I'm not much for shopping, but this is special: my niece has written a book! Actually, she's written several books, but this new one was just published. And technically she's my ex-niece, because her father is my ex-husband's brother, but I never divorced her. Anyhow, her new book, The Privilege of the Sword, is Highly recommended if you like dashing swaggering wickedness and girl swordfighters, says A Professional Reader who also happens to be her Cousin and my daughter,elswhere.
As if that weren't enough, Ellen's partner Delia Sherman has also just published a new book, Changeling, about hip edgy 21st-century fairies in New York City, according to The Reader.
And if you are not so angry at the New York Times that you refuse to read anything they publish (some people are), sign up for Times Select just so you can look at Maira Kalman's monthly column. They call it a blog, but that's because they don't seem to share my understanding of what a blog is: I call it a column. I'm putting a link to it here, but it might not work if you don't subscribe You can get a 14-day free trial, more than enough time to look at the current month and the preceding two or three that I could find. Anyhow, Maira it turns out was born in Tel Aviv, but has been a New Yorker for a long time, as borne out by her great masterpiece New Yorker Magazine cover, "New Yorkistan." Her NYTimes column has jolted me out of my recent funk, and I strongly advise having a look yourself.