If your gift list includes avid readers, take heart. We’ve found extraordinary presents for every reading geek. In fact there are so many delights, it has taken us a few days to share them all. Bookmark this list to use beyond the holidays and to satisfy your own reading-related hankerings. Remember to check out chapters one and two and three.
Literature-inspired jewelry with a steampunk edge, that’s what you’ll find in the wide-ranging collection of Jezebel Charms. We’re talking handmade pieces featuring erudite quotes from the likes of Jane Austen, Oscar Wilde, the Bronte sisters, George Eliot, Charles Darwin, Homer, Shakespeare, Poe, and many many others. These pieces are artfully designed, making it an aesthetic pleasure to simply scroll through the offerings.
We’re taken with so many items that it’s hard to keep from suggesting them all, but our favorites include the “I am an omnivorous reader” pendant ($37), Frankenstein cuff links ($25), she is too fond of books brooch ($20), and mad tea party earrings ($32). Shown above, another of our must-haves, the Jane Eyre cuff bracelet ($40) with a quote penned by Charlotte Bronte, “I am no bird and no net ensnares me. I am a free human being with an independent will.”
Magnet Comic sets ($25). These are nicely made wooden stands with three-panel white magnets to create comic strips. The set includes four characters, each with 9 facial expressions, giving you 36 pieces for inspiration. It also includes a dry erase and wet erase marker. More potential characters are available. This set screams of potential fun at work and at home. I’ll be a hit on Kickstarter and in your life.
This maker also runs the Etsy shop Helmsman Press where you can get a comic book bag tote ($10) screen printed to resemble the classic “thank you” shopping bags. This is a lightweight bag, easily tucked in a coat pocket when not in use, but strong enough to hold an optimistic pile of comics. Also available are comic book buttons ($2) made out of upcycled comics, mostly older Marvel but some older DC stuff as well.
Shakespearean insult mug ($12.95) from the Unemployed Philosopher’s Guild. The bard was a put-down master, so this mug is covered with phrases such as “not so much brain as ear wax” and “anointed sovereign of sighs and groans.”
There are more enticements for the book lover. A Gogol t-shirt (21.95) that looks a little Google-ish but has more to do with the Russian novelist. Little Thinkers, cuddly versions of greats like Edgar Allan Poe ($18.95) and Virginia Woolf ($18.95). A set of writer’s cards ($12.95), perfect for any occasion thanks to sticker sheets included. Our favorite item may be the Great Drinker’s Shot Glasses ($15.95), each with the visage and quote from a famous literary drinker such as Oscar Wilde, Dorothy Parker, Winston Churchill, Yeats, and Baudelaire.
Book place markers. Not bookmarks, we’re talking clever little clips that can be used in multiple places to mark passages without underlining or marring the book. They can be used over and over.
You’ll like Book Darts ($8.85). A little tin of 50 stainless steel “darts” that are made in Oregon and so useful you’ll wish you’d ordered the larger tin of 125 ($14.95). Or try Get to the Point Magnetic Bookmarks ($6.95) for a tray of 20 colorful line markers. For decorated markers, consider i-Clip Magnetic Page Markers. They come in sets of eight, in versions like Owls i-Clip ($3.95) and Skulls i-Clip ($3.95).
Readers’ cookbooks. We weren’t going to recommend books, as they’re an obvious choice, but seeking out recipes based on literature is such a geeky book lover thing to do we couldn’t resist. There are plenty of choices.
A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Official Game of Thrones Companion Cookbook ($20.11) is based on George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series of books. (The HBO series, Game of Thrones, doesn’t have time for the wonderful food from the written version.) Now’s your chance to try these delights. The cookbook offers the medieval recipe as well as a modern version, along with a guide to dining and entertaining in the style of the Seven Kingdoms. Feast on treats like Beef and Bacon Pie, Aurochs with Roasted Leeks, and Tyroshi Honeyfingers.
Nanny Ogg’s Cookbook: A Useful and Improving Almanack of Information Including Astonishing Recipes from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld ($13.17) is more than a cookbook. It’s jammed with Terry Pratchett’s perfectly improbable observations. Sure, there are recipes too, like Nobby’s Mum’s Distressed Pudding and Leonard of Quir’s Cheese Sandwich.
Dining With Sherlock Holmes: A Baker Street Cookbook ($22.98) offers history, background, and recipes from a respected Sherlockian expert.
The Jane Austen Cookbook ($16.49) investigates food ways of Austen’s time, with recipes for dishes Jane and her characters would have enjoyed at balls, picnics, and supper parties. All recipes are modernized to make best use of today’s ingredients (unless you have pigeon fat on hand). You’ll even find out how to make salmagundy and syllabub.
Appetite for Murder: A Mystery Lover’s Cookbook ($14.95) is packed with food, fictional detectives, culinary sayings, and imaginary crime scenarios. Recipes evoke scenes with Chief Inspector Morse, Sherlock Holmes, Miss Marple, Rumpole of the Bailey, Hercules Poirot and Chief Inspector Wexford, among others.
The Book Lover’s Cookbook: Recipes Inspired by Celebrated Works of Literature, and the Passages That Feature Them ($12.24) has 170 recipes including Not Violet, But Blueberry Pie from Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Refreshing Black Cows from The Book of Ruth by Jane Hamilton.
Shakespeare’s Kitchen: Renaissance Recipes for the Contemporary Cook ($23.10) is a beautiful book with lavish photos, food-related quotes from the bard, culinary history, texts of original recipes, and notes on the etiquette of Shakespeare’s time. The recipes dispel any idea of boring food in that era. They include Lemony Sweet Potatoes with Dates, Olepotrige Stew, Lobster with Pistachio Stuffing, and Queen Elizabeth’s Fine Cake.
GeekMom received several review samples.