Holiday Recommendations from Harvard Square Booksellers

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As the holiday season explodes in full force and students try to squeeze in some gift shopping between final exams, the booksellers of Harvard Square are making it easy to find a budget-friendly stocking stuffer for all the different people in your life.For those looking for a book with a little bit of seasonal pizzazz, the Coop is probably the place to go. Directly across from the registers in the main entryway, the Coop has devoted a shelf to staff-recommended books for the holidays. There are around 25 titles on the shelf, each with a written recommendation from a different staff member.

Coop staffer Katie recommends Alastair Brotchie's "A Book of Surrealist Games" for the avid holiday partygoer or energetic host. "This book+absinthe=the best host/hostess gift ever!" she wrote on the card displayed next to the book.

If you want to go for what's hot right now, the  "Holiday 100" display at the Harvard Book Store features 100 titles from a number of different genres. Populated with everything from cookbooks to mystery novels, the display, according to the store's general manager, Carole Horne, is full of titles that, "in the minds of readers and our staff, are the books of the year." This year's collection includes Nate Silver's "The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail—But Some Don't" and Jim Holt's "Why Does the World Exist?: An Existential Detective Story."

If you're looking for some classics instead, stop by Raven Used Books, where staffers have noticed a surge of interest in old favorites this month. "We're seeing a lot [of people looking for] Emily Dickinson, Anne Sexton, the Russians—Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky— and authors like Salinger and Vonnegut," said Raven employee Kate Hensley.

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