Books

What makes a good bedtime picture book for toddlers? It's not an absolute necessity that bedtime books feature rabbits, but bunnies are strangely tranquilizing. It's not a must that bedtime books rhyme hypnotically, but it helps. All bedtime books don't have to end with the child or animal fast asleep, but everyone knows sleeping can be contagious. The following three 2016 picture books are all charming, and all end with closed eyes. Results not guaranteed.
Adults often buy children's books as romantic gifts for other adults on Valentine's Day, and we heartily endorse this practice. When customers ask for Valentine's Day gift advice, Cristin Stickles from New York City's McNally Jackson Books stands by the classic little red square book I Like You(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) by Sandol Stoddard Warburg, illustrated by Jacqueline Chwast.
Selecting a book can be tricky: dust jacket copy helps, blurbs maybe, reviews--sure. Trying out the first page? Yes. Some people read that and an arbitrary other page; some may open and read at random. I recently picked up American Housewife: Stories by Helen Ellis (Doubleday, $24), described as "a delightfully unhinged collection of stories set in the dark world of domesticity." That sounded good, so I started at the first page with "What I Do All Day":
In Shelf Awareness Pro, we run a twice-weekly feature called Book Brahmin, in which we pose a series of questions to authors and others in the book business; we receive some predictable answers ("Book You've Faked Reading: Ulysses") and often, some highly unpredictable ones. A sampling, with links to the full Brahmins:
Scott Barry Kaufman and Carolyn Gregoire have written Wired to Create: Unravelling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind (Perigee, $26.95), and we asked them about New Year's resolutions--so much goal-setting that often comes to naught. They think resolving to find more creative fulfilment--they believe we are all, to some extent, wired for creativity--is a worthy goal:
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