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All of us are excited about the books in this year’s holiday catalog! Instead of our usual reviews, everyone has shared  books from the catalog they’d like to receive and those they’d like to give for the holidays. We’ve also included a couple books that aren’t in the catalog that you’ll want to know about. Recommendations of books for children and young adults are in Youth Yak.




Jen Jen  


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Catalog books I'd like to give:

10 Things You Might Not Know About Nearly Everything 


This is the gift to give that new person in the family. It’s a book of lists about nearly everything (just as the title indicates) and it’s a great tool to spark conversations.

(See Jen’s review of this book in our November newsletter.)

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  Little Fires Everywhere
 
I recently read—and loved—this literary novel by Celeste Ng, and I have a number of friends who would also enjoy it.
   
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Radium Girls

This is science with a human face. This book is for those who liked The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. It’s a combination of history, science, and the importance of making your voice heard.

   




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Catalog books I'd like to receive
:

Remarkable Books 

This is a gorgeous coffee table book about………books. Must have.

   
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Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything
 

This is the kind of nonfiction I devour – quirky, funny, entertaining, and it will arm me with loads of quack medicine tidbits to spring on unsuspecting friends and family.

   
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Girl in Disguise

Greer MacallisterI’ve been wanting to read this book about a desperate widow in 1856 Chicago ever since I met the author, Greer Macallister, at a book event. Not that I’m a book groupie or anything.

             


         
Sally Sally  

 

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Books I'd like to give:

The Vietnam War  

Vietnam was the experience which divided our country and defined my generation. This book, the companion volume to the recent PBS series, offers a comprehensive look at that era. This is a book I’d like to give.

 
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Stock the Crock  

This is a collection of innovative crock pot recipes with lots of ways to customize each one. (The very first recipe in the book is my favorite!) I’m all about saving time when preparing meals, and I’d like to give this book to others who share that interest.

 
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Her Body

This a collection of short stories is science fiction. Don’t tell Bob, but I’m thinking about the book as a gift for him, because I’ve been assured there are no unicorns in it.

 




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Books I'd like to receive:

Jul: Swedish American Holiday Traditions  

Our ethnic heritages have so enriched holiday celebrations! I’m not Swedish, but I went to a Swedish college, and think I’d enjoy this book. I hope it has a great recipe for Swedish meatballs.

 

 
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A Year in the Wilderness  

When Dave and Amy Freeman learned about mining in watershed of the Boundary Waters, they decided to spend a year in the wilderness. This book, the outcome of their year in the wilderness, shows us the value of wilderness and why we must protect it.


           

             
Bob
Bob
 


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Books I'd like to give:

A book to give is Where the Animals Go, James Chesire and Oliver Uberti 

(See Bob's review of this book in our November newsletter.)

   
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The day Artemis was released, a customer asked Sally, “Has your husband read this yet?” We asked Bob to set aside the other books he was reading so he could review this one for us.

Artemis
Andy Weir

I have to say when Sally and Jen told me Andy Weir has another book out (he wrote The Martian, which was made into a movie) I said, of course I’ll review it. Another book of sci-fi, with space ships and no unicorns!

It’s not technically a “space adventure” as it’s set in a small city on the moon….and it’s a mystery. Being on the moon provides some interesting twists like 1/6 earth’s gravity and no air, which play heavily (no pun intended) on the plot. This station or city is not a new “frontier town.” It’s been established for 20 years so the society is set and people know what they are doing (no habitat blow-outs like in Martian.) Our main character is a 26 year-old woman, Jazz, who’s the equivalent of a UPS delivery person. Jazz supplements her meager income by smuggling “stuff” for the more elite residents of the moon. She agrees to do a “job” on the promise of big money and things, as you might guess, go awry.

The book is a good read for adults (language, sexual references etc.) If you’re really not into sci-fi but like a good mystery, try this out. Who knows? It might bring out the inner nerd in you. There’s a minor amount of technical jargon, but you’ll catch on. The ending was a real page turner and that was fun.

             


Gail
Gail
       
 


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Books I'd like to give:

For a grandson who is a speech teacher, I would give The Driftless Reader. I think his students would get some good ideas from this book. 

   
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I think the grandson who is a doctor would enjoy Quackery.
Medicine has come a long way!

   
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The World of Laura Ingalls Wilder

I wish I could give this book to everyone on my list! It’s the ultimate coffee table book, and you can approach it in so many ways. Open the book to any spot and begin to read, peruse the artwork and illustrations, or read it straight through. it's also fun to share excerpts with friends and you may want to re-read the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. This a storybook, a biography, a history, a book on botany, and also gives us a sample of pioneer life. I especially enjoyed reading about Laura and Alonzo's later life and the life of their daughter Rose, who was also a gifted author. Although it’s not in our catalog, this book would make a great gift book for friends or family for Christmas!

   


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Books I'd like to give AND receive:

The working women on my list don’t have much time to read, so I would give them either The Book That Takes Its Time...

   

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...or Tiny Book of Tiny Pleasures.

I would like to receive either one of these titles, too!

   


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Another book I'd like to receive:

Danger, Man Working
by Michael Perry.  

I think I have read all of his titles. They are humorous and thought provoking. 

           


Hannah
Hannah
         
 


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Books I'd like to give:

The Moosewood Restaurant Table

I have a friend who cooks this way. Her copy of the original book is so well-worn, I know she will love these recipes as well.

 

   
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The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine

A never published story by Mark Twain?! With great illustrations… I may end up giving this to multiple people.

   
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A Tale of Two Cities

It’s not in the catalog, but my sister and I visited Paris so I'm thinking of giving her the classic Dickens novel. It has one of the most famous beginnings of any book, and we can all recite the last lines: "It's a far, far better thing I do..." And in between, the descriptions of the passions of a mob have never been surpassed. This is the novel that has formed our understanding of the events of the French revolution, a pivotal event in world history. I was surprised that it's also a remarkable love story.

   

 



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Books I'd like to receive:

Future Home of the Living God

I usually wait for books to come out in paperback, but it would be lovely to read Erdrich’s new novel this winter. All of her books are so rich and beautiful!

 

   
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Remarkable Books: The World’s Most Beautiful and Historic Works

Looking at the book’s cover sort of makes my mouth water. When I clicked on it in the catalog and saw the sample pages, I knew I want this book. It looks amazing.

         


Pam
Pam
 



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Books I'd like to receive:

The Child Finder

I love mysteries and this one piques my interest. I think this would be a great read.

 

         
         

         
Tim
Tim
 


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Books I'd like to give:

Leonardo da Vinci
Walter Isaacson  

This is one of those landmark books one rarely comes across. We've all heard of Leonardo, maybe even pored over the drawings in his notebooks, and everyone knows the Mona Lisa. This biography changes the way we see these works forever. Perhaps it's the time we live in, that finally Isaacson is able to tell both the story of the artist, but also (and maybe even more interestingly) give a roundness to the personal life of the man, the time he lived in and the astonishing people who made his work possible. Seriously, this book is amazing!

While this isn’t a catalog book, Leonardo da Vinci would make a wonderful holiday gift.
         


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