The book lover on your list can be one of the trickiest people to shop for—up there with that relative you haven’t talked to in years or that person you just started dating. While the obvious gift—a novel—might be the first thing that comes to mind, when someone reads several books a week odds are high she might have the book you’re thinking of gifting. So, I’ve compiled a list of reading accessories that the book lover on your list will love receiving in addition to book recommendations . . .
When I was in the third grade my teacher gave us an assignment to come up with an invention. Mine was an innovative, practical, BRILLIANT way to quickly wake people up in the morning. I set an alarm to go off and had my sister, Casey, the “test subject”, lie in bed and pull a string when she heard the beep. The string released Tabasco sauce down a PVC pipe and into her mouth. “You asshole!” she said, popping right up and hitting me. (Casey routinely had her mouth washed out with soap when we . . .
In the ten years I’ve been writing Waiting at Hayden’s I’ve moved several times, and each time I’ve had to find a new workspace. Sometimes that workspace has been outside the house. When I was living in Charleston, South Carolina I wrote six to eight hours a day at the two-story Starbucks on King Street (that was until the barista informed me that the cookie I ordered every single day was “bad for me.” I then started going to a place called Baked on East Bay Street—not because they had healthier . . .
For the longest time I hated the smell of cigarettes—probably almost as much as most people hate Valentine’s Day. But then I went backpacking through Europe and stayed with a handful of wonderful people—all who smoked cigarettes. And almost overnight cigarette smoke became synonymous with good times and great people. I’ve found that you can change your relationship with just about anything—and anyone—by a simple shift in perspective. I, for one, have always been a sucker for Valentine’s Day. . . .
I have a cousin and an aunt and uncle who live like Europeans and eat dinner around 10:00pm most nights. The other week I was over at their house on a Sunday. It was 11:30pm and we were just finishing up dinner. My uncle sat back in his chair, savored his final sip of Chianti wine, and then said, “It’s the perfect time for a boat ride, don’t you think?” I was thinking it was the perfect time to go to sleep…about three hours ago, when I showed up and the ingredients for the carbonara pasta . . .
When it comes to holiday gifting, members of my family have been known to wrap gifts you’d never expect—or particularly want to find—under the tree. My sister is infamous for wrapping IOU coupons for gifts she forgot to buy, suddenly remembered she should have bought come Christmas morning, and then never actually ends up purchasing. My brother got an IOU coupon from her for a phone case with a picture of San Francisco on it two years in a row before she finally bought it on Etsy. “It’s the . . .