Missed today's live Book Babes program? You can find it archived at wmnf.org. The show included an interview with Heather Sellers, author of "You Don't Look Like Anyone I Know: A True Story of Family, Face Bindness, and Forgiveness (Riverhead Books), and book picks for the characters on your holiday gift list.
Here are our recommendations:
FOR THE ARMCHAIR PSYCHOLOGIST: "Gold Boy, Emerald Girl: Stories" by Yiyun Li (Random House).
Li draws uses Chinese and Chinese-American enclaves as her backdrop, but the characters she creates are less bound by societal constraints than their emotional hang-ups, most particularly in the opening and longest piece, "Kindness," in which an unmarried school teacher looks back and confirms a mentor's words: "One's fate is determined by what she is not allowed to have, rather than what she possesses."
FOR A FRIEND WITH A SHORT ATTENTION SPAN BUT FINE LITERARY TASTE: "The Thing Around Your Neck," short stories by Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Anchor Books).
I loved Adichie's "Half of a Yellow Sun," her wrenching novel about the Biafran war. Here she offers up 12 stories that reflect the collision of her own experience, caught between Nigeria and the United States. The title story, deftly written in the second person, is a bite-size gem.
FOR NATURE LOVERS OR ANYONE WHO PREFERS TO REMAIN PRONE: "The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating," by Elisabeth Tova Bailey (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill).
Bailey was struck by a disease that knocked her flat -- literally. When a friend gave her a pot with a snail in it, she began to observe the little creature. Who knew snails were so interesting?
FOR CAT LOVERS WHO ALWAYS SUSPECTED THAT THEIR CATS KNOW HOW TO TALK (AND CAN SOLVE MYSTERIES): "Cat Coming Home," by Shirley Rousseau Murphy (William Morrow).
Okay, I was skeptical. Cats who talk? Murphy made me a believer, but, more importantly, entertained me with this clever. But, hey, I was a Mr. Ed fan.