8 gifts for your favorite literature lover

From an annotated version of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's 'Frankenstein' to the year's most-talked about graphic novel, you should be able to find something special on this list for your favorite booklover – whether that's you or somebody else.

1. 'The Annotated Frankenstein,' by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley and edited by Susan J. Wolfson and Ronald Levao

Mary Shelley's classic tale of the doctor who awakened a monster (Harvard University Press, $30, 400 pp.) gets an expanded treatment in the edition edited by Wolfson and Levao. This new treatment includes notes on Shelley's life and highlights literary allusions within the book. For example, after the line by the Creature "Cursed, cursed creator! Why did I live?," a note compares the text to a quote from the Bible in which Job raged, "Let the day perish I was born." The note points out that the Creature has gone further than Job by cursing his creator as well.

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

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