Gift guide: Gifts for book nerds

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

"Heart of Darkness," by Joseph Conrad, illustrated by Matt Kish

You may remember Columbus resident Kish's spellbinding book from 2011, "Moby Dick in Pictures: One Drawing for Every Page." This month brings us Kish's new illustrated classic. Bright greens and yellows, eyeballs, leaves and skulls peer out from Kish's gorgeously unsettling art in this edition.

"What Is Amazing," Heather Christle

"They asked me if I was on fire and I said No no no no/ no no no I did not want to make trouble I was lying I was/ on fire..." So begins one poem in Heather Christle's recent poetry collection, "What Is Amazing." These poems will set your brain on fire, in the most pleasant way. Endearingly manic, dazzled, surreal and compassionate - this book is such a gift!

"Tampa," Alissa Nutting

This novel introduces us to the young and beautiful Celeste Price, an 8th grade English teacher. And unabashed sexual predator. We follow her exploits with her students, and try as we might, cannot look away. Nutting's book is funny, deeply creepy and not for the faint of heart!

"Cash Out: A Celebration of the Man in Black," 2 Headed Monster Comics

An inventive collection of comics honoring Johnny Cash, from the ever-inventive Columbus-based 2 Headed Monster Comics. Readers will enjoy vignettes from Cash's autobiography, instructions for a dance to accompany "I've Been Everywhere" and a zombie Johnny Cash playing at the Newport. Extra cool: proceeds from the book go to SOS Children's Villages, a charity that Cash was involved with.

"Sermons and Lectures Both Blank and Relentless," Matt Hart

Matt Hart's poems are noisy, rebellious, informed by punk rock and pop culture. But in the same breath, they are earnest and full of reverence. "Feedback is sound when it's eating itself," one poem reads, "...There's nothing I like better than a soundtrack for mischief."

Photo credits:

Heart of Darkness image: Photo courtesy of Tin House Books

What Is Amazing image: Photo courtesy of Wesleyan University Press

Tampa image: Photo courtesy of Ecco Press

Cash Out image: Photo courtesy of 2 Headed Monster Comics

Sermons and Lectures: Photo courtesy of Typecast Publishing