It shouldn’t have surprised me that book distribution is something like crippled this year. Publishing is still mostly in New York, but printing and manufacturing is elsewhere, more than a …
It shouldn’t have surprised me that book distribution is something like crippled this year. Publishing is still mostly in New York, but printing and manufacturing is elsewhere, more than a little in other countries, even. And for reasons too boring to go into more deeply than that, that means that books aren’t getting into bookstores—or even into Amazon—so quickly. And all of that is just to introduce what seems a rather early Holiday Gift Column. Ho, ho, ho…Start shopping now! (Or, at least, after next week’s Holiday column #2.)
For Small Creatures Such As We: Rituals for Finding Meaning in Our Unlikely World by Sasha Sagan (Putnam). Not a Christmas book in the way that others recommended here will be seen to be, but a great gift book because, though it’s a memoir in structure, it’s more essentially a book of philosophical insights that are of great warmth and yet witty and actually, no kidding, wise. Sagan is the daughter of the great astronomer and philosopher of science Carl Sagan (it’s from his writings that she has taken her title). This Sagan is maybe not as profoundly original as her great father, but she’s as brainy as you might expect, and very far from clichéd—oh, and that subtitle is as serious as her lovely book: rituals are there to be found by and for secular people, too. Give it a look—browse it a little; you’ll see. And so will your giftee.
A Christmas Legacy by Anne Perry (Ballantine). Her always welcome Christmas stocking-stuffer (small-ish in format, and novella length, and just $21) takes a surprising and delightful turn this year. As always, a beautifully produced book featuring characters from her Charlotte and Thomas Pitt Victorian-era series—but for the first time I can recall, the character is no Pitt but a former Pitt maid (we’ve met her, but just in passing). As always with the Perry series, real suspense, even though we’re pretty sure nothing terrible and irrevocable is going to happen in a Christmas book.
Best in Snow: An Andy Carpenter Mystery by David Rosenfelt (Minotaur). And another who never disappoints, at Christmas as reliably as year-’round; a full-length mystery novel, “full value,” as the column always says. There’s actually no need for your giftee (or your ownself, of course) to be a regular reader of this longstanding series to welcome this new one at this time of year.
Dear Santa by Debbie Macomber (Ballantine). A department store Santa figures in, in this annual book-length romance/holiday card from the much-loved Macomber. But wait, there’s more! She has something extra for us, this year: Yes, a Christmas coloring book—for adults, that would be, intricate and not just pretty but actually artistic, too (remember when coloring books for adults were a thing, not long ago? So does Macomber, evidently). And wherever (and however) you find and buy books, they’ll have the coloring book, too.
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