Need last-minute gift suggestions for the holidays? Tune into the Book Babes radio show on Wednesday, December 23 at 11:30 a.m. on WMNF-FM 88.5 in Tampa to get some book titles for everyone on your list. The show streams live on the Internet at that time at wmnf.org or can be accessed later at the site.
On the holiday-themed program, Margo interviews Hank Stueven, the Washington Post pop culture writer (and now TV critic) who takes a funny look at the over-the-top Christmas celebrations in a Texas Subrub in “Tinsel: A Search for America’s Christmas Present,” by Hank Stuever (Houghton Mifflin).
Here are the titles recommended on Wednesday’s show:
"Fool's Gold: How the Bold Dream of a Small Tribe at J.P. Morgan Was Corrupted by Wall Street and Unleashed a Catastrophe," by Gillian Tett (Free Press). If you want to know why your investments cratered last year, this is a good place to begin. The Financial Times columnist delves into the mystery of CDOs (credit debt obligations) and makes them understandable. In a year full of books about the financial markets, this was among the best.
“Why Italians Love to Talk About Food,” by Elena Kostioukovitch (Farrar, Straus & Giroux). A mouth-watering tour of Italy’s regional cuisines, from the Alps to Sicily.
"The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science," by Richard Holmes (Pantheon). When we think of the founders of modern science, the Age of Reason comes to mind. But Holmes persuasively argues that it was the Romantic Age a century later that stirred the scientific imagination to new heights.
“The Private Patient,” by P.D. James (Vintage paperback) Anything by the master of mystery will do, but this is her latest starring Cmdr. Adam Dalgliesh. No woman can resist that poetry-loving detective.
"The Girl Who Played With Fire," by Stieg Larsson (Knopf). Swedish journalist Larsson died before he could see his books become bestsellers in the U.S., but through his work and the crusading fictional journalist Michael Blomkvist, he lives on. This is second in a trio of murder mysteries that have secured the Swedish crime novel trend that started with nearly 20 years ago with "Smilia's Sense of Snow."
“No Impact Man: The Adventures of a Guilty Liberal Who Attempts to Save the Planet, and the Discoveries He Makes About Himself and Our Way of Life in the Process,” by Colin Beavan (Farrar, Straus & Giroux). The author describes his year-long effort to save the environment.
"Methland: The Death and Life of an American Small Town," by Nick Reding (Bloomsbury). America's drug epidemic is real, and it can be found in the least expected places. That's the message Reding sends in this exploration of a rural Iowa community rocked by the crime and tragedy that rides with crystal methamphetamine.
“A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True,“ by Brigid Pasulka (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). The tumultuous history of Poland, from World War II to the present, is reflected in this magical tale of one unforgettable love affair.
And don’t forget these Book Babe-connected books:
“Between the Covers: The Book Babes’ Guide to a Woman’s Reading Pleasures,” by Margo Hammond and Ellen Heltzel, two witty, unemployed journalists (Da Capo Press paperback). Giving this book to someone says, “I think you’re smart – and a babe.”
“Post Scripts: A Writing Life After 80,” by LaVerne Hammond, edited by Margo Hammond (BookSurge paperback, available on Amazon.com). Margo’s genius mom published her first newspaper piece at age 86 and went on to write a monthly column into her 90s. It’s never too late to fulfill your dreams!
The Book Babes hope you find lots and lots of books under your tree on Christmas morning!