Saturday, December 3, 2011


This past Wednesday night, Joni and I went to Kepler's to listen to Random House territory managers, Liz Willner and Jenn Ramage, talk about books to buy for the holiday season.  They are not holiday books, just books that they feel will make good gifts.  I'm going to eliminate my normal palaver and asides and simply list their suggestions by genre:

Cookbooks/Books for Foodies-
Lidia's Italy in America - Lidia Bastianich
Off the Menu - Marissa Guggiana
The Table Comes First - Adam Gopnik
Bi-Rite Market's Eat Good Food
Cooking My Way Back Home - Rosenthal
Momofuku Milk Bar - Christina Tosi
Martha's Entertaining - Martha Stewart

The Sense of an Ending - Julian Barnes
The Buddha in the Attic - Julie Otsuka (she also wrote The Emperor Was Divine)
The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern (they really loved this one - a first-time novelist)
The Cat's Table - Michael Ondaatje
IQ84 - Haruki Murakami

The Affair - Lee Child
Death Comes to Pemberley - PD James (due out 12/6)
The Leopard - Jo Nesbo (due out 12/13) - I read The Redbreast and really liked it - a Norwegian author

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? - Mindy Kaling - from The Office
Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin - Calvin Trillin

Pet Lovers (it pains me to include these)-
The Eighty-Dollar Champion - Elizabeth Letts
The Language of Flowers - Vanessa Diffenbaugh

The Destiny of the Republic - Candace Millard
Hemingway's Boat - Paul Hendrickson
Blue Nights - Joan Didion
Pilgrimage - Annie Leibovitz

A Natural History of the Piano - Stuart Isacoff
Van Gogh - Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith
Catherine the Great - Robert Massie
Death in the City of Light - David King

Arts and Entertainment-
Then Again - Diane Keaton - she wrote her own book, without any "ghost" writer

They had a list that included a lot more, but these were the ones that they chose to talk about.  They were extremely informative and enthusiastic about their choices.  They were a pleasure to listen to.

An added extra for me that evening came after the event.  I was doing my usual brown-nosing and was waiting for one of the other audience members to finish talking with Liz.  When they were done, Liz turned to talk to Jenn and another audience member.  That left me alone with the woman who had been talking with Liz.  It turns out that she is a published author by the name of Meg Waite Clayton.  Meg has written 3 books and is working on a 4th.  I've never read any of Meg's books, but I certainly recognize her name.  I can't wait to read, at least, one of her books in the near future and blog about it.  

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