Alexander's terrific sequel
Remember the childhood ode to the grumps, "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Really Bad Day"? It turns out there was a real Alexander, and his mother, author Judith Viorst, has written a witty memoir about the summer when the grown-up Alexander and his family moved back into his childhood home. Alexander and the Wonderful, Marvelous, Excellent, Terrific Ninety Days will make fond readers glad he never went through with that plan to move to Australia.
Make an Elf Of Yourself
Where would we be without such diverting Web outposts as elfyourself.com, an OfficeMax-sponsored site at which users can affix head shots from family photos to dancing elves, then e-mail them? Probably working. Case made.
You can wait for the news stations to start barking about the latest lead-tainted toys from China. Or you can hit the just-launched healthytoys.org – run by the Ecology Center, a membership-based, nonprofit environmental organization based in Ann Arbor, Mich. – and search by name, brand, or type.
For fans of David Lynch's masterpiece, the 10-disc Twin Peaks: The Definitive Gold Edition is better than a big chunk of cherry pie. Check the expertly remastered visuals: the misty landscape of the Northwest has never looked so spooky. Best among the torrent of extras is a feature-length documentary on the creation of the show, and a collection of postcards from Twin Peaks. But don't just take our word for it. "I'm gonna let you in on a little secret," Agent Cooper once said. "Every day, give yourself a little present."
Rock Of Pages
Hard-core fans of Bruce Springsteen who want to revel in the observations of fellow followers might not even know to put this book on their gift list: For You (see www.foryoubruce.com) is a limited-run, $50 hardcover with hundreds of concert photos. Primary text: E-mail-type recollections about first shows and memorable moments. The Boss himself might like to read it.