Thoughtful Gifts for Readers

One can never have too many books. Here are a few interesting suggestions for you and yours on your Christmas list:

IMG_0972 copy.jpg

For the book lover

The Art of Reading by Damon Young.

Perfect little book for the book lover who wants to cultivate their reading experience and understand the nature, value and beauty of reading.  The book is beautifully bound. The cover’s texture reminds me of elementary school hard back library books. Surely, the publishers, Scribe Publications, understood its target market.

 


For the shop-local reader…

IMG_0976 copy.jpg

…If you are in Jacksonville, Florida. If you are elsewhere, here’s a great book about my city:

15 Views of Jacksonville: Short Stories from a Bold City edited by Caleb Sarvis. Bridge Eight Press publisher Jared Rypkema and I recently talked about the rich local writing scene in Jacksonville. 15 Views stands as a great example. Looking forward to the next fifteen.


 For the reader looking for a curated subscription reading experience

Persephone-41-200x300.jpg

Two friends, one in New York and the other way down under in Brisbane, Australia, both told me that I needed to check out Persephone Books . Surely, this double recommendation was a sign for good things to come. I’ve been a fan ever since the twin thumbs-up. Thanks to Peresephone, I discovered Dorothy Whipple. My life is now complete.  

default_1_1.jpg

 Whilst sharing my love for Persephone Books, its beautiful endpapers and elegant grey covers, a Chapter Endnotes member told me about her magical mailbox delivery book experience with Heywood Hill, another London bibliophile haven, where Nancy Mitford worked! Heywood Hill will even stock your entire personal library. Wouldn’t that be a dream job.


For the Harry Potter fan

All things Harry Potter at  San Marco Books and More.  What a magically decorated window!

All things Harry Potter at San Marco Books and More. What a magically decorated window!

Socks.

They are hot! They don’t match! And they make excellent ornaments…as well as, ahem, stocking stuffers.


 For the Bard Fan

27303_1_640px.jpg

 Shakespearean Insults Chart

“Poisonous bunch-backed toad!”

“Thou art a boil, a plague sore, an embossed carbuncle in my corrupted blood!”

 One doth need a chart to keep all these wonderful Shakespearean insults organized.

 “Live a little, comfort a little, cheer thyself a little.”  Why not a little quirky gift?


For people who like tiny things

il_570xN.1570478313_t188.jpg

 

Miniature Libraries abound.  Made as shadow boxes, with actual readable books, some close like a locket, some are DYI, made inside a cigar boxes or leather. Some of these mini-biblio-curio cabinets have a Victorian feel. Others are calming, simple and pleasingly paper-dollish in charm.

47552_1_640px.jpg

For the poet

41wtxbRD0QL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg


Mary Oliver’s Devotions offers a rich collection of her work, inspired by nature. Oliver’s poems are easy to read and deeply meaningful. Like a devotional, you can pick any page, any time and be transported to an early morning walk, a reflection on loss or a dare to be happy. She reminds us, through her amazing talent with the written word, that we are all connected in this life, a wonderful gift.


 For the hopeless romantic

images-1.jpg

The The Red Notebook by Antoine Lauraine was loved by all my book groups. A great escape from our crazy times.


Finally, for my people.

Fucking Apostrophes by Simon Griffin.

IMG_0978 copy.jpg

Self-explanatory. In case you are still not clear about the subject matter, the subtitle, a guide to show you where to stick them, should clear that right up.

 

Happy Holidays and a Healthy 2019,

Stacey

Creative Writing Workshop: Welcomed Criticisms

 

When my brain begins to reel from my literary labors,
I make an occasional cheese dip.
-John Kennedy Toole

If we are comfortable applying a happy sheen to our words, try a rougher buff. 

Never shy away from using uncomfortable words.

If those words speak to you, if you handle them honestly, go for it. Ask yourself, "Would the message be the same without the offensive word?" You'll understand instantly whether to keep or cut. 

Add a narrator. It can add clarity and enrich a personal piece.

David Foster Wallace says to Consider the Lobster. Consider the other crustaceans, too. Take the view of the antagonist and rewrite your piece. 

Worth exploring: 

thewordczar.com

The poet Mary Oliver

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

"Keeping Quiet" by Pablo Neruda