Canadian Living - - Contents -

Our favourite books to give, and a few we’d love to re­ceive

One of the best things about book lovers is that we’re al­ways will­ing to share. And for the hol­i­days, that means there’s an op­por­tu­nity to pre­sent the read­ers on your list (and maybe even your­self?) with some­thing unique. With that in mind, we’re of­fer­ing up the books we love to give, and a few we’d like to see un­der our own Christ­mas trees. Ex­tremely Loud and In­cred­i­bly Close


(MARINER BOOKS) BY JONATHAN SAFRAN FOER, $22.50. My taste in books is in­fal­li­ble (wink), so I gift my all-time favourite. JSF’S words are like caramel, a lit­er­ary dessert to be savoured line by line, and I want my near­est and dear­est to un­der­stand the con­text when I drop quotes like, “My life story is the story of ev­ery­one I’ve ever met” and “You can’t love any­thing more than some­thing you miss.” Magic, right?



(CHRON­I­CLE BOOKS) BY JANE MOUNT, $35. Bib­lio­phile is a cof­fee ta­ble–wor­thy col­lec­tor’s item that the book­i­est of book nerds (me! me! me!) can de­light in. Jane Mount, known for her “Ideal Book­shelf” prints, de­liv­ers an il­lus­trated peek into fa­mous book­stores, por­traits of top au­thors’ pets, best-in-genre book­shelves and fa­mous fic­tional meals, among many more lit­er­ary bits and bites I can’t wait to dig in to.

Some­thing for Ev­ery­one

SHORT STO­RIES (HOUSE OF ANANSI PRESS) BY LISA MOORE, $23. When­ever I gift or rec­om­mend a book, I try to pick some­thing Cana­dian. In fact, most of my trea­sured nov­els come from au­thors who call Canada home. This year, I’ll be giv­ing this Giller Prize–nom­i­nated short­story col­lec­tion. Much as the ti­tle sug­gests, any­one with a pas­sion for sto­ry­telling or read­ing will find some­thing to love in this imag­i­na­tive and easy-read­ing com­pi­la­tion.

The Lost Words


(HOUSE OF ANANSI PRESS) BY ROBERT MAC­FAR­LANE, $40. In 2007, the Ox­ford Ju­nior Dic­tionary aban­doned some 40 na­ture-in­spired words in favour of tech-re­lated ones, demon­strat­ing the di­vide be­tween mod­ern-day chil­dren and the out­doors—blue­bell and fern, for ex­am­ple, were re­placed with words such as at­tach­ment and voice­mail. This beau­ti­ful book is part recla­ma­tion and part ap­pre­ci­a­tion, and a gen­tle re­minder to dis­con­nect from tech and re­con­nect with dan­de­lions and wil­lows.

Pass­ing for Hu­man


(RAN­DOM HOUSE) BY LIANA FINCK, $37. One of the best things I read this year is go­ing to my beloved friend. Pass­ing for Hu­man tells a beau­ti­fully il­lus­trated story of the author Liana Finck’s child­hood, re­la­tion­ships and search for her true self, and il­lu­mi­nates the cre­ative process as well as what it means to be a woman and an artist.

In Paris

NON­FIC­TION (PEN­GUIN) BY JEANNE DAMAS AND LAU­REN BASTIDE, $40. I have a not-so-se­cret affin­ity for all things French (namely, crois­sants and Cham­pagne), so I’m not so se­cretly lust­ing af­ter In Paris to keep on my night­stand for when­ever I need to be trans­ported to the City of Light.

The Daugh­ter of Time

FIC­TION (AR­ROW) BY JOSEPHINE TEY, $17. I defy any­one not to love this book. Voted the great­est mys­tery novel of all time in 1990 by the U.K. Crime Writ­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion, this 1951 clas­sic in­volves a Scot­land Yard in­spec­tor, a por­trait of a king and a leg­endary tale of in­trigue. But it’s so much more than an or­di­nary who­dunit, and the sub­tleties within are why I love to gift it. The plot is in­ge­nious, the topic fas­ci­nat­ing and Josephine Tey’s writ­ing top notch. It’s a win­ner all around.

Lethal White

FIC­TION (LIT­TLE, BROWN & CO.) BY ROBERT GALBRAITH, $38. This year, we had the TV adap­ta­tions of the first three ex­cel­lent Robert Galbraith books come to us from across the pond, and I’m stoked to read the lat­est book in the se­ries, which fea­tures the en­dear­ing Lon­don PI Cor­moran Strike and his adorable part­ner, Robin El­la­cott. Even more so af­ter the cliffhanger of the last book left us with lin­ger­ing feels about the com­pli­cated re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two leads.

Read­ers on the go can re­joice in the re­lease of a stream­lined e-reader from both Kobo and Kin­dle this sea­son. The new Kobo Forma is more durable and er­gonomic, while the reimag­ined Kin­dle Paper­white has twice as much stor­age as pre­vi­ous ver­sions. Rakuten Kobo Forma E-READER, $300, Kin­dle Paper­white E-READER, from $140, ama­ Our Test Kitchen team knows first­hand about mak­ing great food for loved ones (in­clud­ing CL read­ers, of course!), but it turns out they’re just as ob­sessed with try­ing new recipes from their favourite chefs as we are. Here, the staffers share their picks of the best new cook­books of the sea­son.









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