Tuesday, December 13, 2016

A Few Books for Christmas

Most Christmases I choose a handful of books for myself. I order them online or perhaps buy them locally. I wrap them, put them under the tree, and write on the little tag: "To MK, from Adam." But we all know I like to choose my own reading material. Five or six books will give me before-bed reading for most of the following year.

The other day I spent a delectable hour in Buckhorn Books, the local, quirky, dusty, run-by-an-old-lady, inside-an-old-house bookstore that I love to visit. Mrs. Lupton is proprietor. She has handwritten tags taped on the shelves guiding customers to various topics. She carefully selects her inventory and stocks truly interesting, unusual books. I always know I'll find something there! I'm not much of a fiction reader these days. I like interesting stories. Most fiction is fairly predictable (which is why we like it so -- it feels comfortable, no real surprises), but real life is always unexpected. Here are the books I bought for myself this year:
 This book traces the history of a painting from the last year of Van Gogh's life, a portrait of his doctor. I love the intricacies of the art world and how paintings change hands. This one's history sounds particularly riveting.
 This writer and his wife decided to exit NYC after a particularly scary cab ride and took up residence in rural Vermont. He wrote essays and articles about their new life, and this book is the result.
 I couldn't resist this first-hand account of a lone woman's trek across the wild American West, back when it was neither safe nor proper for a woman to travel thus. She wrote letters to her sister as she traveled from the Sandwich Islands to England, and they're compiled in this book.
 Nothing better for bedside reading than a Cat Who book! This one's not waiting for Christmas. I was in desperate need NOW :) The Oxford Book of Essays was growing rather dry, so Ko-Ko and Yum-Yum took its place.
 I'm looking forward to this interesting read. Although I'm a musician, I know little of the history of the development of the basic nuts and bolts of written music itself - the notation, the keyboard. Evidently it caused quite a ruckus!
Last, this little book by the author of The Little Prince should be a gem to read. I technically bought it for Adam, but I bet I'll get to it first!
Oh! I nearly forgot a book that I did buy from Amazon, Home Fires, a book about the Women's Institute in England during World War II, and how instrumental they were in winning the war and strengthening the nation.

So there you have it -- the Christmas book selection. Do any of you buy a stack of reading at Christmas? What do you choose?


  1. I'm thinking of buying myself an art book by Bob Burridge. It's sort of an instructional/reference book. I like to treat myself to books now and then. Some of these look great! I especially love true stories of people's lives. Idyll Banter and Home Fires look really interesting!

  2. I like Home Fires. It's not a page turner but very interesting. I think I feel the same way about novels - I guess we've read too many.
    I like your list and I like YOU!

  3. Most of these look well worth reading. I think you have a great tradition going there! I don't buy myself books for presents at Christmas, but just All. The. Time. And then my children kindly view my Amazon wish list and get me books from it. I'm trying to move stacks around and get them into bookcases before they all arrive at Christmas and think I have gone nuts.


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