Monday, December 15, 2014

Holiday Stages of Grief Gift Guide: Bargaining.

I've slid right past the anger stage and now I'm bargaining like a crazy person. I've bought myself a few Christmas gifts and now I'm struggling with what to buy for other people. One of my favorite things to give is a much-beloved book, so I thought I'd write a post about it. I know this is a style blog and all, but y'all are my people which means there's a chance you're a nerdy reader-type like me. Here are a few favorites that I recommend as well as a few that just look like they might be great:

For your mom (or a friend or sister or lady in your life):

This is a book my mother gave me for my birthday ten years ago and I re-read it every couple of years because it's never not fantastic. It's just fantastic. I believe there was an oddly-cast movie version but it's basically impossible to find. Just buy a copy, read it really careful-like and give it to someone you love. 

I'm re-reading this right this very second and I'd forgotten how good it is. It's a very character-driven mystery that takes place in post-WWII England and it's such a good read. Just trust me on this one.

For your daughter or niece or other young lady in your life:

Oh man, this book. Changed my life. I first read it in 6th grade and I've been keeping a journal and then blogging ever since. It's a lesson in originality and not letting the man keep you down. A classic. (Ignore the movie, please. Thank you.)

This is the first book in the Wolves series and my favorite of the series even though Dido isn't in it. It has everything: love, orphans, poverty, riches, bad guys and good guys, wolves and geese. Trust. I love that it's little dark, that most of the heroes are women, and the Edward Gorey cover art cannot be beat. 

For your son or nephew or young man in your life (also good for girls, duh):

I'm sure there are lots of great new series out there for boys but this one was a favorite of mine when I was a young tomboy. It's about a wicked smart boy who spends all his time trying to swindle his friends, but it also delves into more serious issues.  The versions I read were illustrated by Mercer Mayer which is definitely what you want. 

For anyone who likes beautiful things:

I went to the David Bowie Is exhibit in October and I bought the giant book. It's beautiful and full of photos of David Bowie and his things. You can't go wrong with this one. 

Marianne bought this for me a couple of years ago and it's AMAZING. Just a completely satisfying giant fashion picture book experience. And you guys know I love McQueen

For the cyclist in your life:

I don't own this but I'd sure like to. I'm a fan of Bike Snob's blog and I'm sure the book is just as entertaining. If you like this kind of thing. Which I do.

For style-loving people:

I don't have this but Tim Gunn is a just a perfectly lovely person and I'm sure his book would not disappoint. Make it work. 

For fans of cool art:

Skull-A-Day by Noah Scalin
My friend Noah spent an entire year making skulls out of all kinds of materials - one for every day of the year. He recently had a book published that includes every single skull he made! It's really damn cool and I'm not just saying that because I've known him since kindergarten. 

For...avid readers who also like fancy literary-inspired cocktails? (Dude, I don't know, it just looks cool):


I don't have this book but this description sold it for me: “It’s a mixologist’s dream of literature-inspired drinks (and bar snacks) …Handsomely illustrated, full of literary trivia, summaries and snappy patter.” —Mystery Scene Magazine. I mean, you want it now, right? 

Perfect! DONE. Books for everyone. 


  1. I love to read!..although I don't carve much time to do it anymore but plan on getting back to it...thanks so much for the book rec's :-)

  2. The only problem with this list is that I already know and love the first five books on it. I would love to see more of your favorites!

  3. I've gotten bad about updating this, but it'll definitely give you an idea of what I love:

  4. Josephine Tey is GREAT!!

  5. I LOVED the Great Brain series - thought I was the only one. Had forgotten about it though, now that I have nephews & nieces, I appreciate the reminder.

  6. Thank you so much for the book recommendations! I'm on a mission to find and read these titles. I love "I Capture the Castle" and "Harriet the Spy," so I'm sure the rest will be spot on for me.


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