Quirky, kooky books for the holidays

Emily Dickinson’s Homestead

Limited edition print available from, $20

Michael Fusco and Emma Straub have designed a great set of prints of writer’s homes. Also available: the houses of Edward Gorey, Edgar Allan Poe and Flannery O’Connor.

Glamour From the Ground Up


Ed Fox

Taschen, $17.99 Hardcover/DVD edition

This native Angeleno’s sensual celebration of the female foot comes with ingenious packaging: a reversible jacket for incognito perusing. Reverse the cover and, instead of a scantily clad bride with her legs raised, you find a solid red cover emblazoned with “Commentaries on the Laws of England.” Everyone will think you’re the stuffiest person in the room.

It’s a Book

Lane Smith

Roaring Book Press, $12.99, ages 4 - 8

The award-winning author and illustrator behind such books as “The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales” brings us a lighthearted story of a mouse, a jackass and a monkey debating the finer points of print versus digital media. Honest, it’s simple enough for even an adult to get. An animated trailer is available to view online.

Recipes Every Man Should Know


Susan Russo and Brett Cohen

Quirk, $9.95

It might look like a little black book, and it might slip into a shirt pocket as easily, but this book is far more valuable than that one. The authors deflate the terrors of cooking — especially for single men — with an easy guide to basics, including the perfect burger, essential appetizers and a cure for hangovers (think eggs, cheese and hot sauce). Cheer up, gents, you don’t have to live on peanut butter and cereal anymore!

Six Novels in Woodcuts


“Gods’ Man,” “Madman’s Drum,” “Wild Pilgrimage,” “Prelude to a Million Years,” “Song Without Words,” “Vertigo”

Lynd Ward, edited by Art Spiegelman

Library of America, $70, two volumes

Ward’s heyday was during the tough years of the 1930s, and he was clearly a graphic artist ahead of his time. Here, in this boxed collection of his most significant works, are six wordless novels whose narratives consist entirely of stark, black-and-white woodcuts. You feel that you’re not only reading stories — though reading isn’t quite right — but observing an era of American history.


Tree of Codes

Jonathan Safran Foer

Visual Editions, $40

The bestselling author of “Everything Is Illuminated” took a favorite book, “The Street of Crocodiles” by Polish-Jewish writer Bruno Schulz, and redacted it by literally cutting words and sections out — the pages are filled with holes — to make a story all his own.