Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Books













This year, for the second time, we decided to give only books to each other for the holiday. That's right. Books from Brazos Bookstore in Houston. Brazos is one of the last remaining independent bookstores, and at the holiday season, it is absolutely stuffed with wonderfulness. (I say that even though I have a small ownership interest in the store which might prejudice me somewhat.)

I thought some people might be interested in what books we actually gave and received.

Hale, for example, has been immersed all morning in National Geographic: The Photographs. I was in the store hoping for inspiration when the cover of this little book jumped out at me. It's the famous closeup photograph of the Afghan Girl, the one with the striking green eyes that was everywhere in the media a few years ago. On the back cover, there's a similarly posed photograph of the same person, a mother now, and seeing the change is quite moving.

We each gave the other Philip Roth's new book, Indignation. (Obviously, we don't coordinate.) I got Toni Morrison's A Mercy, along with the theory of light and matter, by Andrew Porter (an award-winning collection of short stories), Kathy Huber's book on Texas Flower Gardens, and a lovely book on home decor called Casa San Miguel.

I gave Hale John Le Carre's new one, A Most Wanted Man; also, Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue, the Untold History of English by John McWhorter and The Widows of Eastwick, by John Updike.

None of these choices are shots in the dark, of course, but rather books chosen out of a thousand references to subjects of interest over the year. How could one ask for a more personal gift than that, or one that will give more lasting pleasure?

Now to find space in our bookshelves...

9 comments:

PJ's talkin'.... said...

What a great idea. Books for Christmas presents. I'll have to remember that.

Becky said...

How was the cake?

Bdogs said...

The cake was painted in strawberry jam, drowned in sherry and homemade custard sauce, and became delicious! (Sherry Trifle)

Welcome to blogger!

thedomesticfringe said...

What a great idea! Books are always good. My son got a box full and my daughter had a few stuffed in her stocking. Santa is a pretty smart guy...wink, wink.

Cher said...

Recycle all books you don't want my way...or at least to our library where I have access to them!

The Texas Woman

Peggy Johnstone said...

Books are one of those things that I love giving as well as getting. They are a weakness of mine, so I totally understand the room-on-the-bookshelves dilemna! In our small town on the shores of Lake Michigan, we have a small, independent bookseller, too. It's ever so much better to go in there and get lost than it is to enter the megastore in the cement bunker of a mall. I'm inspired to check out some of your mentioned titles. Thanks! :)

aliceinparis said...

I love books too:)
Yes, I read the story of the Afghan girl and the life she has lived since the photo. Quite an eye opener. Such a different culture.
Cheers, Shelagh

sizzie said...

It looks like you both came up with some good choices. And a variety. I don't just not have a favorite book, I don't even have a favorite topic. Books are good. Cake sounds good, too.

Sydney said...

I love this idea for Christmas. I get everyone a book or two each year no matter what. And I love Brazos and the amazing author evenings they put on!

When you run out of shelf space there is always the bed stand, the windowsill, next to the couch -- in fact in NY and Boston apts -- which as you know are famous for their lack of space -- I saw them piled against a spare wall in the bathroom! I actually love piles of books everywhere. It just makes me feel good. I have so little time to read these days...