Some of Our Favorite Things

18 December, 2011

As an agent, I love all of my “children.”  That said, there are some recently published books as well as perennial favorites that are natural gifts for the holidays, so I ask my authors in advance for forgiveness that I am highlighting a few–not all–here.

For Hannukah, the perfect gift is Rabbi Israel Meir Lau’s extraordinary memoir, OUT OF THE DEPTHS:  The Story of a Child of Buchenwald Who Returned Home at Last, Forewords by Shimon Peres and Elie Wiesel (Sterling). One of the yongest survivors of Buchenwald, Israel Meir Lau is descended from a 1,000-year unbroken chain of rabbis.  Saved by his brother and his own ingenuity, he went of to become Israel’s Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi, one of the most respected and charismatic leaders of the Jewish faith, revered worldwide.  His harrowing, suspenseful and miraculous story, just hit the bestseller list as #1 in nonfiction in the English language, ahead of STEVE JOBS!

For the obsessed followers of the award-winning television series, Mad Men, Judy Gelman and Peter Zheutlin’s THE UNOFFICIAL MAD MEN COOKBOOK: Inside the Kitchens, Bars and Restaurants of “Mad Men” (BenBella) will help fans make it until the season debut in March. In the meantime, we can all dine like Draper and drink like Sterling with more than 70 terrific recipes from the era, from Sardi’s Steak Tartare to Lindy’s Cherry Cheesecake–and of course, the Playboy Whiskey Sour. I am planning to have a Mad Men-themed party for right after the holidays, using the recipes from this book–can’t wait!

History buffs will be swept away by Deborah Swiss’ THE TIN TICKET: The Heroic Journey of Australia’s Convict Women (Berkley).  The true story of women who were shipped to Australia to settle with and marry convicts, it is also the inspiring tale of how these women built a continent.  Philip Freeman’s JULIUS CAESAR and ALEXANDER THE GREAT (both from Simon & Schuster) offer accessible dramatic lives of these remarkable military leaders, both available now in paperback.

Fiction lovers can enjoy Ben H. Winters’ creepy modern horror tale, BED BUGS (Quirk), Richard Tyler Jordan’s hilarious Polly Pepper mysteries (Kensington), including REMAINS TO BE SCENE, and North Carolina native, Pamela Duncan’s captivating THE BIG BEAUTIFUL (Bantam).

For the photography buff, fine art photographer Zeva Oelbaum’s BLUE PRINTS presents artifacts from nature in cyanotype. It’s to pretty that it will grace the coffee table and bedroom as well.


–Joelle Delbourgo