Welcome to Quick Lit, where we share short and sweet reviews of what we’ve been reading lately on the 15th of every month.
Today I’m sharing 9 newer books that are perfect for gifting this season. The right book makes a wonderful gift, and there’s something here for everyone—young or old, devoted bibliophile or casual reader, cook or artist or history buff.
My introduction to Deb Perelman of the fantabulous food blog smittenkitchen.com wasn't via the usual route: I found out she was speaking at my local library, a friend told me I should go, I took her advice and found Deb and warm and funny and smart, and only then did I look up her website and her first cookbook, The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. This follow-up contains more than a hundred real recipes for real people, gorgeously illustrated. More info →
In this amazing book for book lovers, Andrew DeGraff maps not only the physical terrain of beloved stories, but also character arcs and storylines. His intricate illustrations are based on books readers know and love, like Watership Down, A Christmas Carol, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, A Wrinkle in Time, and Pride and Prejudice. This is easier to see than explain, so check out these nine maps from the pages of Plotted here. More info →
You may have seen references to this devastating event throughout the years; now, thanks to Bacon's brand-new book to commemorate its 100-year anniversary, you can read the rest of the story. In 1917, two cargo ships collided in the port of Halifax, Nova Scotia. One was dangerously overloaded for munitions bound for the French front in WWII; the collision caused the worst man-made, non-nuclear explosion in history, killing 2,000 people, wounding 9,000 more, and leaving half the town homeless. This is the story of how it happened, what happened after, and how the recovery changed history. Check out this list for more great books for dad-types.More info →
When Holland Saltsman recommended this as a great gift on Episode 107 of What Should I Read Next, I ran out and bought Will a copy. Singer/songwriter Williams draws on her experiences from many years on the road to tell specific, personal stories of how small towns are thriving in unique, unexpected ways. This would be an excellent companion or follow-up to one of my personal favorites This Is Where You Belong. More info →
That subtitle! This wasn't on my radar, so stumbling upon a new David Lebovitz at my local indie this month was a delightful surprise. I love his recipes and especially his writing, which manages to simultaneously be interesting, informative, and laugh-out-loud funny. As Lebovitz fans have come to expect, this one combines stories about food and French culture mixed with a heady dose of philosophy-of-life. More info →
If you're the sort to swoon over a vintage card catalog, this beautiful and well-curated volume from the Library of Congress is for you. It traces the evolution of the card catalog from ancient times through today, and features more than two hundred photos of card catalogs through the years, library images, and first edition book covers. I especially love that the inside cover has a flap for holding the due date card. More info →
From the author of Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant, a new release all about Manhattan. Whether you (or your recipient) is a native New Yorker, soon-to-be first time visitor, or somewhere in between, there's plenty to enjoy in these pages. If the thought of Manhattan brings a smile to your face, put this on your coffee table this season. More info →
Each book in this new series provides a glimpse into the life of an outstanding, inspiring woman: Maya Angelou, Marie Curie, Frida Kahlo, Amelia Earhart, and more. These would make wonderful bedtime reading for little ones or beautiful keepsakes for older ones. More info →
What have YOU been reading lately? And what books are you giving this season?