From Chicago to L.A., Route 66 still embodies America’s westward drive. This collection of writing, art, and photography about the “Mother Road”, as John Steinbeck famously coined it, contains over 800 vintage photographs, postcards, travel decals, and other memorabilia. Like the road itself, the book makes numerous pit-stops along the way, highlighting the big cities and small towns that helped make their name off the famous route. Beyond nostalgia (though there is plenty of that), Greetings from Route 66 is a guide book, cookbook, and a social history telling the story of an iconic American symbol in a most engaging fashion.
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The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2010 is instant literary hipster cred, and that’s the first reason to take this garrulous, enthusiastic book to heart. I’d recommend keeping a copy on your person in case you need to dazzle a stranger.
Most of us can’t find the time to read everything that crosses the threshold. Dave Eggers and the smart folks at 826 National have made it their business to make sure we get the best of the offbeat best.
Take out a pencil and mark each item in table of contents of The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2010 with “already read it” or “meant to read it”. Good anthologies are like that, and all 496 pages here are guaranteed to increase your smart and sassy quotient.
Antony Hegarty presents a visual companion to his excellent new album, Swanlights. Containing thought-provoking dreamscapes composed of paintings, drawings, photography, collage, song lyrics, and writings, these images create an interesting dialogue with Antony’s mournful, delicate music. Fans and collectors alike will relish this lavish volume, which also includes a copy of Swanlights on CD.
If you have ever wondered what to get an atheist for Christmas, well then you probably don’t understand what atheism is, but if you still insist on getting said person a present, this is the gift you have been searching for. The Atheist’s Guide to Christmas is a collection of essays written by atheists to help support fellow atheists through the holiday months. The essays range from fact checks on the Star of Bethlehem to an ode to non-denominational holiday songs, and from a guide to shopping for the feminist atheist on your list to how to have an eco-friendly Christmas. The essays provide a humorous look at what it’s like for everyone who doesn’t wish to celebrate the birth of Jesus with novelty gifts and cookies. It would provide entertaining insight for any believers and non believers alike.
Go ahead and get it for your bah-humbug friends. Maybe they don’t believe in Christmas, but everyone believes in getting presents.
For anyone who yearns for the “good ol’ days”, A Householder’s Guide to the Universe is the book for them. It lays the groundwork for how to commit to a life of progressive homemaking and urban farming. It’s laid out by season, with different tasks and lessons each month that will, ideally, lead to a life less dependent on outside sustenance.
Fasenfest talks about everything from backyard farms to food preservation. She makes the point that modern conveniences have led us to the economical and environmental issues we face today, so maybe going back to basics is just what we need.