The Open Door’s Christmas book list

Some Christmas book advice from The Open Door
Inside The Open Door bookstore in downtown Schenectady
Inside The Open Door bookstore in downtown Schenectady

Founded in 1971, The Open Door Bookstore is the longest standing bookstore in Schenectady. Here, store employees detail some of the books that have captivated their customers and associates. We asked them for their recommendations on books to give this holiday season. Here are their recommendations:

“The Hidden Life of Trees” by Peter Wohlleben

A fascinating account of the numerous ways in which trees communicate and interact with one annother. Based on groundbreaking scientific research, this

book demonstrates the complex systems trees use to effectively create a “family” — much like their human counterparts. It’s the perfect gift for anyone who enjoys time in nature, and is guaranteed to make you want to hug a tree.

“Atlas Obscura” by Dylan Thuras, Ella Morton and Joshua Foer

A celebration of more than 700 of the most curious places on earth, Atlas Obscura is a compendium of the world’s hidden marvels that is a browser’s wonderland. Compiled by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras and Ella Morton, this mesmerizing tome will plunge you into the strange, the bizarre and the mysterious. But be forewarned: It’s nearly impossible to put down, as you turn to the next entry ” and the next and the next “

“Hitler: Ascent 1889-1939” by Volker Ullrich

While this may seem an unusual choice for holiday gift-giving, it’s an absorbing examination of Hitler as a politician. Drawing on a wealth of previously neglected or unavailable sources, Ullrich unveils the man behind the public persona. This comprehensive portrait deftly captures Hitler’s intelligence, instinctive grasp of politics and gift for oratory, as well as his megalomania, deep insecurity and repulsive worldview. An important work about one of the most monstrous men in history.

“The Christmas Story” by Robert Sabuda

Master paper-engineer Robert Sabuda creates a beautiful rendition of the The Christmas Story in his first new pop-up book in 20 years. Glinting with touches of gold and pearlescent foil, Sabuda has constructed a visual feast that is sure to be a holiday treasure for the whole family to enjoy.

“Good Clean Fun” by Nick Offerman

One of Open Door’s favorite books to recommend this season. Though best known for his role on Parks and Recreation, this erstwhile woodworker and his cohorts down at the Offerman Wood Shop show how to make all manner of things out of wood. Not only that, but there are recipes for comestibles, as well as mirth, humorous essays, odes to his own woodworking heroes, insights into the ethos of woodworking in modern America and other assorted tomfoolery. It’s all good, clean fun.

“Ada Twist, Scientist” by Andrea Beauty

An inquisitive girl who questions: why, what and how. Her curiosity drives her to seek answers and figure things out. It’s an absolutely wonderful read, with engaging illustrations, and it brings welcome diversity to picture books about girls in science.

“They All Saw a Cat” by Brendan Wenzel

One of the most unique picture books to land this year. It’s a stunningly illustrated book about how perspective shapes what we see. As a cat walks through its world, it is observed by several different creatures — each of whom sees the cat in their own individual way. Every time I open it up, I discover something new and find a new favorite perspective.


Categories: Life and Arts

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