Four Favorite Books for Gifts — or Oneself

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Details from the covers of ;The History of Love' by Nicole Krauss, left, and 'The Ice Harvest'

Details from the covers of The History of Love by Nicole Krauss, left, and The Ice Harvestby Scott Phillips. hide caption

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At a time of year defined by buying and exchanging presents, favorites both old and new demand attention.

Among the recommendations from book critic Maureen Corrigan: the novels The Ice Harvest by Scott Phillips and The History of Love by Nicole Krauss. The books share a deep sense of place — but while one chronicles small miracles, the former details small-time disasters.

In nonfiction, Corrigan suggests considering the The Beggar King and the Secret of Happiness by Joel ben Izzy, which details Izzy's own struggle with cancer and his family.

And finally, the short story "Tell Me a Riddle" by Tillie Olsen — a 1961 tale that has emerged as an American classic — has been packaged with some of Olsen's other work. And the introduction, written by John Leonard, imparts a welcome perspective on Olsen's work.

Books Featured In This Story

The History of Love

by Nicole Krauss

Hardcover, 252 pages | purchase

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The History of Love
Author
Nicole Krauss

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The Ice Harvest

by Scott Phillips

Paperback, 217 pages | purchase

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The Ice Harvest
Author
Scott Phillips

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The Beggar King And the Secret of Happiness

by Joel Ben Izzy

Paperback, 240 pages | purchase

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The Beggar King And the Secret of Happiness
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Joel Ben Izzy

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Tell Me a Riddle

by Tillie Olsen

Paperback, 116 pages | purchase

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Title
Tell Me a Riddle
Author
Tillie Olsen

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