Day 4 here for 28 Authors, 28 Variations on a List, and we’ve got Laurie Frankel, who had the idea to pair some of her favorite books with other gift items, which makes us want to crowd under that umbrella with her and go shopping. Frankel lives in Seattle’s Central District with her husband, her three-year-old son, and her border collie. Her first novel, The Atlas of Love, was shortlisted for the 2011 Pacific Northwest Book Award. Her second novel, for the moment titled Goodbye For Now, has just sold to Doubleday as well as 19 foreign publishers. It will be published in the U.S. in August 2012. Like so many authors, it was hard for her to choose just one favorite NW bookstore, but when pressed she chose Queen Anne Books. She writes:
You know how cool restaurants these days are all about the cocktail pairing? We recommend the truffled deviled mint-infused duck egg salad in balsamic reduction on a curried coconut cracker to accompany your pesto vodka martini with its splash of pink champagne? That sort of thing. I’m kind of over it in restaurants, but I love the idea for books. Word Pairings. We recommend these books to go with your gifts. Or these gifts to go with your books, depending. Here are some Word Pairings for books I loved this fall:The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach. First of all, this book is totally deserving of all its hype. I loved every page. There is no one on my list but my three-year-old who wouldn’t love this book. It’s about baseball, love and literature. What’s not to like? Recommended pairings: baseball tickets, Moby Dick by Herman Melville, Moby Dick in Pictures by Matt Kish.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Another fall book deserving of its hype. Anyone you know over the age of, say, ten who doesn’t want to read The Art of Fielding will want to read The Night Circus. Between these two books, you’ve got your bases covered (see what I did there?). Magic turn-of-the-century circus, star-crossed lovers, mysterious duels, gorgeous scenery —this book is grand. Plus, fun recommended pairings: circus tickets, red scarf or other red garment or red jewelry, chocolate mice and fancy caramels.
The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson. Because nothing says holiday cheer like dysfunctional family novel. This one has great characters, great flashbacks to totally absurd and intriguing live art events and a completely compelling story. Recommended pairings: parenting book (for your loved ones with a sense of humor), good indie film (I adored Beginners), captivating art book (I can’t wait to get my hands on Annie Leibovitz’s new Pilgrimage).
The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta. I love Tom Perrotta. He is such a good storyteller. And the setup of this one is dynamite. What if one random, ordinary day millions of people around the world were just raptured into thin air? What would life in suburbia look like then? Who doesn’t want to know the answers to those questions? Plus, really great pairings: emergency survival kit, A Thousand Lives: The Untold Story of Hope, Deception, and Survival at Jonestown by Julia Scheeres, skydiving lessons (because, after all, any day might be the last before you get randomly raptured).
And for the three-year-old set: A Visitor for Bear by Bonny Becker and Kady MacDonald Denton. My son adores these books. I adore these books. There are four of them, but this is his favorite. Bear learns that sometimes routines get broken but it’s okay, and sometimes you have unexpected guests but that’s okay too—a fine message for all of us during the holiday season. Recommended pairings: tea set, Rob Elliott’s Laugh Out Loud Jokes for Kids, teddy bear or maybe teddy mouse.