Image credit: Brian Davies via ABCNews.com
It’s the biggest shopping day of the year! If you’re like me, you filled yourself on carb-y comestibles yesterday and you’re itching to get out of the house and away from your doting Aunt Frieda.
But the Holiday Industrial Complex can leave a taste in your mouth worse than the leftover cranberry sauce and cream corn you ate for breakfast today, so skip buying Dad that 7,000-inch TV and get him the gift that keeps on giving: a book!
Below are my gift recommendations for the whole family. Happy shopping.
Image Credit: Cameron Pierce via Facebook
Our Love Will Go the Way of the Salmon by Cameron Pierce (Broken River Books, December 22, 2014)
Cameron Pierce has made a name for himself in the Bizarro lit community for his, well, bizarre short stories, but Our Love… is a bit of a departure for him. The stories in his newest collection are more closely set in reality, and yes, there are mechanical ducks and mutant mermaids, but the emphasis is firmly placed upon understanding human relationships and how we navigate the world despite our failed hopes and dreams, whereas Lost in Cat Brain Land or Ass Goblins of Auschwitz have a more transgressive bent. This book is perfect for Dad: almost every story has fishing in it, and there are plenty of reflective moments that can lead to deeper conversations the next time you come to visit.
Bark by Lorrie Moore (Knopf, 2014)
If your mom is like mine she’s very interested in keeping up with the best-seller list. This year get her a collection of Lorrie Moore’s newest short stories: they’re approachable and literary while also being some of the best examinations of human desire published by the big five right now.
The Little World of Liz Climo by Liz Climo (Running Press, 2014)
You may already be familiar with Liz Climo from her twee as fuck tumblr. cartoons, but in case you or your sister aren’t, this is a great way to get started. Climo is adept at capturing the core of parenting, friendship, and fun in these simply illustrated and brief strips which are sure to bring a smile to Sis’s face this year.
For your cousin who got you into records
The Annotated Mixtape by Joshua Harmon (Dzanc Books, 2014)
There’s something about music fans that lead to obsessive record collecting, and there’s something about obsessive record collecting that leads to great memoirs. In The Annotated Mixtape Harmon discusses the compulsions behind hoarding vinyl and what draws listeners to music in the first place. This is a great gift for that cousin who sparked your music obsession with those Smiths and Pavement albums all those years ago.
Image Credit: Sean McDonald Via Work in Progress
Wolf in the White Van by John Darnielle (Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux, 2014)
You’ve been really good this year. You’ve worked hard; you’ve been kind to others; you visited your family for Thanksgiving. You deserve to treat yourself. Why don’t you go ahead and splurge and buy that novel you haven’t had time to read yet. You know the one: it’s too expensive in hardback, it’s written by that author you like, and you don’t want to read it until you have the time to kick back and dive right into it. For me, that book is John Darnielle’s Wolf in the White Van. So, if you’ll excuse me,
I’m going to go hide away and squeeze in a few chapters right now.