Books make the Season Bright

here i am getting ready to go to my work christmas party sunday night.
my mom hemmed up this adorable green corduroy dress i got from etsy so i felt like a retro mod style holiday elf.

nancy, co-owner of the Bookery, hosts the annual party at her cozy little home full of treasures.
she made her famous "green lasagna" especially for darin and i, the token veggies, and it was a hit!
in the photo below you can see some of my fellow bookery ladyfriends getting ready to sit at the festive table.

nancy playing santa...their generosity blew me away. i got such lovely thoughtful gifts i could cry.
and that's my coworker, the dashing brian lux to the left. he got a job at the bookery about ten years ago and promptly married celia, the other co-owner. the dude knows what he's doing! ;) plus he's wonderfully intellectual and so fun to talk to.

a little christmas village that nancy has set up over the many charming details.
darin and i loved the tiny birch trees.

came home to find my kitten up to more mischief with our tree. he's really living up to "the kid" part of his name. his mischief-maker side. the lights are always gone off the bottom half, tons of broken glass balls scattered over the floor, (including the vintage santa one i featured here), fabric and felty ornaments ripped to shreds. i thought i had a kitty not a puppy!

anyway. in honor of my bookstore job and the wise ladies of the bookery,
i thought i'd post a gift guide of books.
these are all books that we see come through the shop (used) so i know they are available for good prices.
the thing i love about working and shopping at the bookery is that everything is recycled!
plus what better gift than books, especially bought locally.

for dad:
Where Rivers Change Direction - Mark Spragg
i read this memoir a few months ago. it's about growing up on a dude ranch in the mountains of wyoming.
it's tough and nostalgic at once, contains love, horses, brothers, drunks, and even a CAT.
my favorite parts were the boyhood stories, once he gets older things get a little more humdrum (resist this dad! and everyone!) but i definitely recommend it as a daddish type book.

for mom:
Refuge - Terry Tempest Williams
maybe this is a terrible recommendation because it's really sad. but i trust our moms to be intelligent and wise and open hearted enough to take in the pure womanly scope of this book and to feel the birds flying in their hearts, and the waters rising. i actually recommend this book to every woman, and every man.
but for purposes of this list, mom is the perfect recipient!

for your best friend:
The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets - Barbara G. Walker
that is, if she doesn't already have it. or if HE doesn't already have it. (this is one of darin's favorite books)
chock full of fascinating historical, mythical, cultural information and who can resist that intriguing title!
a thick, magical tome that your ladies deserve to have close at hand throughout their rythmic changing days.

for the crafty friend, sister, teacher, or coworker:
The Big Ass Book of Crafts - Mark Montano
this book is fun. every page is full of colorful inspiration to get your hands dirty and busy.
i don't own it yet, but i think i know whose christmas list it's going on ;)

for the nature lover:
Field Guide to Wildflowers (Western Region) - National Audubon Society
field guides are the best gifts in the world. my brother joey got me the audubon wildflower guide above for my birthday. just looking through it and feeling its good thick-yet-narrow shape in my hands gets my feet a-itchin to go hiking. we have big plans for the spring and summer.
 another really good one if you live in northern california is this one.

for the parents-to-be or new parents:
The Geography of Childhood: Why Children Need Wild Places - Gary Paul Nabhan and Stephen Trimble
i haven't read this yet but perused it while at work at the bookshop today.
 it looks amazing, mind blowing, exactly what stuff i want to be thinking about when i think about raising children in this beautiful world.

for the music lover:
Just Kids - Patti Smith
another one i haven't read yet but my professor and friend doug rice says it is wonderful and he has excellent taste in books. all the literary/artistic souls are raving about it.

for the rebel poet (i hope you know some!)
The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry
darin and i have a copy of this big fatty and it provides hours of entertainment when you crack into its murky weirdo depths. poetry is tricky; it seems like it would appeal to busy energetic people with "no time" to read, but meanwhile it slows one down and creates a tiny bubble of time resistance. rebel poetry the trickster of the christmas list.

i could go on and on but i shall stop now and hope that i've encouraged you to go to your own local bookstore (or come see me at bookery) and pick up some meaningful, life-altering, yet inexpensive treasures!

other cool items you might find: homemade notecards and bookmarks, old unused journals, joke books, tarot decks, art prints, a cat, a dog, friendly ladies.

goodnight, mischief makers and readers!

dress: $10!! from Paperdoll Vintage on etsy
headband: made by me last year of vintage ribbon
black tights and boots: ? (old)
necklace: from mom
bracelet: gift from nancy


Bee said…
oh, i sooo want to read that Patti Smith book. i'd forgotten about it, so thanks for the reminder. loooooooooove that woman. i love the american outlaw books. i have the american lit one, not the poetry one, but it's a great collection. and what an adorable little elf you are! i need some new books. i just finished reading Bastard out of Carolina (have you read it. if you haven't yet. sad sad sad but amazing) and i need something new. you should do more book rec's on your blog since you are in the book world.i enjoyed this post a lot!
boots said…
i want to read all those books for christmas, thats my wish. how cute are you with the kitty in front of the tree- that is a christmas card if ive ever seen one. finally got a chance today to sit back and read your blog. thank you!
Milla said…
Need I tell you how much I love this post?!?! "Poetry creates a tiny bubble of time resistance." Imma gonna quote you on that one oh wordy one. Of course I have much love for your holiday party outfit too. It is amazing. I must say, when ever blogging blues strike me, I always seek refuge at your house. You just make everything seem so magical and fun.
Okay, so I'm off to my local used bookstore now. Love
Anna said…
Great book list! I wrote down a few that I definitely want to check out! I'm an early childhood teacher so The Geography of Childhood seems like a must read for me.
Celia said…
Well....I have to say that when I saw the name Celia in your caught my eye....that's my name and you don't see it very often. I love your list of books....I thin I will have to check out The Geography of Childhood....looks very interesting. I love love love going to local used book stores....I am lucky to have several around me.
I will be hunting down that Patti Smith book pronto. I love that you and your coworker friends had such a sweet Christmas party, it looks like fun.
Heather Beatty makes a season bright. I always love your pics, and picks. Happy Holidays, beautiful! xo. Bella Q
Cel said…
Heh, kitties are such trouble makers. We don't have a tree this year (I'm not big on decorating, and my parents' tree is in storage) so my cat can't go do any tree-ruining. He's probably too big and fat to make much trouble now though hah. Although... he does seem to manage to get tinsel EVERYWHERE no matter what. That headband is really cute. :)
Missa said…
A friend let me borrow her copy of Just Kids, just today! Totally looking forward to reading that one. Will have to check out The Geography of Childhood too, sounds really interesting. Yay, I just checked and they have it at my local library! Speaking of which I picked up the copy of The Abortion: An Historical Romance 1966 that they were holding for me today... so many amazing books to read!

You really are the cutest little Christmas elf in that outfit too :)
Anonymous said…
Ah! Refuge is one of my textbooks for my Nature Writing class next semester! I love little coincidences. Beautiful recommendations, beautiful photos, and beautiful dress. This post made me feel warm and happy, made me have hope that the smooth, even gray of the sky actually promises snow instead of the inevitable rain. You're too cool. Hugs!
anne said…
how adorable are you?! well, i'll answer my own question- very adorable!! i love your festive green dress and headband. these books sound like great reads. thanks for the recommendations!
and i have to agree with everyone else, your blog is always so fun. one of my favorites indeed, i can be sure i will get a smile on my face when i visit :D

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