Local gifts for the book lover on your list


The truly honest cannot admit that no one qualifies as “the reader who has everything”. Passionate readers chase their curiosity from book to book, from “the end” to another title page.

So when you consider the bibliophile on your shopping list this holiday season, the options are almost endless. Personalized experiences in fresh ink on paper, local writers and booksellers are ready. Here are some of the local gifts you could give your favorite reader this year.

Skylark Bookstore: Reading Spa

Move book recommendations away from algorithms with the Skylark Bookshop Reading Spa. In this one-on-one experience, a Skylark staff member sifts through a client’s literary likes and dislikes, then sits in front of a table with a glorious stack of handpicked titles. . Together, they envision the possibilities.

The experience typically lasts around 90 minutes, according to the Skylark website, but readers can linger – and the store keeps track of intriguing headlines that readers will remember on future visits.

The concept came from a bookseller in Bath, England, said store owner Alex George; as far as he knows, Skylark is the only bookstore in the United States to offer the experience.

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“These discussions are a real exchange of ideas and opinions. In the end, I also often end up with a long list of books recommended by the client,” George said in an email.

“I like to find headlines that will take people to read in new and unexpected directions (if that’s what they want) – best of all, it’s when they come back later and tell me how much they like it. the books I suggested. “

The spa in the book includes $ 100 to spend in store. Learn more about https://www.skylarkbookshop.com/.

Yellow Dog Bookstore: Book Box

Well-prepared surprises. This is what the Yellow Dog bookstore Book Box subscription offers readers.

Bailey Martin, a junior at the University of Missouri, browses books while wearing a mask at the Yellow Dog Bookstore.

Fill out a read survey, with gender preferences, on behalf of another book lover – or yourself, if you’re in a generous mood – and Yellow Dog will select a lightly used title that their staff say will suit.

A book arrives every two months, with “a little extra made by some of our favorite artist friends, or a little bookstore love,” the Yellow Dog website says.

“It can be a challenge to match books to readers, especially for those who already read well,” Yellow Dog owner Joe Chevalier said in an email, “but it’s kind of like solving a puzzle – sometimes we don’t have the books I think of first, so I have to dig a little deeper into the inventory to find something that matches.

And Chevalier receives his own gift – witnessing what comes next after someone begins to take an interest in the books that appear.

He noticed a variety of responses including: “People who liked the book so much that they looked for other books by the same author; the people who tell us that they would never have taken the book we sent them, but they loved it; the people who we sent them a book that they had read a long time ago, but enjoyed reading it with fresh eyes. ”

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The Book Box subscription costs $ 18 every two months. Learn more about http://www.yellowdogbookshop.com/.

Roman mysteries and local stories

"What is done in the dark"

Mid-Missouri writers have already delivered the goods in 2021, with new titles that cover a range of styles and topics.

“What is done in darkness” is the latest in a series of eminently readable mysteries from novelist Laura McHugh. The story follows a young woman counting on her abduction as a teenager, disorienting reintegration into society and mixed feelings about helping law enforcement in a case that looks like hers.

Not just a captivating page turner, the book gently leads readers to face unpleasant realities and question what it means to believe survivors – and what it would take to change their communities one story at a time. Learn more about McHugh’s work at https://www.lauramchughbooks.com/.

"Child in the valley"

Gordy Sauer’s debut novel, endorsed by Larry McMurtry “Child in the valley,” brings a thoughtful and necessary complication to our too great stories of the American West. Sauer’s book follows Joshua Gaines, a 17-year-old orphan who travels from Missouri to California, fleeing his fractured past – and to the prospects of the Gold Rush.

“I never wanted to write a western that glorified the West. I always wanted to think of ‘How could I punch holes in the ball?'” Sauer said in a summer interview with the Tribune. Find out more about “Child in the valley” on https://www.gordysauer.com/.

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If you like your novels on the darker side, Middle Missouri author Daren Dean released a pair this year. “The Black Harvest” plunges into the Civil War as it unfolded within the borders of Missouri. The book accompanies young Ashby Marchbanks as he keeps company with a band of bloodthirsty scrubbers. Also from Dean: “This valley of tears,” a violently askew, by Ozarks on “Romeo and Juliet”. Discover his books on https://darendean.wixsite.com/daren-dean.

If local history is more your speed, Dianna Borsi O’Brien’s “Historic Cinemas of Columbia Missouri” is a welcome blast from the past. From the end of the 19th century and gradually moving into the present, O’Brien tells a detailed story people and places that have made the wonderful world of cinema a reality in Colombia. His book is published by Arcadia Publishing, https://www.arcadiapublishing.com/.

"Columbia Missouri Historic Cinemas"

Nina Mukerjee Furstenau’s “Green peppers and other impostors” tells an even more intimate but global story. The beloved culinary writer breaks dishes from the distinct Bengali communities of Calcutta and India down to their ingredients, then pursues those ingredients across the world in search of connections.

“I see it as a way to recognize how alike we are,” she said of the food written in an interview with the Tribune earlier this year. Read more about Furstenau’s work at https://www.ninafurstenau.com/.

For the periodic spirit

If you want to buy a gift that will keep your loved one on your reading list all year round, consider a pair of superlative, locally produced literary magazines.

Existing for almost 45 years, The Missouri Review remains among the benchmark American journals. From the University of Missouri, the magazine skillfully joins the work of established and emerging writers; “Over the past four decades, we have maintained a reputation of finding and publishing the best writers first,” notes its website.

The spring and summer 2021 issues illustrate this union, with works and interviews by Camille T. Dungy and Tiana Clark, as well as first feature films and writers’ pieces that could become new favorites. A one-year print subscription costs $ 40, while the digital equivalent costs $ 24. Learn more about https://www.missourireview.com/.

Posted in mid-Missouri by MU visionary graduate Tina Casagrand, The magazine of the new territory bills itself as “the autobiography of the Lower Midwest”, bringing together stories from Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

The new territory beautifully connects literary journalism and literary magazine, publishing lengthy, location-based reports and magnificent photographs as well as creative experiences and reviews. Past signings include Sarah Smarsh and Keija Parssinen. (Disclosure: I have published several articles with the magazine, the most recent being in the summer of 2020).

A print subscription costs $ 15 every six months. Learn more about https://newterritorymag.com/.

Aarik Danielsen is the News and Culture Editor for the Tribune. Contact him at [email protected] or by calling 573-815-1731.


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