Retail stores are decking the halls, restaurants are booking
parties, and neighbours are balanced precariously on ladders, adorning their
homes with strings of lights. With the holiday season right around the corner,
it’s time for savvy shoppers to start compiling that all-important shopping
list, and instead of resorting to the boring old scarf or gift certificate for
your hard-to-buy-for brother or dad, why not offer up a literary gift: a book.
We’ve compiled a list of 12 good reads for 12 different people on your shopping
list, making two suggestions each week: husbands, wives, crazy uncles and
aunts, teenage boys and girls, tiny tots, the boss, your American (pro-Obama)
friend, the foodie, the family nature nut and local political junkie. Happy
For the boss – How to Lose Friends and Alienate People,
By Toby Young
As a gift for your boss, How to Lose Friends and Alienate
People works best simply by leaving it on your superior’s desk.
The book itself isn’t necessarily a kick in your boss’s
stomach, but it chronicles all the ways one can do that if they wish to assume
an underling’s position at a major New York magazine.
The book is a memoir by Toby Young, a British journalist with
the dubious distinction of having been fired by the Times of London, the
Guardian, the Independent and Vanity Fair. Besides these publications he was
also the editor of the Modern Review, a London magazine published every other
month whose motto was “low culture for highbrows.”
Articles included near-academic treatments of philistine
culture such as the Porky’s films and the collected works of Stephen King.
Beyond his experience as an editor, Young is quite possibly the
most obnoxious man who ever hit the industry. But he at least deserves credit for
being honest about it.
How to Lose Friends and Alienate People picks up as Young has
been commissioned as a contributing editor to Vanity Fair, one of North
America’s top cultural publications. There he finds himself trying to fit into
the “hoighty-toighty” atmosphere of Conde Nast, a publishing company that also
owns Vogue, Glamour and GQ.
Before coming to America he thinks his English accent will take
him a long way with his female co-workers and those he meets in NY’s exclusive
nightclubs. It isn’t long before he figures out that it takes more than an
accent — he’s also lacking in money, a Greenwich Village home and abs you
could grate cheese on.