03 December 2012

to celebrate the season

if ever you wonder what to gift- friend, foe or family for the holiday season- I suggest-
perfect for the Reader, those that Should Read, and those that are Wanting to Read-but say they don't have the time. (those are the ones that are texting constantly-or otherwise)

a recent conversation with my niece went something like this:

Aunt Gaye, I read 100 pages in a book-and 200 in another yesterday, and I thought today I am Aunt Gaye!

Ah-Liz, Finally you've discovered the pleasures of reading. It is a sign of great maturity.
  She laughed.

I, along with her father and grandmother-have encouraged it to her and her brother JT since they were small. I told them-there would always be a friend-in a book. I've never had it fail Me. There were times-though few-when I did more reading for testing than I would have liked. I know with Liz-she felt the same, with some distance from that burden, reading for pure pleasure will return-and who knows perhaps we learn something along the way?

In celebration of the Season-and my favorite gift to GIVE & RECEIVE- I celebrate BOOKS for the month of December...

Send your recommendations-and I will Send Mine to You.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS-that goes without saying.

find anything at the British Library here


  1. Gaye, don't you think I Capture the Castle would make a wonderful gift? And you could even include a DVD of the film. I read I Capture the Castle start to finish. Could not put it down and did not want the story to end.

    But what I was really intrigued about in your post is the idea of a gift to a foe. What book would we give a foe?? Sarah Palin's autobiography? Or Levi Johnson's Deer in the Headlights...

    1. Rv. I do love that book-it is a lovely film as well. These are the best books-those that transport us through a story and don't ever quite return Us as we were. I have several like that I hope to share this month. On the "foe" as much a figure of speech-but if I were giving-it would be a sort of "self Help" book-I think! pgt

  2. Yes, a real book. For me, a great art or design book. Or the best junk action-thriller out there.

    1. Mary- I like mixing it up too-Right now I am reading a book Unquiet Souls: A Social History of the "the Souls" a subject I can not get enough of--- after reading a fictional adventure of Catherine the Great's spies-and next off to the new and beautiful looking Rex Whistler book---and on and on! pgt

  3. Somehow the Moomin books seems a good choice for any age. The Ice Palace by Tarjei Vesaas is interesting, but not necessarily cheerful. Paul Hindemith's Elementary Training for Musicians? That's a thriller, if I'd known everything in it .... You'd have to be a musician really to like it, I think, but it is an older, very famous theory book with an aura of composer in training. A tour de force.

    1. LL- You've opened the doors to new books for me today. The Ice Palace sounds like a must read-I've added it to my wish List! pgt

  4. aaah, books! Flush: Biography of a Dog by Virginia Woolf, A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson (very funny book about hiking the Appalachian Trail) , Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail (a woman hikes alone - - a wonderful writer, a ghastly funny and horrific story of a life)...

    1. Lauren, FLUSH-I ADORE that book. It is just SMART. I am so glad you suggest that one-I should do so as well. It is the kind of book when mentioned-those who've read it -at least Me-want to Rush back and read it again. I will pass the hiking book suggestions to a friend. thanks for adding to the List. pgt

  5. this LIST from Jean:

    The Rags Of Time by Maureen Howard
    Rome by Robert Hughes
    Brooklyn by Colm Toibin
    The Master by Colm Toibin
    July's People by Nadine Gordimer

    of these- The Master-I've read, yet more authors to explore. can't wait to delve into this selection. pgt

  6. Here's my very eclectic mix of favorites (not including all the picture books for children, which I love for the fantastic and usually whimsical artwork... William Steig is a must for creative wording and quirky drawings):

    Museum: Behind the Scenes at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Danny Danziger (gets to the heart of the museum - the people who run and maintain it)

    D.V.: Diana Vreeland

    The Principles of Uncertainty, Maira Kalman (absolute favorite children's author, but she spans genres!)One-of-a-kind artist and writer!

    And the Pursuit of Happiness, Maira Kalman - again... Anything by her, I go ga-ga over.

