Gifts: Books are Best

This is the time of year when gift books suggestions and “best of” lists begin to appear.

io9 offers us: “Holiday Gift Books for Lovers of Science and Science Fiction”

Science

Earth from spaceEarth from Space: This is an incredible collection of satellite photography of the Earth, revealing gorgeous patterns and incredible landscapes.

SF & Fantasy

Middle EarthMiddle Earth Envisioned: This unique and richly-illustrated book explores the artistic legacy of J.R.R. Tolkien’s series, from the world of theater to painting. It’s a great homage to the books, and will introduce fans to adaptations they’ve probably never heard of.

For Sci abd SciFi lovers

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In the Guardian, writers and critics recommend the books that impressed them this year

Barbara Kingsolver

The Golem and the DjinniThe Golem and the Djinni

I love surprise finds, so I’ll recommend two debut novels that swept me away. The Golem and the Djinni by Helene Wecker (Blue Door), has the detailed realism of historical fiction, the haunting feel of a folk tale, and is one of only two novels I’ve ever loved whose main characters are not human. (The other was The White Bone by Barbara Gowdy.) And Susan Nussbaum’s Good Kings, Bad Kings (out in March 2014 from Oneworld Publications) is a ferociously honest, funny, completely unstoppable trip through an institutionally corrupt home for disabled teenagers. I had no intention of going where they took me. That’s the thrill of fiction.

Authors and critics recommend

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The Best Books of 2013

The Washington Post selected the “10 best books of the year, 100 notable works of fiction and nonfiction, 5 best photography books, 6 best audiobooks, 10 best graphic novels and more.”

Ten Best Books
The best

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In Canada, the Toronto Globe offered its “Globe 100 guide to the year’s best books.”

The Globe picks
Toronto Globe picks

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Princess Bride memoir

Cary Elwes, lead actor of cult 1980s movie, will publish an account of making the postmodern fairy story

As You Wish: Tales From the Princess Bride apparently arose from Elwes’ enjoyment of a 25th-anniversary screening of the film at the New York film festival in 2012, The Guardian reports.

The Princess BrideLovers in arms … Cary Elwes and Robin Wright in The Princess Bride. Photograph: Ronald Grant Archive

As you wish

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Famous Novelists on Symbolism in Their Work and Whether It Was Intentional

It was 1963, and 16-year-old Bruce McAllister was sick of symbol-hunting in English class, Lucas Reilly” reports in Mental Floss. Rather than quarrel with his teacher, he went straight to the source: McAllister mailed a crude, four-question survey to 150 novelists, asking if they intentionally planted symbolism in their work. Seventy-five authors responded. Here’s what 12 of them had to say.

What they said
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Alma Alexander

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