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BookBuffet Holiday Pick List 2004


Here's our highly subjective list of the best books for gift-giving this holiday season. Don't forget to sign yourself and your literary friends up for a BookBuffet Membership. (Click on book titles for quick link to purchase.)


December 19, 2004

These are the books we are recommending—and buying ourselves—this holiday season. They reflect our personal interests as well as the interests of BookBuffet members. There's bound to be a title for each book lover on your gift list!


Happy Holidays!


Created in Darkness by Troubled Minds: The Best of McSweeney's Humor Category, Dave Eggers, Kevin Shay, Lee Eptstein, John Warner, Suzanne Kleid, Knopf (2004)  This book is guaranteed to lighten the holidays as you read it aloud to friends and guests; a compilation of humor from the popular literary quarterly. Highlights include: J.M. Tyree's "On the Implausibility of the Death Star's Trash Compactor."  "Fire: the Next Sharp Stick?", "Unused Audio Commentary by Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky, Recorded Summer 2002, for the Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring DVD (Platinum Series Extended Version), Part One," all to be found in the early middle.


The Master , Colm Toibin; Schuster (2004) What Michael Cunningham did for Virginia Woolf, Toibin does for Henry James. Even the reader who knows little about Henry James or his work can enjoy this marvelously intelligent and engaging novel, which presents not on a silver platter but in tender, opened hands a beautifully nuanced psychological portrait." Booklist (Starred Review) A great gift set would include: The Wings of the Dove, then The Ambassadors, and next The Golden Bowl.

Alexander Hamilton, Ron Chernow: Penguin (2004) This biography of one of the least known presidents sheds light on some of his most important achievements: He nationalized the debt, binding the states together and creating the fluid capital markets that are today the engine of world capitalism. He was working at a time when many around him had an entirely static view of economics. They scorned credit, banks and stock markets, and considered manufacturing the least productive form of economic activity.

Art/Reference/Coffee Table Books

Art and the Japanese Postcard, Anne Nishimura,

MFA Productions (2004) 300 full-color examples of these cards, culled from the vast Leonard A. Lauder Collection. They are astonishing not only for their beauty and the quality of their printing, but also for the insight they provide into contemporary Japanese artistic practices--insights not relayed in standard histories that focus on painting and sculpture--as well as for the fluid interplay of European and Japanese modes. Authoritative essays by leading scholars of Japanese art and culture, plus a statement by the collector himself

National Geographic Atlas of the World, 8th Edition

(Oct. 2004) Combining state-of-the-art cartographic technology and information with dynamic and diverse physiographic and cultural content, the Eight Edition is National Geographic's most accurate and interesting record of the world yet. A must coffee table reference book for families and those interested or concerned with the effects of humans on thing such as population expansion and global warming.

Instructoart 1, Matthew Vescovo; JorgePinto Books (2004) If you've watched MTV lately there's a good chance you've seen Matt's wry deadpan animated promos. A must buy for the humorist, design afficianado or teenage cogniscenté on your gift list.   


Chronicles, Volume 1, Bob Dylan, Simon & Schuster

(with audio read by Sean Penn) The headline in Slate magazine for this book reads, "Who Knew Dylan Could Write Prose Too?" Dylan recorded over 40 albums but this first volume of his memoir trilogy gives ample insights into other artists such as Bono, Tom Petty, the Grateful Dead as much as his own songs and life experiences.

And it Don't Stop: the Best American Hip-Hop Journalism of the last 25 Years, Faber & Faber: takes a historical look at the hip-hop genre collecting articles from 1981 onward from publications as varied as: Vibe, the New Yorker, the Village Voice, the Source and People

Cooking & Gardening

Nigella Lawson's Feast, Great holiday & special occasion recipes, as well as 150 color photos. A book you'll use over and over.

The Jewel Box Garden, Thomas Hobbs. Timber Pres(2004)  Southlands Nursery owner and plantsman extraordinaire, reigns over Vancouver's horticultural scene and exerts an indubitable presence throughout the Pacific Northwest and points beyond. Let his immaculate taste guide you in selecting scrumptious plant combinations to enhance or re-design your garden.


Luna In this compelling National Book Award finalist, Julie Anne Peters introduces us to Liam, called Luna , a boy coming to grips with his inner feminine identity.

Click here to see BookBuffet's compilation of 2004 Prize winning books.



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