This is kind of a dangerous post to write, because I didn’t keep a list of books I gave or received over the holidays. Therefore, I’m probably going to forget one or two, and perhaps offend someone in the process. But one must soldier on.
Books GivenCapturing Camelot by Kitty Kelley: This is a glossy and wonderful picture/reminiscence book by the (in)famous Kitty Kelley, known for her unauthorized biographies of Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor, Jackie Onassis, Oprah, and more. She’s an entertaining speaker with lots of stories to tell, and still going strong at seventy years old. The book’s subtitle is Stanley Tretick’s Iconic Images of the Kennedys. Kelley has combined photographs, many not seen before, taken by her friend Stanley Tretick. He had been the Kennedys’ photographer and her own dear friend, and he left her the photos as part of his estate. She combines her own stories about Stanley or the Kennedys as prose threading through the photos.
I enjoyed hearing Ms. Kelley’s stories at a luncheon given by the Women’s Resource Center of Sarasota County in December. When I stood in line after the lunch for her to sign a book I’d be giving my sister, she wrote a wonderful statement on the title page and posed for the picture above. She was high energy and gracious, and I was impressed.
Other books I gave to several people included two of my personal favorites in 2012:
• The Wives of Henry Oades by Johanna Moran (earlier posting here)
• Little Miss Merit Badge by Ronda Beaman (earlier posting here).
I gave five books based only on reviews but with content that seemed especially suited to the recipients:
• Heads on Beds by Jacob Tomsky (given to my former sister-in-law who would be traveling…)
• More Baths Less Talking by Nick Hornby (given to a friend who reads voraciously)
• I Could Pee on This by Francesco Marciuliano (poems by cats, given to another cat lover)
• Why Does the World Exist? by Jim Holt (given to my husband and another friend who ponder such questions)
• The Art of the Sale by Philip Delves Broughton (given to my younger brother, a master salesman even though he’s pondering other avenues for income these days)
• Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass and Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell (two books on writing, given to my younger brother, who will give them back to me if they convince him not to take up writing novels)
I look forward to hearing down the road what all the giftees thought of all their books. (But no pressure.)
It is great fun to receive a book from someone who knows you. It’s fun to see what they think you’ll like, and to learn what their own experience with the book was like. This year, I received these:
• Black Swan Green by David Mitchell (published in 2006, written by the author of Cloud Atlas, which I just finished reading and which, I have been assured, the gifted book is nothing like; whew, because C.A. was one tough read)
• The Round House by Louise Erdrich (2012 National Book Award Winner)
• Wild by Cheryl Strayed (extremely well-received memoir in 2012, and I’ve just learned Nick Hornby [of More Baths Less Talking mentioned above] will be writing the script for the screen, and Reese Witherspoon will be the lead)
Most people dare not give me books, since they don’t know what I’ve already read or own. The above three came with Gift Receipts, the perfect solution for local gifters. Now please excuse me, but I have to go finish reading my current book (King’s 11/22/63), which I began in early December and have had to put up with its pawing the ground all through the holiday season. Time to give that horse free rein.
What book(s) did you give or receive?