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WritersRead: Holiday Gift Ideas for Writers by Sarah C. Lange

I’m delighted to welcome back guest blogger Sarah C. Lange for some absolutely fabulous gift recommendations for writers. Enjoy! —Rochelle

WritersRead: Holiday Gift Ideas for Writers by Sarah C. Lange

If you’re like most writers I know, even though you have a long list of books you want to read, you’re always looking for more recommendations. This holiday season, along with the books so good they’ll make you cry that I heartily recommend, consider adding these items to your wish list or buying them for the writers in your life:

For the writer who loves to cook: The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman. Food blogger Perelman has been my book club’s unofficial patron saint of the buffet, and my friends and I have been waiting for her book to get published. Some of my favorite recipes: best cocoa brownies, tomato and corn pie, strawberry summer cake. Filled with the author’s own gorgeous photos, this cookbook could double as a coffee-table book if you ever let it out of the kitchen. Good writing requires a full stomach!

For the writer who needs inspiration: It Chooses You by Miranda July. You may know July from her films (Me and You and Everyone We Know, The Future) or her short stories. Here, though, when she struggles with the script for her second movie, she embarks upon a project of a different sort. In either the most ambitious method to beat writer’s block or the most creative way to procrastinate, she interviews everyday folks who advertise items for sale in Los Angeles’ PennySaver. With empathy and humor, July reveals the humanity of the individuals she meets and shows us how inspiring the world can be, if we open ourselves up to it.

For the writer who needs a laugh: The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson. When Buster and Annie were children, their parents forced them to be part of their performance art. The experiences may have pushed them into creative fields of their own—Buster is a fiction writer, Annie an actor—but not without negative consequences. This delightful novel follows them as they reluctantly return to their parents’ home after embarrassing setbacks, and it flashes back to several of the family’s mischievous performances over the years. Bonus: Writers will enjoy the exploration of what art is and what it means. (Be sure to check out my interview with Wilson in The Writer magazine’s January issue, on newsstands Dec. 11.)

For the writer who wants to make a fashion statement: Support Your Local Bookstore T-shirt. This shirt will look fabulous on: a) Your friend who happily spends a good portion of her income on books and whose overflowing bookshelves, and stacks of books all over her place, show it. b) The writer who regularly attends local readings and drags you to them, too. c) The book lover who finds more solace in a bookstore than in a place of worship. d) All of the above.

For the writer who needs to recharge:Beginning Meditation from Sally Kempton, author of Meditation for the Love of It. After all of the hullabaloo of the holidays, your friend who’s interested in giving meditation a try will appreciate this thoughtful gift. On the first disc of this two-CD set, Kempton offers tips for starting a meditation practice. On the second disc, Kempton’s soothing voice takes beginners through four guided sequences, including ones focused on compassion and the space between the breaths. Yogis may recognize Kempton as Yoga Journal’s popular Wisdom columnist. Perfect for someone who isn’t entirely comfortable with sitting still and quieting the mind on his own.

About the Author: A former independent bookseller, Sarah C. Lange has worked as a magazine editor for 11 years, most recently at The Writer. You can connect with her at

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