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Host: Scott LaMar

The books that make great gifts

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Dec 12, 2017 4:05 AM
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What to look for on Smart Talk Tuesday, December 12, 2017:

It's become a holiday tradition on Smart Talk and one of the favorite shows of the year - books as gifts.

Books have always been a thoughtful and treasured gift.  Almost everyone enjoys and can appreciate a good book as a present -- whether it is fiction, a novel, non-fiction, poetry, or a how-to book.  Maybe one of the classics.  We'll also have a few book suggestions for children or teenagers.

On Tuesday's Smart Talk, we discuss the books that would make great gifts.  They may or may not be new or on the bestseller lists, but our panel will recommend and describe several titles to think about.

Joining us will be Catherine Lawrence, co-owner of the Mid Town Scholar Bookstore in Harrisburg and a writer herself, and Travis Kurowski, an assistant professor of creative writing at York College of Pennsylvania.

We'd like to hear your suggestions as well.  What books do you think your friends or loved-ones would enjoy or what books are on your wish list this year?

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Catherine Lawrence - author & co-owner, Mid Town Scholar Bookstore in Harrisburg / Travis Kurowski - assistant professor of creative writing at York College of Pennsylvania



The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America's National Parks - Terry Tempest Williams

Kennedy and King: The President, the Pastor, and the Battle over Civil Rights - Steven Levingston 

The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars - Dava Sobel

Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II - Liza Mundy

Ken Follett's Century Tilogy

The Sobbing School - Joshua Bennett

Cannibal - Safiya Sinclair

Odes - Sharon Olds

The Odyssey - translated by Emily Wilson 

My Side of the Mountain - Jean Craighead George

Dispatches - Michael Herr

Light in the Attic & Where the Sidewalk Ends - Shel Silverstein

Bernie Gunther novels by Phillip Kerr

Never Caught: The Washingtons' Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge - Erica Armstrong Dunbar

Spinning - Tillie Walden

Wilderness Peril - Thomas J. Dygard

Glory Year - William E. Donges Jr

Draft No. 4 - John McPhee

Light the Dark: Writers on Creativity, Inspiration, and the Artistic Process - Joe Fassler

The works of Georgette Heyer

The Day the Angels Fell - Shawwn Smucker


- For today's show, I am going to be a self-promoter and recommend my own book as a stocking stuffer: Operation Cinder.  It is a Civil-war spy novel set in Lancaster County.  - Todd

P.S.   I will be at the Horse Inn next Tuesday 6:00 - 9:00 in Lancaster signing books.

- 60 yrs ago I had to read and analyze Pride and Prejudice in 9th grade, promised myself I would never read another by Austin or her ilk. 

Recently read it again and loved it and am now reading all of her and the Brontes books! 

A pox on english teachers who make 14 yr old boys read books like that that can turn them off good books for 60 yrs!                                - Jim, Newberrytown

- My almost 13-year old son loves comedy and satire, but many of that genre are a little too "adult" for him. Some works he has enjoyed are books by Jim Gaffigan, Paula Poundstone and John Hodgman. Any ideas along those lines?

For the caller looking for kids poetry recommendations: my kids loved the poetry books of Jack Perlutsky at age 8.                                                 - Tim, Marietta, Pa.


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