Festive Frivolity: Bruce’s Christmas Lucky Dip!

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It’s time once again for one of my favourite features – Bruce’s Lucky Dip! If you are unfamiliar with this one, it involves me typing a random word into the search engine of the Book Depository and presenting to you the best and most unexpected results.  Appropriately for the time of year, this lucky dip is focused around Christmas.  So if you are still searching for the perfect present for that hard-to-buy-for character plaguing your Christmas list, sit back and let my festive fossiking provide the solution to all your woes….click on the book covers for more information on each title.

Firstly, for the hardcore crafty crafter:

knits before christmas

For the religious hardcore crafty crafter:

knitivity

Unsurprisingly enough, these two are by the same author.

For the ungrateful relative of a hardcore crafty crafter (religious or otherwise):

ugly christmas sweater

Remember, it’s the thought that counts.

For the person who just needs a little assistance to manage that carefree, Christmas happy-tude:

funny christmas verse

For the party-pooping Christmas sad sack who needs more than a bit of funny festive poetry to get them in the mood:

christmas therapy

Let those elves psychoanalyse the holiday grumps away…

For the entrepreneur with a desire for wealth untold and rapid upward mobility:

trees for pleasure and profit 4th edition

Scoff if you must, but do note that this book is in its fourth edition, so the author must have made at least a little bit out of this harebrained scheme…

For the animal activist, or that annoying child that keeps begging you for a puppy:

christmas turkeys

Imagine the expression of joy on their little faces when you present this book and then lead them into the back yard, accompanied by the sound of festive gobbling…

For those for whom mulled wine is not enough to spice up the holiday:

affair before christmas

Now it doesn’t happen often, but occasionally I come across a book in one of these searches that makes me do this face:

confused smileyThis time I have found hands down the most inexplicable Christmas title ever.  Clearly, I move in sheltered shelfish circles.  This one certainly has a fun and frivolous vibe to it, but it ain’t my idea of traditional festivities.  And it’s certainly not for children.  If you want to see it on Goodreads though, just click here.

……

Bet you weren’t expecting that, were you? In fact, I bet you’re making the face right now.

And that’s my festive lucky dip for 2014 – I hope I’ve helped you with those tricky people on your present list….although if you’re buying that last one for anybody I don’t want to know about it.  You weirdie.

Stay tuned next week for a wrap up of the Small Fry Safari Kid Lit Readers Challenge, and a BRAND NEW CHALLENGE for 2015.  It’s going to be real bobby-dazzler!

Until next time,

Bruce

The Gargoyle’s Gift Guide: For List-makers, Diary-keepers and General Book-wreckers…

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Evenin’ all! Today I present to you some ideas for those most insidious people on your  list…you know the ones…they’ve already finished their Christmas shopping by August at the latest, they’ve printed out all those digital family snaps and arranged them artistically in some sort of scrapbook, and they use words like “reflecting” and “goal setting” and “making dreams a reality”.

And then there’s some suggestions for that other lot – the ones who spill tea on that brand new first edition hardback you bought them for their birthday; the ones who write phone messages in crayon on the wall because they couldn’t find pen and paper, the ones who tear out pages and use them to wrap gifts because it’s more eco-friendly than buying wrapping paper….

Honestly, it makes one shudder to think about it. Yet still, gifts must be exchanged….so I have made your job easy.  You can thank me with appreciative glances and quiet murmurs of praise.

For List-Makers:

Look no further than The A-Z Book of Curious Lists: A Journal for the Impossibliy Imaginative.  This cracker of a book provides fresh fodder for those obsessive little munchkins who cannot make it through a day without making a list.  With a list idea for every occasion, this will keep them so busy that their “To-do” List will remain untouched for days.  Some of my favourites are:

  • Other Names Besides Harold for an Elephant
  • Indecent Attire in Which to Attend the Opera
  • and Unpromising Haiku Beginnings (in response to which, my fleshling owner has written “There once was a man from Nantucket”)

the-a-z-book-of-curious-lists-a-journal-for-the-impossibly-imaginative

For Diary-Keepers:

For a twist on the run-of-the-mill diary experience or for those who are time- and imagination-poor, Q&A a Day: A 5 Year Journal is just the ticket.  This pocket-sized memory-protector provides enough space to write a single answer to a given question five times over, to cover the same date over five consecutive years.  The advantage of this is that you only have to write one sentence a day and you can cheat off last year’s answer if you can’t think of an original one.  My favourite questions from this one so far are:

  • What is your Achille’s Heel?
  • What can you smell right now?
  • and What new word have you learned? (to which my fleshling owner has responded: “Moral turpitude”….which is quite obviously two words, not one.  It really is a wonder I’m not presiding over piles of books that begin with “See Dick Run”…)

qanda a dayFor Book-Wreckers:

For this most difficult group, one cannot go past Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith.

wreck this journal

This licence to spill, mess up and generally destroy is perfect for anyone who wants to break free from the shackles of conformity…and anyone who’s just a bit bored in work-related meetings.  While I am yet to become guardian of this tome on my personal shelf (my fleshling owner obviously being more kindred with the precocious group of list-makers and diary-keepers), I have searched for some examples of work completed in this book to give you an idea of what you may be in for.  Such as this:

bleurgh journal

and this fluffly little gem:

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So once again dear readers, I hope these suggestions aid you in your neverending and ultimately unsatisfying search for that perfect gift.  And if Santa happens to be reading, Mad Martha would love a copy of Wreck this Journal (being a firm encumbent of the book-wrecking population).

Until next time,

Bruce

The Gargoyle’s Gift Guide: Stocking fillers for Book Nerds…ahem…Literary Fanatics…

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Well hello my pretties! Today I present for you some fantastic “stocking fillers” that the book lover in your life may be coveting….I say “stocking fillers”, but in my day stocking fillers were reasonably inexpensive knick knacks that were a quirky little add-on to the main present.  Today, the term appears to be taken more literally, and includes any item that is small enough to fit in a stocking, regardless of price (or so the advertisers would have us believe).

To this end I present to you the following beauties….

For the non-lactose-intolerant book lover, try these Quotable Chocolate Bars!

Yes! Chocolate wrapped in a quote from a well-known literary talent! How could one go wrong with such a combination? Unless, of course, you live in the southern hemisphere, in which case, by Christmas day, one’s stocking will be marred by a seeping, oozing, chocolate-y puddle and a slightly soggy box…but at least that box will contain the remnants of a quote from a well-known literary talent!

Or, for the more swanky of your book-loving friends, what about this Paperback Perfume?

Allow your friends to demonstrate their love of reading through this olfactory extravagance.  As they swan about amongst the in-crowd, the distinctive scent of a crisp new paperback will follow after them, beckoning those of a like mind towards intellectual union.  Unfortunately for the more digitally inclined reader, “Scent of a Kindle” has not yet been released.

  Why not stuff the stocking of the gent who has everything, including a hefty shelf of paperbacks and a flair for snappy dressing,  with this Penguin Paperbacks Tie

Then challenge him to read all of the titles pictured!

And for that hard-to-buy-for, teenaged rebel without a clause, what could be more appropriate than this Banned Books Bracelet?  

As soon as this little baby’s unwrapped, your subversive teen reader will be parading around the room and stickin’ it to the man in jewellery form, saying, “Yes! I’ve read Captain Underpants! What of it?”

I hope this has been a helpful starting point for you all – I intend to continue providing useful and timely advice regarding gifts for various social groupings in the run-up to the great holiday season, so stay tuned.

Laybuy now for Christmas!

Bruce