It’s never easy to find gifts for each family member or friend, especially within the budget we all seem to exceed each year. Books, though, are gifts that continue to add joy and value to people’s lives. The Maple Street staff has put together some suggestions that will help you find gifts for everyone on your NICE list.

My pick for toddlers is Heads by Matthew Van Fleet, the bestselling author of Alphabet
and Tails. Heads has eight pull tabs, seven pettable textures, and surprises on every page as a
cast of irresistible animal use their heads to demonstrate opposites, and actions and more.

For children 4-8, The Famous Nini by Mary Nethery is a picture book charmer! Nini is a stray cat living in Venice on the Piazza San Marco, where she helps the famous composer Verdi find the right note. Soon famous people from all over the world come to seek advice from the famous Nini.  Mary Nethery is also the author of Two Bobbies:  A True Story of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship, and Survival.
Young adults will enjoy Forge by Laurie Halse Anderson, the long awaited sequel to Chains. In this second novel, Curzon fights for his freedom as well as the freedom of the Americans who revolt against King George. The reader also finds out what happens to Isabel, the central character in Chains, a National Book Award Finalist.


~Cindy Dike, Children’s Book Buyer and Event Planner


You Are Where You Eat: Stories and Recipes from the Neighborhoods of New Orleans by Elsa Hahne

Cookbooks make excellent gifts for the holiday season. This cookbook combines first-person accounts of life in the various neighborhoods in New Orleans with a selection of recipes just as diverse. “This sounds like a fantastic book/gift idea,” you say, “but I don’t have anyone in my life who would appreciate such a thing.” Well, you still have time to find that person for whom this would make a terrific gift. Check out your local restaurants, farmers’ markets, grocery stores, parking lots, or heck, even Craigslist.

~Matt Carney, Bookseller/Student of the World

Subtitled “The Writers and Artists Who Made the National Lampoon Insanely Great,” Drunk, Stoned, Brilliant, Dead by Rick Meyerowitz is for those of us who, in the past decade or so, have forgotten how to laugh out loud and could use a little levity in our lives. This book chronicles the early life of the National Lampoon and its people, many of whom went on to develop classics of American humor. Give this to your grinch for the holidays.

Jon Stewart never fails to entertain. His newest, Earth (The Book), is a guide to the human race and all its quirks, qualms, and foibles. This one is sure to make the holidays a little less stressful, even when Aunt Mimi decides to take her teeth out and place them on the table in front of your new in-laws.

The Landmark Arrian:  The Campaigns of Alexander is illustrated and annotated and provides an extensive account of Alexander and his campaigns. This book also provides some basis for tensions still lingering in the world today.


Need a fabulous stocking stuffer? Penguin made postcards out of 100 of its covers and put them together in a boxed set. These postcards are almost too fabulous to send.


~Donna Allen, Owner



Here at the store, we like to support local artists, writers, and the like, as we have been supported by this community. We can’t get more local than our own bookseller, Francesca “Frahn” Koerner. At both the new and the used store, we have many of Frahn’s prints in card-form. If you are looking for something a little bigger for the collector in your family, we also have some of her original artwork at the store.

Inside the Painter’s Studio features interviews with several of my favorite Contemporary artists: Gregory Amenoff, Ross Bleckner,  Inka Essenhigh, Mary Heilmann, Julie Mehretu,  and Fred Tomaselli. This one is on my “wish list.”




I’ve glanced through Cage: 6 Paintings by Gerhard Richter at Tulane and it is awesome. Richter is my favorite painter.


~Francesca Koerner, Bookseller/Our Artist-in-Residence






When my husband and I visited New Orleans this past April (he was interviewing for a job at Tulane), I visited the BIG THREE in town and picked up a copy of Mr. New Orleans: The Life of a Big Easy Underworld Legend along the way. I was so enthralled by the central character and the way he communicates, I sought out a friend and her screenplay writing mister to see about getting movie rights. This book is a fun read for those inside and outside of the Crescent City, who want to touch the edge if not live on it.


Need to buy something for an animal lover? Need to make someone cry? Julie Klam’s book, You Had Me at Woof:  How Dogs Taught Me the Secrets of Happiness, is just the biscuit. We are hoping to get Julie to the store, and I’m hoping she coauthors my next book about cats with me. Julie has tentatively suggested You Had Me at Meow: How I Became the Crazy Cat Lady.

One does not need to be a sci-fi fanatic to enjoy Charles Yu’s How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe. I reviewed it for our blog earlier this year, and the message of this book about a time travel machine repairman will resonate with everyone. Plus, the main character has a fictional dog, girlfriend, family. Yu, himself, may even be fictional.

I sometimes, when not bookselling, teach English, depends on the day and my mood. As such, I am always on the lookout for things I can use in the classroom. Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self by Danielle Evans is a perfect collection of short stories for the hard-to-engage high school set. Never too racy, the stories touch on issues which can become fodder for discussion, journal entries, and personal narratives. A great gift for the English teacher or the student.

I’m reading The Secret History of MI6: 1909-1946 as I try to do a bit of research for my own writing, and I would like to throw this book title out there as another suggestion for the hard-to-buy-for intelligence officer in your life.  Novel Teas, which just arrived, have literary/bookish quotes on their tea tags (“Never judge a book by its movie.” ~JW Eagan). Think of the chuckles someone could have writing out a postcard from the Penguin box set and sipping on Novel Tea. Also, we have these nifty Marie Laveau Voodoo Priestess Paper Dolls. I bought a set for my niece because I wanted to own them. She lives in Virginia;  you see my problem.

~Veronica K. Brooks-Sigler, Bookseller/Social Medium

Christmas Stories edited by Diana Secker Tesdall–This is a beautiful book featuring classic holiday stories by great writers including Truman Capote’s “A Christmas Memory,” my personal favorite.


Our Kind of Traitor by John la Carre’–The old master of the espionage novel is back and in peak form.



Venice:  Pure City–Peter Ackroyd’s fascinating  history of Venice creates a desire to drop everything and jump on the next plane to this remarkable city.

Daring Pairings by Evan Goldstein–This book contains unique pairings of wine and food with recipes by  top chefs which make the the head spin and the taste buds thirst to try these extraordinary combinations.

Coming Back:  New Orleans Resurgent–Mario Tama’s powerful photographs of the city and her people are inspirational. No one has created a stronger portrait of the city after Hurricane Katrina.




~Gladin Scott, Manager and Event Planner

Merry Merry from Maple Street

7523/7529 Maple Street

New Orleans, LA 70118