Hello dear readers! It may not feel much like it but the holidays are almost upon us. This year, it’s important to #shoplocal and support independent bookstores like Strand and McNally Jackson. They’ve lost most of their revenue to Amazon with closures due to COVID and reduced foot traffic causing them to lose business.
As book lovers, we believe the best present to give to anyone is a book. There’s something for everyone, even non-readers (cookbooks, coloring books, puzzle books). Or, if you’re a non-reader yourself looking for something to get your reader friend, you’ve come to the right place.
As we do every year, we put together a handy guide of our favorite new releases and under-appreciated books from years past. Our goal in making this list was to avoid best sellers and gather some hidden gems that your gift recipient is almost sure not to already have. We tried to hit a wide range so that there’s something for everyone.
We’ll be adding to this list over the next week so check back! If you have any specific types of books you’re looking for or people you’re looking to shop for that you don’t see represented in this list, let us know in the comments! Also, check out our 2017 gift list, 2018 list, and 2019 list for even more ideas.
Spending the holidays in the Detroit airport is an overrated experience, no matter how many faces of happy customers they have pasted in the corridors. Mark and I hadn’t seen his parents and siblings for three long years and we were looking forward to some great big hugs and long-awaited homemade pecan pie, only to be found in the confines of Dayton, Ohio. To make a long story short, we never made it there. The rest of the saga made a Chevy Chase Christmas look like a free honeymoon in Hawaii.
Now, Dad did warn us that they were having a little snow back there — courtesy of some lovely photo attachments sporting him toying with his neat little snow blower on the driveway. Since we get about two snowflakes every three years here in Southern Oregon, I thought the whole thing looked like a precious Rockwell painting. “Just a little snow,” as it turned out, stretched from their doorstep right up to New York City. Unaware of the rapidly deteriorating weather, we put a few magazines and a book in a carry-on and headed to the Medford airport. Continue reading
You love books. They’re the perfect present, obviously. We’ve put together a selection to help you find the perfect gift for every person on your list this holiday season.
We aimed for a wide range, and to choose books a little bit off the beaten path. If you pick a book from this list, the odds are pretty good they don’t already have it – either because it just came out so they haven’t gotten a chance, or because it’s not on their radar.
Most of the books on our list are available on Amazon Prime – so no matter what holiday you celebrate, there’s a perfect last-minute gift for you in here somewhere.
New: Manhattan Beach, by Jennifer Egan (2017)
The Visit from the Goon Squad author is back with a gripping thriller about a woman who worked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard during World War II.
Middle-ish: A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki (2013)
As far as we’re concerned not enough people have read this book. This novel is narrated by two fully realized characters– a teenaged Japanese-American girl (Nao) keeping a diary while living in Tokyo, and a Japanese-American writer (Ruth) living on an island off the coast of British Columbia who finds that diary sometime after the 2011 tsunami that devastated Japan. This book goes to some dark places. 16-year-old Nao wants to commit suicide but not before she finishes writing about the life of her 100+-year-old old Buddhist nun grandmother. In doing so she captures much of her own story. Ruth, who finds the diary well after it was written, forms a connection with Nao even while her ultimate fate is unknown. The novel deals with everything from time, spirituality, physics, and placemaking. Fun fact: Ozeki became the first practicing Zen Buddhist priest to be shortlisted for the Man Booker with this book.
By the Furious Gazelle editors
It’s that time of the year again, when adults tell children that reindeer are mythical animals, but that Santa is real.
Back in the day, other kids delighted in telling me that I wouldn’t get a visit from Santa because I’m a Jew. I delighted in telling them that they wouldn’t either because he’s imaginary, how do you still believe in him you’re 7? It did not go over well. Can you blame me? My fellow seven year olds were spouting lies to my face. And believing in Santa for too long makes you look dumb– I was being helpful.
In retrospect, it wasn’t those kids’ fault. It was their parents’.
I know what you’re saying: lying to children can be fun, and hilarious. They are so easily confused by the world. Friends, I agree. Just the other day I told a toddler that I would give him a piece of candy, and instead I punched him on the nose. And we had a great laugh about it.
With Thanksgivukkah almost upon us we at the Gazelle would like to offer explanation and guidance:
Usually, Thanksgivukkah is not a word. If that’s news to you, well that’s just silly and you should educate yourself. Read on and share in a learning experience. Typically, Hanukkah and Thanksgiving have little to do with each other. One means a day off from school, or work, or whatever, and a chance to stuff yourself with pie. The other means no day off, and a lot of goyim asking you about the real Meaning of Hanukkah (which Jon Stewart’s “Can I Interest You In Hanukkah?” pretty well sums up).
BUT: this Thanksgiving an amazing crossover event is set to occur. And here’s how you can deal with the mishegas: