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The 12 books of Christmas

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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 reading!

 

For the Wife – One Fifth Avenue , by Candace Bushnell

Whether or not women admit it, the Sex and the City entourage — the book, the TV show, the movie, the other books by same author — all sit on most ladies’ list of Things You Would Never Mention If You Were Trying to Impress Someone But Yeah You Really Actually Enjoy.

One Fifth Avenue , Candace Bushnell’s fifth book about the lives of New York’s social elite, falls right back into that category.

This time around, Bushnell’s characters have traded in their purses for apartments as the ultimate status symbol. Most are married, middle-aged, or even old. There is the high-strung magazine editor, the over-40 movie star trying to figure out her place in show biz, and the lawyer who renounced her successful career to become a trophy wife.

But — like Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte — the characters in One Fifth Avenue are still desperately trying to climb the social ladder armed with all the money, power or connections they can land their paws on.

As one gentleman in the novel says on the opening pages: “New York never changes. The characters are different but the play remains the same.”

In case you did not guess it from the title, the novel takes place inside an exclusive building located along stylish Fifth Avenue, Manhattan. Characters lean over terraces in the art deco building, trim prize-winning roses or take their well-bred terriers for walks along the “commoner” streets outside. (It probably does not need to be said, but this is not a book any man would ever, ever, ever want to read).

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