Need a good gift idea? Here are some staff and customer favorites from the past year.
“M Train” by Patti Smith
Curl up with a cup of strong black coffee and Patti Smith’s phenomenal new memoir. Smith, a NY cultural icon, reminisces on life in the city, her global travels, and the nature of artistic inspiration.
“Tsar of Love and Techno” by Anthony Marra
Often moving and occasionally hilarious, these deftly interwoven short stories revolve around a community living among the radioactive lakes, plastic forests, and oppressive politics of post-Soviet Siberia.
“Little Black Classics Box Set” from Penguin Classics
80 slim paperbacks in a handsome box. Short stories, poems, diaries, myths, fairy tales, essays — this magnificently eclectic set includes examples from ancient to modern times. A fine gift for a dedicated reader as well as some digestible enticements for those who may not yet be so inclined. Life-changing at only $125.
“S.P.Q.R.” by Mary Beard
This comprehensive and richly-detailed history of ancient Rome is that rarity — a popular volume written by one of the most respected scholars in her field who is also a good writer.
“In Search of Lost Time: Swann’s Way
A Graphic Novel” adaption and drawings by Stephane Heuet
For a long time Marcel Proust used to go to bed early; while he slept his thoughts took a rather peculiar turn; it seemed to him that he was writing a graphic novel and this impression would persist for some moments after he awoke… Is this beautifully produced volume an elegant re-dreaming of a well-loved classic or a good way to pretend you’ve read the real thing?
“The Horse: The Epic History of Our Noble Companion” by Wendy Williams
Horses have a story to tell, one of resilience, sociability, and intelligence, and of partnership with human beings. The ability of horses to adapt to changing ecosystems over millions of years, according to Williams, is why they represent one of evolution’s triumphs. Dramatic stories highlight this fascinating history such as the poignant tale of the Przewalski horse, who, after many trials, is successfully returned to its wild state in a protected park in Mongolia.
“A Wild Swan” by Michael Cunningham
This collection of retold fairy tales, (accompanied byYuko Shimizu’s gorgeous illustrations) are finely-wrought, distinct, and haunting.
“Pogue’s Basics: Life” by David Pogue
Did you know that your wilting lettuce is not decaying but simply in need of a spa treatment? Half an hour’s relaxing soak and it will come out fresh as an arugula. This stocking stuffer by the Times‘s tech columnist is sure to provide useful tips as well as some Christmas morning curiosities.
“The Mad Feast: An Ecstatic Tour Through America’s Food” by Matthew Gavin Frank
50 recipes are here (one for each state), as is so much more. This tour is a paean to the stubborn persistence of regional particularity in our peripatetic nation. Even if you never want to eat an Iowa Loosemeat Sandwich, you can taste Frank’s enthusiasm.