Saturday, December 12, 2009

From Bird Songs to Elements

This post is a bit of a good news/bad news discussion. Last year my gift pick for the holiday season was Birdscapes: A Pop-Up Celebration of Bird Songs in Stereo Sound, by Miyoko Chu with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Such a very cool book! Wonderful pop-up scenes of seven different bird habitats with extended REAL recordings of bird calls and songs in stereo from the world-renowned Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Wow, just writing about it gives me tingles again! It really is spectacular. And it would still make an awesome gift for the bird lover in your life.

This year my favorite gift pick of the holiday season is The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe, by Theodore Gray. This book presents each of the elements -- such as calcium, krypton, and lanthanum -- in their pure form, and then showcases examples of how each element lives in the world when combined with other elements: calcium in seashells, krypton in certain light bulbs, and lanthanumin camping-lantern mantels. Illustrated with gorgeous photographs that leap off the black background, this book is an ideal combination of science and art and would make an endlessly fascinating gift. That's the good news. The bad news is that the publisher didn't print enough of them, and it is out of stock everywhere.

Fear not, however, we have a solution to offer. We have one copy of The Elements in the store that we are reserving for people to look at, and we have a carton of books due in the store in mid to late January. We will make customized gift certificates for you so that you can present a tangible something to the lucky giftee in your life, entitling them to come pick up the book at Broadway Books at their convenience after the book arrives. The holidays that just keep giving! Hurry in to get one of our elegant(ish) customized gift certificates before the incoming books are all claimed!

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