I can’t buy everyone a book, so the gift is the recommendation.
A Christmas Cornucopia: The Hidden Stories Behind Our Yuletide Traditions by Mark Forsyth (Penguin 2016)
Author’s book announcement, Inky Fool: A Christmas Cornucopia. May I also recommend his blog, Inky Fool. He hasn’t posted often in recent years, but you have the entire archive to enjoy.
In the book, the author raises an eyebrow at both Christmas traditions and what we have said about those traditions over the years. Underneath the deconstruction, he has a deep respect for the underlying spirit of Christmas. The book came out in 2016, but I’ve only just rediscovered it on my Kindle.
The post title is not a cultural assumption. If you celebrate, it is gift FOR Christmas. If you don’t celebrate, it is a gift ABOUT Christmas. Either way, a “Christmas” gift. If that sort of word parsing isn’t amusing, you probably aren’t going to be amused by the Inky Fool.
I have most of this other books, several in more than one format: codex, ebook, audio.
The Etymologicon: A Circular Stroll Through the Hidden Connections of the English Language (Icon 2011)
The Horologicon: A Day’s Jaunt Through the Lost Words of the English Language (Icon 2012)
The Elements of Eloquence: Secrets of the Perfect Turn of Phrase (Berkeley 2014)
The Unknown Unknown: Bookshops and the delight of not getting what you wanted (Icon 2014) [What I Want From My Blog]
The Servant: A Short Story (Casey 2015)
A Short History of Drunkenness: How, Why, Where, and When Humankind Has Gotten Merry from the Stone Age to the Present (Three Rivers 2018). For personal reasons [Aftermath], I skipped this one. I suspect it is entertaining, everything else of his has been.
For word nerds
Book. Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries by Kori Stamper (Random House 2017). The author’s life as a lexicographer.
Blog. harm.less drudg.ery. As above, I wish she would post more.
Podcast. Fiat Lex: A Dictionary Podcast, By Kory Stamper and Steve Kleinedler. I don’t do podcasts, so I couldn’t say.
For history geeks
Blog. Frock Flicks. “We are a blog and a podcast that reviews movies and TV shows set in mostly pre-1960s eras, primarily looking at the costume angle, but also taking into account history and design in general.” FAQ
I don’t watch enough historical movies to be a true devotee, but what I’ve read, I’ve enjoyed, SNARK WEEK: Stop It With the Skirt Hiking. Gotta love a blog that has instituted Snark Week.
For people who sew &/or are interested in a thrifty lifestyle
Blog. Goodbye Valentino “On August 31, 2011 I gave up buying clothes for a year and vowed to make my clothes instead … shopping for clothes had dominated my checkbook for decades. During my year of sewing I made 64 garments, saved thousands of dollars, and received countless compliments on my clothes from people who did not know my story.” About
For armchair travellers
Land Cruising Adventure Driving around the world in a Toyota Land Cruiser since 2003. Slow travel. It’s a thing.
Whatever: An Interview With Santa’s Lawyer
No horse books or blogs. I’m assuming you can find those on your own. Also, I didn’t want to start naming blogs & leave one out. If I know you, either through blogging or IRL, you have not been included. I’m using the annoy-everyone-equally theory of recommendation.
Any recommendations in return? Always looking for blogs to read.
While we are taking about blogs, today is my blog anniversary. “The goal is to get back to a place where he likes work & I like him. Buried under 16 months of set-backs is the marvelous mid-life crisis horse who so enchanted me when we met.” [We begin. Again.]
After seven years, the blog is going strong. Still looking for my mid-life crisis horse.
Thank you for reading,