Holiday Selections From Independent Booksellers

Susan Stamberg on the Hunt for Books That Are Better to Give

Lucia Silva manages Portrait of a Bookstore in Studio City, Calif.

Lucia Silva recommends E.B. White's 'Here Is New York.' "No one should come to New York to live," White writes, "unless he is willing to be lucky." hide caption

itoggle caption
'Reading Lolita In Tehran'

Gayle Shanks recommends Azar Nafisi's 'Reading Lolita In Tehran,' about seven female college students in Tehran, who meet to read classic literature. hide caption

itoggle caption
Book Mark owner Rona Brinlee

Rona Brinlee owns Book Mark in Atlantic Beach, Fla. hide caption

itoggle caption
Gayle Shanks of Changing Hands

Gayle Shanks runs Changing Hands bookstore in Tempe, Ariz. hide caption

itoggle caption
Rona Brinlee suggests 'The Book Lover's Cookbook'

Rona Brinlee suggests 'The Book Lover's Cookbook.' hide caption

itoggle caption

As shoppers fill up super-sized parking lots, mom-and-pop bookstores hope you'll stop in for advice, suggestions, and of course, an armload of books. NPR's Susan Stamberg talks to three independent booksellers about their best bets for expanding the mind and opening the wallet.

Rona Brinlee, The Book Mark, Atlantic Beach, Fla.

The Book Lover's Cookbook, by Shaunda Kennedy Wenger and Janet Kay Jensen (Ballantine Books)

Recipes from literature — flapjacks from the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Catch 'Em to Eat 'Em Chicken and Dumplings from Fried Green Tomatoes. Scattered between recipes and passages are quotations from authors about food and writing.

More of Brinlee's favorites:

When it Was Our War: A Soldier's Wife on the Home Front by Stella Suberman (Algonquin Books)

Empire of Light by David Czuchlewski (G.P. Putnam & Sons)

On Noah's Ark by Jan Brett (G.P. Putnam & Sons)

Gayle Shanks, Changing Hands, Tempe, Ariz.

Reading Lolita In Tehran: A Memoir in Books, by Azar Nafisi (Random House)

Seven female college students in Tehran, encouraged by a former professor at the University of Tehran, come together and talk about the classics. The books give them a context for discussing their own country, their varying beliefs, their personal lives, the importance of freedom and the tyranny implicit in a regime that limits choice.

Shanks also recommends:

A Kind of Flying by Ron Carlson (Norton)

Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear (Soho Press)

Clorinda by Robert Kinerk, illustrated by Steven Kellogg (Simon & Schuster)

Lucia Silva, Portrait of a Bookstore, Studio City, Calif.

Here is New York, E.B. White (Little Bookroom)

E.B. White's extended poem is a view of New York 50 years ago, written the first time he stayed there. The story captures the image of New York when it was on the brink of becoming a huge Metropolis. It conveys the idea of being solitary in the midst of so many people.

Other picks from Silva:

A Christmas Memory, One Christmas, & the Thanksgiving Visitor by Truman Capote (Modern Library)

The Complete Untitled Film Stills by Cindy Sherman (Museum of Modern Art)

Zoom by Istvan Banyai (Puffin Books)



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.