We asked the book lovers at the Ivy Bookshop — “Baltimore’s literary book store” — to give us a few suggestions for gift giving this year. Here are some staff favorites.

From Ed Berlin, Ivy Bookshop Co-owner

 Fiction: An American Spy by Olen Steinhauer

On the heels of bestsellers The Tourist and The Nearest Exit,  An American Spy, follows the adventures of CIA agent Milo Weaver and is said to be Steinhauer’s most stunning thriller yet.

Non-fiction: Why I Left Goldman Sachs by Greg Smith

Who can forget last March when Greg Smith, a former vice president at Goldman Sachs, made a scorching exit from the Wall Street investment bank with a searing Op-Ed in the New York Times?  Now comes his book, which picks up where the Op-Ed left off with more details about the nation’s most high-profile investment bank.

Coffee Table Book: Elegantissima by Louise Fili

Elegantissima covers the nearly forty-year design career  of Louise Fili, an artist whose elegant designs created over 2,000 book jackets and  helped market Sarabeth’s, Bella Cucina, Jean-Georges, and Good Housekeeping and other brands. A must-have for graphic design students and professionals.

From Ann Berlin, Ivy Bookshop Co-owner (who likes the classics)

The Wine of Solitude by Irene Nemirovsky

The Wine of Solitude follows the Karol family through the Great War and the Russian Revolution, as the young Hélène grows from a dreamy, unhappy child into a strongwilled young woman.

One Last Thing Before I Go by Jonathan Tropper

The bestselling author of This Is Where I Leave You returns with a hilarious and heart-rending tale about one family’s struggle to reconnect.

From Greg Sesek, Manager of Events and Institutional Partnerships,

Thomas Jefferson – The Art of Power by Jon Meacham

This biography by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham gives us Jefferson the politician and president, a great and complex man engaged in the wars of his era.

Coffee Table book: Cartier – The Tank Watch: Timeless Style by Franco Cologni and Eric Sauvage

This elegant volume traces the story of the celebrated Tank from its inception in 1917 throughout the century. An illustrated history in three parts, the book covers the evolution of the design and tells the story of the famous people who wore them. An extensively researched, comprehensive catalogue follows, featuring more than 250 vintage models drawn from Cartier’s archives as well as numerous private collections around the world.

Charlotte Moss: A Visual Life by Charlotte Moss

The interior designer’s latest book is devoted to design inspiration from the notebooks of great women of style—including interior designer Elsie de Wolfe and society doyenne Gloria Vanderbilt—all never before published. Organized by theme—home, garden, entertaining and more—each chapter includes examples of Moss’s style mingled with excerpts from the scrapbooks of these great women.

From Shirley Ferguson, Chief Fiction Reader

Love Bomb by Lisa Zeidner

In her most masterful novel yet, Zeidner gives us a tough yet tender social comedy, a romance with guts, a serious frolic written out of deep affection for all that it skewers.





Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

When Harold Fry leaves home one morning to post a letter he has no idea that he is about to walk from one end of the country to the other. He has no hiking boots or map. All he knows is that he must keep walking to save someone else’s life.

According to the Random House website, this book has been long-listed for the Man Booker Prize 2012.





Other Ivy faves for the holidays:

Shoegasm by Claire Anthony, Preface by Manolo Blahnik

The last two decades have seen an explosion of creativity in footwear design. Sexy laced-up sandals, sky-high platform heels, and outrageously decorated shoes are seen on fashionable women everywhere, from the catwalk to the street. In Shoegasm, find page after page of footwear from fashion icons such as Christian Louboutin, Manolo Blahnik, Vivienne Westwood, and Alexander McQueen, as well as exciting young designers like Nicholas Kirkwood, Charlotte Olympia, and collaborators Rem D. Koohhaas and Galahad Clark. You’ll also see shoes that are truly wearable art from innovators like Kobi Levi, Julian Hakes, and Marloes Ten Bhomer.


Bouchon Bakery by Thomas Keller

The tastes of childhood have always been a touchstone for Thomas Keller, and in this dazzling amalgam of American and French baked goods, you’ll find recipes for TKOs and Oh Ohs (Keller’s takes on Oreos and Hostess’s Ho Hos) and all the French classics he fell in love with as a young chef apprenticing in Paris: the baguettes, the macarons, the mille-feuilles, the tartes aux fruits.



The Ivy Bookshop is located at 6080 Falls Road.  Holiday hours: Mon–Sat: 10am–7pm and Sun: 11am–6pm.  For more information, visit the Ivy Bookshop website.