I love receiving books as gifts and my family and friends know this! Here's what they blessed me with this year.
Autobiography of Mark Twain: 100 years after his death, the unexpurgated autobiography of this great American writer is now available. I read the Ron Powers bio a few years ago (in P.B, i.e., Pre-Blogging days) and really enjoyed it, and was inspired to finally read Huck Finn, which I loved.
The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time, by David L. Ulin: This book had me at its title. Really looking forward to finding out why all this time I spend reading and writing about reading is making me a wonderful person!
Pride and Prejudice: An Annotated Edition, edited by Patricia Meyer Spacks: I haven't actually read P&P in about five years so I'm due, and I've heard the annotation in this edition is scholarly and worthwhile. I know that sounds snobbish, but I really have been reading P&P and reading about P&P for close to 40 years now.
A Novel Bookstore, by Laurence Cosse: This one came out of the blue, and I've never heard of it, but the Publishers Weekly blurb on Amazon makes it sound like a fun read.
The founding of a unique Paris bookstore triggers jealousies and threats in Cossé's intriguing follow-up to The Corner of the Veil (1999). Former comic-book seller Ivan "Van" Georg and stylish Francesca Aldo-Valbelli team to establish the Good Novel, a bookshop that will stock only masterpieces in fiction, which are selected by a secret committee of writers. At first, the warm welcome of the bookstore results in soaring sales. Then attacks in the press, the opening of rival bookstores, and attempts against the lives of committee members by persons unknown sour the atmosphere for the Good Novel's community of readers and writers. Cossé poignantly depicts characters who have turned to literature for solace against the pain in their lives, creates ongoing speculation as to the shadowy first-person narrator, and furnishes sly commentary about gatekeeping in the literary world. Though purists may be disappointed with the solution to the mystery, there's plenty of food for thought.
Murder at Mansfield Park, by Lynn Shepherd: So many people whose opinion I respect love this book, how could I not get it and push it to the top of the heap?
London: The Biography, by Peter Ackroyd: I scanned this a few years ago but didn't really do it justice. Since I'm going to London in at the end of March, I thought this would be a perfect book to prep me for the trip...just as I read Edward Rutherford's New York last year before my vacation in NYC.
Hope you all had a lovely holiday season, and best wishes for a happy, healthy, prosperous 2011...and may you discover a new favorite author and a new favorite book!