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Gift guide: Books

Editor Jonathan Messinger's picks for the smartypants in your life.


For The Girl Who’s a Completist About Her Swedish Thrillers
Though Stieg Larsson died before completing what was reportedly set to be a decalogy, that doesn’t mean the Millennium books end at a trilogy. The Millennium Trilogy Box Set ($99) repackages all three thrillers, bound in full cloth and printed with maps and full-color endpapers. There’s also a new book, On Stieg Larsson, included, which features correspondence with the author and his original editors, and essays by his contemporaries. The correspondence is nothing too surprising, though it does offer some insight on the nuts and bolts of publishing. And heck, just admit it: You’re buying it for the pretty versions of the books, anyway. Buy it at The Book Cellar, 4736–38 N Lincoln Ave (773-293-2665).

Arthouse rock
Though we’re constantly impressed and enthralled by the work that contemporary poster artists are doing for bands these days, it’s hard not to be blown away by the work in The Art of Classic Rock (Collins Design, $50). David Bowie’s spaced-out androgyny alone was apparently a prolific muse, and even Alice Cooper’s catalog provoked some profound creativity. Pick it up at Women and Children First, 5233 N Clark St (773-769-9299).

Movie madness
Nerds tend to travel in herds, so where there’s a book buff, there’s a movie maniac. Soft Skull has just launched a series of books called Deep Focus, in which novelists pontificate on the splendor of cinema’s dark corners. To kick off the series, they’ve invited Christopher Sorrentino to write about Charles Bronson’s Death Wish, and Jonathan Lethem to toy around with cult classic They Live (both sell for $13.95). Pick them up at Quimby’s, 1854 W North Ave (773-342-0910).

Studio 54 (pages)
With National Novel Writing Month coming to a close, you may have someone on your list who has a whole lot of pages and not a lot of ideas of what to do next. Check out StoryStudio Chicago, the stalwart writing studio in Ravenswood that offers classes on every aspect of the writing career. Gift certificates, we’re told, are a hot holiday item there. Pick them up at StoryStudio Chicago, 4043 N Ravenswood Ave, #222 (773-477-7710).

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