The handsome fellow posing with Santa is Yukon, the book-loving Norwegian Elkhound. As you can see, he’s got quite the pile of presents there, and I can guarantee that some of them will be books.
My family loves giving and receiving books for Christmas. I’ve already checked out everybody’s haul, and there are a few that I’m going to be “borrowing” for myself. My step-mother has one particularly interesting book in her pile: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. Henrietta Lacks was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who, without her consent, made medical history. The book has been getting great reviews, and it sounds both important and fascinating.
I also got a few swell books under the tree, ones I had been hoping Santa would bring me to help with my research. The first is the revised edition of The London Encyclopaedia. This tome – and I do mean tome – can tell you anything you ever wanted to know about London, seemingly from the dawn of time. It’s lucid and beautifully written, and full of cool stuff. Want to know about the Kensal Green Cemetary? It’s in there. About the history of electricity in London? That’s in there too. An invaluable research tool, and it’s also just plain fun to read.
The other book I got was Georgian and Regency Houses Explained. It’s not a very big book, but it’s meaty. Not only does it give details on things like the kinds of building materials used during the period, it explains the socio-economic factors that influenced the development of style and function. Another very cool book.