friend

Getting to Maybe - one of the more optimistic books on how to make the world better, in that its focus is not on the ever-mounting series of problems, but how to think and act to solve them. (One of the authors is a prof. at York - making a difference one mind at a time, no doubt).

your co-worker who you landed in the office secret santa that you don't really know that well

I Like You - Amy Sedaris' entertaining book comes with recipes, activities, and a heavy dose of amusing nostalgia (much like the gross yet awesome Gallery of Regrettable Food).

your mom/sibling/best friend


Moral Disorder - Maggie's back and playing hardball. Simply wonderful. Need more adjectives? Incisive. Insightful. Wry. Touching (not saccharine).

you were thinking of getting them that book that won the Giller...

Get When She Was Queen instead. Vincent Lam may be good, but Vassanji is amazing. (Or get both and give our two local short story writers some love).

Ask for if...

you like philosophy
The End of Mr. Y, and then call me and we'll talk about it.

you hate people
The Road - Cormac McCarthy will make you cry. In a despairing for humanity kind of way. Once you've imagined everyone dead or suffering in a post-apocalyptic future, regular greivances don't seem quite so bad.

And in the spirit of the holidays... send me an email and tell me what book you're giving this season and you might just win a little present from me. Katherine at blogTO dot com.

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