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What are YOU getting for Christmas/Galaxy Bestsellers December 18, 2009

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This time of year, one of our games is to try to guess which books we’ve sold the most of. It’s more of a challenge than you might think, because none of us are at the register for every sale, and sometimes sales numbers creep up a little at a time without you realizing that–hey, we’ve already sold 15 copies of Nontoxic Housecleaning! It’s fun to see what people are getting excited about–sometimes it’s about a book they’ve read and want to pass on, and sometimes it’s a book that just got a great review on NPR.

So, here’s a sneak peek at the books that are being tucked under Christmas trees all over the greater Hardwick area (and beyond). Maybe you’ll find a few under your tree this year!

1. The Pleasures of Cooking for One – It’s  a gorgeous, unique, and inspiring cookbook; sales were certainly helped by our event with Judith Jones, but I’m pretty sure this would have been a bestseller no matter what. A wonderful gift for singles, but also good for couples and anyone who might want to cook small meals from time to time.

2. Bananagrams — The totally addictive word game is being purchased by the bunch by many of our customers! (Haha – “bunch” – get it??)

3. Not Too Awful Bad — Another book that got a boost from a visit by the author. Leon Thompson has written a fine addition to the genre of Vermont humor.

4. Nontoxic Housecleaning — I was not kidding, we’ve sold a lot of this little book. It’s a great gift for anyone who has to clean…which is almost everyone over the age of 20. This little collection of simple and inexpensive recipes for nontoxic cleaning products is perfect for slipping into a stocking, or perhaps a basket along with some baking soda and vinegar!

5. Stones Into Schools — It’s no surprise that Greg Mortenson’s follow up to Three Cups of Tea is a success. The man’s story is inspirational, fascinating, and also timely.

6. Thirty Below Zero: In Praise of Native Vermonters — We may not have had books for Ethan Hubbard’s visit, but they were finally released by Customs, and we’ve got ’em. It’s  a small book, but packed full of wonderful photographs. It’s almost guaranteed that you’ll recognize some of the faces here.

7. Favor Johnson — Another unsurprising bestseller. Willem Lange’s Christmas story has been beloved by radio listeners for years, and the picture book version is something the whole family will treasure. Unfortunately, the book is now hard to come by because the publisher did not anticipate quite such a huge response. Huh.

8. Reading Lights — What could be better for a book lover’s stocking than a book light?

9. Head Massagers — I have to say, I can’t quite get the appeal of these whisk-shaped gadgets featured on our Planet Shari table (to my scalp, it just tickles) but a lot of people find the Head Massagers very enjoyable. At $4, you can’t go wrong. We’re out of these at the moment, but expect another shipment in any day.

10. Taking the Leap — Pema Chodron’s latest book was helped along by a discussion group in Greensboro. A slim volume, full of Chodron’s simple and profound wisdom.

11. Lamoille Stories — Bill Schubart’s collection of stories about growing up in Morrisville continues to be a hit.

12. The Tenth Muse — Again, Judith Jones’ visit helped out with these sales, but it’s also been on our Staff Favorites table since it was first published in 2007.

13. Someone Knows My Name — Another Staff Favorite, this novel is just an incredible story about one woman’s struggles against the bonds of slavery.

14. Mudbound — Yet another Staff Favorite! Hillary Jordan’s debut novel won the Bellwether Prize with good reason. Her book is an utterly riveting story of families and friendships twisted by racism and betrayals.

15. The Hidden Life of Deer — Haven’t read it, but it sounds fascinating, and I’ve heard rave reviews. A gem of a book for animal lovers and outdoorsmen and women.

16. The Catch — Archer Mayor’s books are popular throughout the year, but this new paperback will make a great stocking stuffer for anyone looking for a  good Vermont mystery to enjoy on these cold nights.

17. The Mysterious Benedict Society — A favorite of ours, and of many other readers of all ages. This series is great for voracious young readers, and also a lot of fun as a family read-aloud.

18. Mastering the Art of French Cooking — The movie Julie & Julia has inspired a whole new set of cooks to tackle Julia Child’s classic cookbook.

19. The Big Burn — National Book Award Winner Timothy Egan brings another fascinating moment in history to life with his book about the largest forest fire in American history.

20. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days — Nearly every kid in middle school wants to have the whole colorful collection of Jeff Kinney’s bestselling series about underdog Greg. Dog Days is the fourth–the one with the yellow cover.

21. The Prairie Home Companion Pretty Good Joke Book — Here’s a good one:

An Irishman walks into a bar in Cork City and asks the barman, “What’s the quickest way to get to Dublin?”

“Are you walking or driving?” asks the barman.

“Driving,” says the man.

“That’s the quickest way,” says the barman.

How can you pass up a book full of jokes like that? You can’t! I dare you to pick it up and not spend a few minutes flipping through and chuckling over the Prairie Home Companion’s 5th edition of some of the funniest–and most groan-inducing–jokes ever told.

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