While we’re a bit wide of the mark for another Blue Monday Shopping Guide for the Broke and Overbooked—a couple of other writing projects have been distracting; all good stuff—there are a few good deals being offered by some of our favorite publishers that should be noted.
Dalkey Archive Press, home of some great innovative contemporary fiction, nonfiction, and translation that you won’t find elsewhere, has a terrific holiday sale going through December 14. For $65 you can get any 10 titles, or 20 for $120—that’s a 50%-70% discount for all you coupon-clippers. These are some smart and good-looking books, just the thing for the smart and good-looking people on your gift list.
Press 53 also has some excellent holiday deals. You can put together a short story, poetry, or Surreal South bundle, or don’t mess around with categories and just bundle yourself up with any four titles of your choice, all for—you guessed it—$53. And well worth it.
For a six-pack you can indulge in and still drive home afterward, try The Nervous Breakdown‘s Book Club Holiday Six-Pack: Six fine new novels and essay collections delivered by Christmas, all for the low low price of $9.99. Usually their book club selections run $9.99 per month, so you don’t have to be any good at math whatsoever to see that this is a fine deal. Plus they pick good stuff, so it’s like getting someone membership in a very, very cool club.
If you find yourself in your local bricks-and-mortar indie bookstore, which is probably having its own sale—take a minute to check its website and see—and you’re wondering what to get the good folks on your list this year, Anna Clark of Isak has put together a neat little PDF gift guide called Choose Books. It covers a lot of good reading, each one with a capsule review and a gift recipient pairing—you might want to buy Z.Z. Packer’s Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, for instance, for “People who are great storytellers, who can have a table laughing with some tales and, with others, have the group hushed and attentive / People who lag and hush before these great storytellers / Former Brownies and attendees of the Million Man March”—along with book/film pairings, magazine subscription gift ideas, and a list of the best literary organizations to offer gift donations, if you’re in a donating kind of mood. She’s got great taste, and it’s a nicely put together little package. In fact, it might make a good gift in and of itself, maybe paired with one of the books it mentions.
So: Go forth, spend money, buy books. Not that you need a particular time of the year to do it, but there’s some good shopping to be had right around now, so why not?