    Love, Loss, and What I Wore - Ilene Beckerman (and the companion books)

    It Isn't All Mink - Ginette Spanier (history and fashion - it goes well with Theatre De La Mode reading, filling in some blanks)

    Theatre De La Mode: Fashion Dolls: The Survival of Haute Couture, Edmonde Charles-Roux, Lottman, Seidner, Schafroth, Garfinkel (I loved it, and really think it is my life's favorite - hence taking the time to type all the contributors!)

    Dangerous Laughter, Steven Millhauser... what a mind! His thought patterns alone seem a kinetic power-source.

    The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Muriel Barbery - translated by Alison Anderson

    Griffin and Sabine: An Extraordinary Correspondence, Nick Bantock (every book of N. Bantock's has fascinated me - but all the Griffin and Sabine books include fabulous, mysterious artwork and real envelopes with removable letters... so exciting!

    Assassination Vacation, by Sarah Vowell. The title sounds intimidating, but my daughter read and recommended it (she also suggested The Elegance of the Hedgehog) - and her reading choices are always good. Vowell is very adept at imbuing history with a magnetic charge. Sarah Vowell - through this book taught me more about past presidents and American history than I ever learned in my youth! Had Vowell been my instructor, who knows what great things I could have achieved.

    The notebooks and journals of Leonardo Da Vinci are very inspiring to read. I read them long ago as a journalism/English/art student - even in the midst of studies. Da Vinci's observations were encouraging to me, making me want to be a better scholar. His documented thoughts about swirling water and circular patterns of light, even the formation of dust-piles (and his "secret" backwards handwriting) intrigue me infinitely.

  7. TLL-what a comprehensive list of things you love-many of them I share. MKalman books are always wonderful-and I've given the Pursuit of Happiness as a gift. Love Loss-and What I Wore-again I have a copy and gave a copy as a gift~ DV-check again. A quest within itself. Griffin and Sabine is lovely-HEdgehog-another wonderful book I am going to get the Sarah Vowell book pronto! Wonderful List. pgt

  8. Here is a bit of this and a bit of that......
    Patrick Leigh Fermor by Artemis Cooper
    To Marietta from Paris by Susan Mary Alsop
    Making the Mummies Dance by Thomas Hoving
    Over Here by Raymond Seitz
    Cecil Beton by Huo Vickers
    Learning to Look by John Pope Hennesy
    Up the Garden Path by Beverly Nichols

  9. John Sandoe Books in London have a wonderful Christmas list as does Heyward Hill and for old books there is no one better thn Kinsey Marable.At the moment am remained Patrick Leigh Fermor by Artemis Cooper, beautifully written and a great introduction to his books .... Oh to have met him would have been such fun!

  10. Vowell begins with through-and-through immersion in Lincoln, visiting Lincoln-related historic sites, totally thinkin' Lincoln... then covers McKinley and Garfield. Both sleuth and scholar, Vowell's love of history, love of writing, love of learning about the presidents is apparent. Reading the book was like a road-trip with a friend who's just completed a research doctorate degree in American History.

    As with The Elegance of the Hedgehog (essentially about not judging a person's interior by a first impression glance at their exterior) - the first few pages did not immediately welcome. With both books, I skipped around to see if the reads were worth it (with some coaxing from my daughter - who fusses at me for reading end to beginning).

    Finished Vowell's Vacation last winter about this time and felt much smarter for the read - and healthier, since Vowell is very humorous. The title - sounding irreverently morbid, is just Vowell's quirky-wit humor.

  11. About Vowell's Vacation - not irreverently morbid as the title would suggest - her love of American history, writing, and learning about past presidents Lincoln, McKinley, and Garfield proves her to be part scholar/part sleuth and very humorous.
    Reading it is like accompanying a research doctorate American History graduate (and part-time comic) on a road-trip. (Imagine the offspring of Tina Fey and Benjamin Franklin perhaps... ?)

    Have a little patience at book's beginning, after my daughter's coaxing/reprimands and my having read the end first, the rest of the ride was a great read.



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