Holiday Quick Picks

There could be no better travel companion than
Paul Theroux. Here he takes us on a deep dive
into Mexico — a fascinating journey with rich
portraits of people and the land, the mysterious
back roads  of Chiapas and Oaxaca. His humanistic
approach is particularly welcome in the age of Trump.


Dane Shitagi’s  Ballerina Project (Chronicle Books) —18 years in the making—presents 50 famed ballerinas — captured in mid-motion — off-stage, in the real world. Like rare birds in flight, they are framed in exquisite form, balanced, poised, poetic, sensual. The inherent beauty of ballet is heightened by the natural settings across the globe — cityscapes, beaches, parks and country lanes. This coffee table book will not simply appeal to aficionados of dance, but to all who appreciate gorgeous photographs exhibiting the grace and power of the female form.


If you take your noir black, with dollops of black humor,
then you’ll find satisfaction with every sip of Pascal Garnier.
His unique novelettes have been translated from the French
and published posthumously in uniform editions by Gallic Books.
C’est La Vie is as surprising as life itself.  CLICK TO BUY

Speaking of black humor… this disturbing little novel
from New Zealand by Annaleese Jochems will add some
chills and dark laughter to the holidays. Two young women
(and a dog named “Snot-head”) are on the lam on a rusty
boat called “Baby.” What could go wrong?   CLICK TO BUY


Cutting Edge is a box of dark chocolates —each piece unique —spicy, strange, twisty,
and electric — no two tastes alike. Joyce Carol Oates has hand-picked 17 sharp-edged, feminist-flavored tales of crime and mystery. An  anthology filled with noirish thrills.

Cara Black‘s series has been flourishing for — (can it really be?) —
twenty years! She has evocatively brought the neighborhoods
of Paris  to life,  and turned countless  thousands of readers into
hardcore Francophiles. If you haven’t met her Parisian private
investigator, Aimée Leduc, well prepare to fall in love. As always,
there’s an intricate plot, sublime dialogue,  suspense, and the charms
of this city. Murder in Bel-Air is Black at her best.