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All I want to read for Christmas ...



Bibliophiles will always appreciate a book or two as a Christmas gift. But they are particular; you can’t just pick up the latest James Patterson thriller and expect them to be happy. So we asked some savy readers what they’d like to find under the tree:

Sean Lennon, Musician:

“Robert Crumb’s ‘Illustrated Genesis from the Holy Bible.’ Crumb spent five years illustrating the first book of the Old Testament. I am a huge fan of his work, and I think it’s an interesting conversation piece for Christmas Eve.”

Joan Schenkar, Author, ‘The Talented Miss Highsmith’:

“Nancy Mitford is the subway rider’s best companion: the wittiest, most deliciously entertaining writer who ever set pen to paper. So I’d love to have a copy of her newly-reprinted-in-paperback novel, ‘The Pursuit of Love,’ to light up my travels.”

Melissa Broder, Poet/founder of Polestar Poetry Series:

“I’d like Mary Ruefle’s ‘Selected Poems,’ which I recently bought and devoured — but its awesomeness is such that I want to regift it to the world.”

Jonathan Ames, Author/creator of HBO’s “Bored to Death”:

“I want ‘Butcher’s Moon’ by Richard Stark (one of Donald Westlake’s pseudonyms).  I’m addicted to Stark’s ‘Parker’ novels and this is the next in the series and I’m waiting for the University of Chicago Press to reprint it, as they have the first fifteen ‘Parker’ novels.”

Jenn Northington, Event manager WORD bookstore:

“I adore short fiction, and currently have my eye on ‘What Is All This?: Uncollected Stories’ by Stephen Dixon. The cover is a visual and tactile masterpiece, and several other booksellers have assured me that the insides are worthy of the packaging.”

Lydia Davis, Author of “The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis”:

“For Christmas, I’m always happy to be given pajamas, chocolate ... and a reference book.  My dream book gift would be a first edition of Samuel Johnson’s ‘A Dictionary of the English Language’ (priced around $28,000).  It was published in 1755, the fruit of eight years of poverty-stricken labor on Johnson’s part, and was not only the most comprehensive of its time but also included some wonderfully eccentric definitions.”


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