Chronicle Books is sponsoring a blogger contest for the holiday season, and it's such a smart one that I just have to enter. (For my day job, I'm a social media strategist, and I think they hit this one out of the park.) Here's how it works: I, a book blogger, go through the Chronicle website and write a post listing $500 worth of Chronicle books that I would like to win. You, a reader of my blog, leave me a comment on that post. If I win, and your comment wins, we each win those $500 worth of books. Chronicle, of course, wins because I and a bunch of other book bloggers post links to our favorite books from across their catalog… conveniently in time for the holiday shopping rush. Genius!
Good deeds should be rewarded, so here goes….
I would love to win:
1. MoMA Make Art/Make Mistakes: "With eye-catching interiors and playful activities, this open-ended sketchbook encourages would-be artists of all ages to look at the world around them and take chances expressing what they see. Inspiring and colorful graphic design will unleash the artist in anyone." (for my kids) $17
2. Swimming With Strangers: "In This Life She's Chosen, Kirsten Sundberg Lunstrum's acclaimed debut story collection hailed as "haunting and inspired" by The Boston Globe introduced readers to her penetrating and delicate voice. In eight new stories, Lunstrum further explores the nuances and complexities of women's relationships with their lovers, friends, and families in a new collection. Authentic, probing, and graceful, Swimming With Strangers reveals the currents hidden beneath the surface of seemingly ordinary events." (for me) $23
3. The Punch: David believes that at heart, people are inherently rotten. Scott, his brother, believes that his life is going to fall apart, and that everyone he loves will leave him. Doris, their mother, believes that she has nothing to lose by revealing a 60-year-old family secret. This hysterically biting and ultimately redeeming novel by Noah Hawley proves them all right—and wrong—while answering some of life's biggest questions. Like, how did Scott end up with two wonderful wives simultaneously? And why can't David manage to keep even one dysfunctional relationship going? It all comes down to love and families and what you believe in—and, maybe, forgiveness. (for me) $24
4. Lullaby Baby: "Every new parent, whether musical or not, needs a good repertoire of lullabies. Filled with 50 classic songs, this beautiful, lavishly illustrated songbook features an on-board sound module that lets parents learn each song as they sing along with the melody. The unique sound component makes for a special, portable package—perfect for sitting by the crib, and also works wonderfully on the road—putting little ones to rest anywhere, anytime. A timeless gift, Lullaby Baby celebrates the joy of sharing music with children." (for a new parent) $30
5. Six-String Heroes: "In a career spanning more than 40 years, legendary rock photographer Neil Zlozower has documented an amazing who's-who of the most influential and dynamic guitarists from the late 1960s to today. Six-String Heroes collects live, candid, and studio shots of 150 of the greatest guitar players in rock, metal, punk, blues, and beyond…. Also featuring a foreword by Steve Vai, and including text from unpublished interviews with the guitarists throughout by music journalist Steven Rosen, Six-String Heroes is a celebration of the music, the players, and the instrument." (for my brother) $35
6. According to the Rolling Stones: "For the first time in paperback—and in a great reading edition—here is the real story of the Rolling Stones, as told by the Stones themselves. In their own words, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, and Ronnie Wood get right to the heart of what makes the Stones the Stones, as musicians, songwriters, and performers, describing how their music has evolved, and revealing frankly how their own lives have helped or hindered their music-making. The Stones' own stories are complemented by insider reflections from key players in their story over the years. Also included are 64 pages of vintage photographs." (also for my brother) $17
7. The Eiffel Tower: The Eiffel Tower is a pictorial study of the great structure by acclaimed architectural photographer Lucienne Hervé, who began photographing the tower in his youth in the 1930s, and continued shooting it until he retired from photography in the 1990s. His ethereal images manage to convey the delicate balance between the tower's elegant ironwork and its sheer physical force. Ranging from pictorial studies of the tower in the Paris landscape to abstract compositions of iron and glass, his photographs are modern masterworks themselves.(for my family) $20
9. Fast, Fresh and Green: "This new bible for all things vegetable from Fine Cooking's Vegetable Queen is ideal for the millions of eaters who want to get the recommended five to nine servings of fruits and greens into their daily diet. Susie Middleton shares her love of healthful, delicious veggies with a guide to shopping for and cooking delectable meatless meals, including such delights as Spinach with Shallots and Parmigiano and Roasted Eggplant, Bell Pepper, and Fresh Basil Salad. More than 100 recipes for appetizers, snacks, entrees, and side dishes, many of them vegan, make Fast, Fresh & Green an excellent resource for vegetarians and omnivores." (for me) $25
10. Seriously Simple Holidays: "Best-selling author Diane Rossen Worthington offers all the secrets for entertaining with no stress, just lots of style. Essential equipment, suggestions for setting up an in-home bar, great homemade gift ideas, knowledgeable wine and cheese pairing notes from wine expert Peter Marks, and plenty of simple and simply delicious menus cover any occasion from Rosh Hashanah to Thanksgiving to New Year's. From drinks and appetizers to entrées and desserts, each festive recipe is designed to reduce prep time and streamline cooking techniques, so hosts can spend more time at the party and less in the kitchen." (for me) $25
11. Dinner Parties: Simple Recipes for Easy Entertaining: "Fabulous food and good times are on the menu with this collection of delicious, no-fuss recipes from home entertaining expert Jessica Strand. From an intimate dinner for four to a festive feast for a dozen, this collection of simple, yet sensational, recipes will inspire both experienced dinner hosts and first-time party planners." $17
12. Classic Dessert Pack: Every once in a while, a cookbook comes along that instantly says "classic." And these two take the cake. We've bundled together our best-loved dessert cookbooks into the ultimate treat for those with a craving for sweets. $45
13. Eight Winter Nights: A Family Hanukah Book: "Moishe's Miracle author Laura Krauss Melmed and illustrator Elisabeth Schlossberg celebrate Hanukkah in joyful action rhymes, festive poems, and exuberant scenes of family life. From traditional holiday foods to the story of the Maccabees, they capture the warm sights, sounds, and tastes of this wintertime festival." (for my kids) $17
14. Eye-Popping 3D Pets: "Life-sized pets leap off the page in this thrilling 3-D book. Twenty-eight animal friends—including puppies, kittens, hamsters, pot-bellied pigs, bearded dragons, tarantulas, and more—spring to life in eye-popping phantogram 3-D. More vertical than regular 3-D, phantogram images appear to stand on the page. Fun facts about each pet are included, in addition to information about their care, feeding, and history." (for my daughter) $20
15. Birds In Flight Mobile: (for a new parent) $20
Because my girls like the Ivy and Bean books:
17. Creature: "Photographer Andrew Zuckerman's strikingly detailed images of animals from around the world are as delightful as they are inspiring. This collection of astonishing studio portraits of 175 wild creatures—from baby leopards to parrots, bears, mandrills, and many more—are stunningly foregrounded against white backgrounds, depicting their subjects with rare sensitivity, insight, humor, and wonder." (for my kids) $60
18. Mastering the Art of Chinese Cooking: "This new masterwork of Chinese cuisine showcases acclaimed chef Eileen Yin-Fei Lo's decades of culinary virtuosity. A series of lessons build skill, knowledge, and confidence as Lo guides the home cook step by step through the techniques, ingredients, and equipment that define Chinese cuisine. With more than 100 classic recipes and technique illustrations throughout, Mastering the Art of Chinese Cooking makes the glories of this ancient cuisine utterly accessible." (for my friend Andrea who used to live in China) $50
Leave me a comment if you're interested in winning these books too! Best of luck to all of us!