Happy Christmas. Mmm, you grumble. You’re Hamlet. And you can’t decide what to do for the holidays. Commercialism. Merry Capitalism.
Do you support the economy and glibly go into debt? Or do you have a simple Christmas and give to charity?
Mad Housewife's recommendations are for a few simple gifts:
OBLOMOV by Ivan Goncharev (there’s a new edition, translated by Tat'iana Tolstoya). A funny and poignant satirical novel about a very sleepy man, the Russian class system, and intellectuals.
THE INHERITANCE OF LOSS by Kiran Desai. Not only did it win the Booker Prize, it is the best contemporary novel I read this year.
REEF by Romesh Gunesekera. A former Booker Prize finalist: a novel about Sri Lanka.
THE THIRTEENTH TALE by Diane Setterfield. The story of an antiquarian bookseller who is invited to write a biography of a famous writer. Mysterious and filled with allusions to 19th-century novels.
AMERICAN HUMOR: THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE NATIONAL CHARACTER b y Constance Rourke. You can’t go wrong.
NO NAME by Wilkie Collins. Even better than THE WOMAN IN WHITE.
THE BRAMBLES by Eliza Minot. A beautifully written novel of family, siblings, the suburbs, and New York.
TRIANGLE by Katharine Weber. A novel about the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire in New York, coming to terms with survival, and music
THE UNFINISHED NOVEL by Valerie Martin. Collection of short stories.
DREAM NUMBER NINE by David Mitchell. Set in Japan, weird and amusing.
THE BEST AMERICAN POLITICAL WRITING 2006 edited by Royce Flippin. Everything you didn’t want to know about your country.
Gift certificates are also nice.