Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Quick Questions: More Holiday Books

Yesterday's post was so popular (and because we received some responses after we published last night), we've slapped together a follow-up entry.  Same two questions: 1. What was the best book you received as a gift this holiday season? and 2. What was the best book you gave/sold?  Here are the responses.

Caren Creech Berlanga – B&N Community Relations Manager & cat hoarder

Sorry...just now getting to this. For kids, If You Give a Dog a Donut, The Son of Neptune, and Janitors (Tyler Whitesides). For teens...Vanish...the new book by Sophie Jordan...also Through Her Eyes...a ghost story set in the panhandle. For adults...the Mike Leach book Swing Your Sword for sports fans. And David Liss, Joe McKinney and Rhiannon Frater...any of their books for fiction fans.

Tracy Kaempfe  - Hastings Entertainment buyer and one of the only people in Amarillo who still speaks to Gianna

I am back to reading the classics, or, more accurately the banned classics. Currently, I am reading In Cold Blood by Truman Capote and then will move on to Lolita by Nabakov, neither of which I was allowed to read in high school.

Brucette Beitz -- B&N Bookseller who can’t seem to retire

The ONLY book I received this year as a gift was, My Last Supper: The Next Course and it is a second after My Last Supper. 50 chefs tell what they would eat, who they would eat it with and who would cook it! I LOVE IT!!!!
Tiffany's cat Wombat

Hand sold more vegan cookbooks than I can count!

Tiffany Gale – Bookseller at BookPeople

Got: Wolf: The lives of Jack London by James L. Haley- Recently read The Call of the Wild and White Fang and absolutely loved both of them so I'm excited to read this biography.
Gave: Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali- I've given this book so many times. It's an incredible story, told by an incredible woman.
And here's my cat: Wombat

Julie Bach -  BookPeople Publicist and one of our favorite people

The best books I gave this season were to my mom. The Art of Fielding and a signed copy of A Visit From the Goon Squad. She cried. Apparently she'd gone to her bookstore in Fargo, ND, half a dozen times debating whether or not to spend the money on a copy of Goon Squad and talked herself out of it every time (money's tight). Art of Fielding deals with baseball, and it's in hardcover, so it was a big hit.

The best book I got this season wasn't quite a gift. Well, it was a gift I gave myself - a reader of A Partial History of Lost Causes by Jennifer Dubois. It isn't out until March. This was the perfect book to take on the plane. It's big and made me look smart. But also, it's a great story. I was quickly and totally immersed in the world of Cold War Russia and the plight of one chess player to be World Champion, and the simultaneous story of a young woman dealing with her diagnosis of Huntington's Disease (and not dealing with it gracefully, either). Judging by her author photo, Dubois looks to be young, so I was skeptical when I picked it up because I don't believe anyone younger than I am can do anything very well unless her name is Tea Obreht, but man can this girl tell a story. Swept me right up. I can't wait to start handselling it.

What did I handsell the most - well, the Steve Jobs bio was probably in my hand more often than any other book, but....Okay, I didn't handsell this book the most, but I did handsell one copy of Gene Wilder's My French Whore to someone. Timeless Christmas classic, indeed. Probably hand sold The Tiger's Wife more than anything else.

Carla Buckley
Carla Buckley – Author of Things That Keep Us Here (which Gianna loved) and Invisible due out 2012

This year, I gave my husband Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, and sure enough, he can't turn the pages fast enough. I think it's a brilliant book, but really--that's like saying the Earth is round. I gave my older daughter Still Alice and Left Neglected by Lisa Genova, because she's an aspiring writer and I wanted her to see how any career path a writer chooses can shape and influence their work in marvelous ways. I gave, at her request, my younger daughter the Hunger Games trilogy because she had borrowed the copies she'd read and she wanted her own set to keep.

Dr. Who and James
This year, my husband gave me The Paris Wife because I'd done an event with Paula McLain last year and he knew I was eager to read her latest release. I LOVED IT. My sister gave me Before I Fall Asleep, and I gave myself The Drop because no holiday is complete without a solid thriller at hand. I think it's Connelly's best.

James Parker -- Hastings graphic novels buyer and unabashed geek

Best I got: (Graphic Novel) Finder: Voice by Carla Speed McNeil (one of my favorite indie graphic novel series). Best I gave: American Gods By Neil Gaiman (I have read this book at least 10 times. So good!)

Pat's cat Fred
Pam Kaufman -- Random House Telephone Sales Rep and Regular Words With Friends Loser (to Liz)

Hey watch who you call a loser, missy.  [Heh.] This is really sad, but I didn’t receive any books for the holiday, however I gave one of my favorite books to my mom.  And that book is Chinaberry Sidewalks on CD.  I thought my mom would really like this because she grew up in the South and I thought she would love Rodney Crowell’s story, which is full of humor and a great sense of place.  The bonus in the CD is that he reads it himself. 

Stacey Carlini -- Random House Telephone Sales Rep and Words With Friends Loser (to Liz)

1) Sadly, I received no books this holiday season. I think after helping me move my entire book collection this summer, my friends and family firmly believe I own enough books!

2) I gave my ex-husband a copy of Monica Bellucci, a lovely Rizzoli book filled with 150 (scantily clad) photos of his all-time favorite actress. I think he wept.

Anne Holman -- Bookselling Goddess at The King's English in Salt Lake City, Utah

The best book I received is The Pruning Book by Lee Reich because a girl's got to know how to get rid of the dead wood. [...We don't think this statement is a euphemism for anything, but one never knows.]

The best book I read/sold was I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen because it is nothing short of brilliant. 

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