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ASK THE BOOKSELLERS: for the person who loves a good belly laugh

Your mom is more than just “mom.” This holiday season, we encourage you to go beyond the gift guide. If you’re looking for personal gift recommendations for the people in your life, with all their unique quirks and interests and dreams, you should shop at indie bookstores.

This week, we asked three Canadian indie booksellers what gifts they would recommend for the person who loves a good belly laugh.

Each recommendation is as unique as the store that made it. Are you shopping for this person in your life? Use the “Shop Local” button to find this book near you or visit your local indie bookstore for their gift recommendations today! 

From Blue Heron Books in Uxbridge, ON:

Indians on Vacation: A Novel
Written by Thomas King
Published by HarperCollins Canada

Inspired by a handful of postcards sent nearly a hundred years ago, Bird and Mimi attempt to trace long-lost uncle Leroy and the family medicine bundle he took with him to Europe.

“I’m sweaty and sticky. My ears are still popping from the descent into Vaclav Havel. My sinuses ache. My stomach is upset. My mouth is a sewer. I roll over and bury my face in a pillow. Mimi snuggles down beside me with no regard for my distress. ‘My god,’ she whispers, ‘can it get any better?’”

By turns witty, sly and poignant, this is the unforgettable tale of one couple’s holiday in Europe, where their wanderings through its famous capitals reveal a complicated history, both personal and political.

Thomas King is an award-winning writer whose fiction includes Sufferance, Indians on Vacation, The Back of the Turtle, The Inconvenient Indian, and more. A Companion of the Order of Canada and the recipient of a National Aboriginal Achievement Award, Thomas taught at the University of Lethbridge and was chair of American Indian Studies at the University of Minnesota. Following this, he taught at the University of Guelph until he retired.

From Daisy Chain Book Co. in Edmonton, AB:

Bream Gives Me Hiccups and Other Stories

Written by Jesse Eisenberg
Published by Penguin Random House Canada

The series of stories that gives the book its unusual title are written from the point of view of a nine-year-old boy whose mother brings him to expensive Los Angeles restaurants so that she can bill her ex-husband for the meals. Another series of stories are letters written by a university student to her high school counselor as she grows gradually more unhinged. Other stories imagine discussions in ancient Pompeii just before the volcanic eruption, explore the vagaries of post-gender-normative dating in New York City, and conjure up Alexander Graham Bell's first five phone calls. In different ways, the stories explore what it means to navigate the modern world and are all illuminated by Eisenberg's ironic wit and fantastically funny and original voice.

Jesse Eisenberg has appeared in several films, including 30 Minutes or Less, The Social Network, Holy Rollers, Zombieland, Adventureland, and The Squid and The Whale. On stage, he has appeared in Orphans opposite Al Pacino, Scarcity at the Atlantic Theater, and Asuncion, which he wrote, at the Cherry Lane. He is also a contributing writer for McSweeney's, and his humour essays have appeared in Harper's Magazine and the New York Times.

From Huckleberry Books in Cranbrook, BC:

You Can Do Anything, Magic Skeleton!: Monster Motivations to Move Your Butt and Get You to Do the Thing

Written by Chuck Wendig, illustrated by Natalie Metzger
Published by Penguin Random House Canada

For several years, Chuck has crafted hilarious and inspirational thoughts of the day – they might begin with an optimistic salvo, but inevitably and mirthfully detour into the demon-summoning, robot-making, or confirming that humans are actually mythical hybrid creatures. Equal parts inspiring, sweet, and very funny, Wendig's profane and imaginative galvanizing quips are sure to amp up readers and motivate them to get things done.

Chuck Wendig is the New York Times bestselling author of Wanderers, Star Wars: Aftermath, the Miriam Black thrillers, the Atlanta Burns books, and Zer0es, alongside other works across comics, games, film, and more. He was a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer and an alum of the Sundance Screenwriters Lab, and he served as the co-writer of the Emmy-nominated digital narrative Collapsus.

Natalie Metzger is a Pacific Northwest-based illustrator and designer. She’s the creator of the webcomic Over-Encumbered, the illustrator of You Can Do Anything, Magic Skeleton!, Miniatures, and A Very Scalzi Christmas, and has provided illustration and design for several tabletop games.

Thank you to the booksellers who provided recommendations this time around. We'll be back next week with another edition of Ask the Booksellers!


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