I know it's still November, but it's not too early to start thinking about gifts for all the readers on your holiday shopping list. I have a lot good ideas this year, so watch this space for more suggestions over the coming weeks. Hope you find the perfect present for someone special.
For your well-read friend with a great sense of humor: Mallory Ortberg's Texts from Jane Eyre can be summed up by it's subtitle: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters. From the ancient Greeks to Harry Potter, these text convos will have you LOL'ing right from page 1. It won't take you long to realize that Ortberg really nails her characters' personalities: whether it's Peeta and Katniss bickering or Lizzy Bennett trying to deal with her mother, her imagined texts are spot on. Just imagine Scarlett O'Hara with a smartphone (poor Ashely . . . or maybe poor Mammy). To give you a hint, the following is just the one of the text conversations found on Hamlet's phone. Texts from Jane Eyre is the perfect stocking stuffer, promising hours of good fun. (Henry Holt; ISBN 9781627791830)
Gertrude: darling I don't mean to criticize but you really hurt your father's feelings last night
Hamlet: hes not my real dad / why do you even like him
For the Austen lover: Jane Austen Cover to Cover: 200 Years of Classic Covers by Margaret C. Sullivan, is a gorgeous coffee table book. This collection of the cover art of Austen's novels ranges from the early 1800s all the way through to the movie tie-in editions. Sullivan even includes the spin-offs, like Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, illustrated editions for young readers, and comic book versions. The text provides the publication history of Austen's work and information about the books' paper and bindings. Some of the covers are beautiful abstracts or details from classic paintings; others made me laugh, especially the editions that show Austen's characters in Victorian clothing. Austen fans will spend many enjoyable hours with Jane Austen Cover to Cover. (Quirk Books, ISBN: 9781594747250)