Monday, December 24, 2012
“Strange, isn't it? Each man's life touches so many other lives. When he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he?”
Since the release of It’s A Wonderful Life in 1946, this heartwarming film has become a Christmas staple around the world. The film was directed by Frank Capra and stars James Stewart as George Bailey, whose impending suicide is interrupted by his guardian angel, who shows him how different life would be for everyone in his community if he... had never been born. Although it was initially considered a box office flop, the film gained a huge following through annual Christmas screenings on television. Named by Open Road authors Julián Sánchez, Agustín B Palatchi, Dean Koontz, Andy Briggs, and Eileen Goudge as their favorite holiday film, this classic continues to resonate during the holidays.
But not everyone’s in the mood for the sweetness of It’s a Wonderful Life! Our Open Road authors also revealed competing favorites for their holiday movie-watching. Die Hard surprisingly turned out to be another highly rated Christmas movie. Other quirky choices were A Christmas Story, Gremlins, Love Actually, and The Nightmare Before Christmas.
Monday, December 24, 2012
(E!)books are great gifts for the holiday season. With the shopping deadline approaching in mere hours, ebooks offer the quickest, simplest answer to the question of what to get for a family member or friend. Our authors shared suggestions for you last-minute shoppers!
Although their choices varied, all our authors consider a book selection to be a very important decision. As Lois Duncan explains, “I always match the book to the age and interests of the person to whom I’m giving it. I consider a... book a very personal gift and the choice should not be made lightly.” Deborah Blumenthal recommends looking at the recipient’s other interests, and trying to find something new in that field that they haven’t yet discovered. And then there’s Dean Koontz’s simple rule of thumb: Find “good ones.”
“It depends on the age of the recipient: from Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird to Sándor Márai’s Casanova in Bolzano.” —Roser Caminals-Heath, author of The Street of the Three Beds
"I love introducing the children in my life to the books I loved as a kid and that really made a difference in my life. Recently I gave my godson a copy of The Golden Treasure of Poetry, the first book I ever received as a gift, at age 8, and that was the start of my love affair with poetry." —Eileen Goudge, author of The Replacement Wife
“If I’m really stuck, I’ll head straight for a travel-writing book in the hope to swoop them to a far-off land.” —Andy Briggs, author of Tarzan: The Greystoke Legacy
“This year I’m giving science books to my grandsons, who are three and six, and devour anything with facts and illustrations. My granddaughters, who are twelve and thirteen, will get historical fiction. They like kings and queens. My mother and daughters get mysteries. My son likes nineteenth-century exploration, especially of the poles.” —Caroline B. Cooney, author of Fog
“The books I gave this year were all biographies of great Americans: Washington, Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Jefferson, and most especially Hamilton.” —Shirley Ann Grau, author of The Keepers of the House
“Moon Palace by Paul Auster and A Time of Gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor.” —Xavier Moret, author of An American in Barcelona
“Mostly books by Naguib Mahfouz, Amin Maalouf, Ahdaf Souheif” —Maha Akhtar, author of The Lost Princess
"I recommend The Fox at the Manger as a Christmas tale, version told by P.L. Travers (Mary Poppins) and illustrated by Thomas Bewick." —Madison Smartt Bell, author of The Washington Square Ensemble
“This year, I discovered a book called The Golem’s Latkes by Eric Kimmel and Aaron Jasinski. It’s perfectly charming and as the legend of the golem was the precursor to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, it has its literary bones, too.” —Mary Glickman, author of One More River
“The last book I gave as a gift was Archipelago, by Monique Roffey, and before that, The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak.” — Vina Jackson, author of the Eighty Days Trilogy
When all else fails, give the gift of your own writing! As Dan Gutman jokes, he makes sure his own books are “signed by the author, with whom I have a personal relationship.”