It's getting to the point at which we are thinking about provisioning gifts to commemorate the holidays, and show respect, friendship, or love.
In addition to showing respect or friendship to those to whom we give the gifts, though, we can do so also to those whose creations we choose as gifts. I'd like to make some recommendations, and then throw the discussion open for your suggestions. The idea should be that we highlight as potential gifts things made by our friends, and/or those we respect and wish to encourage in their arts.
West Oversea, by Lars Walker. "King Olaf Trygvesson is dead, but his sister’s husband, Erling Skjalgsson, carries on his dream of a Christian Norway that preserves its traditional freedoms. Rather than do a dishonorable deed, Erling relinquishes his power and lands. He and his household board ships and sail west..."
Tale of the Tigers, by Julianne Ochieng. "What is the Tale of the Tigers? At a southwestern university, a young man and a young woman do something that’s done every day: they fall in love. There’s just one thing–he’s white and she’s black. Set in the early 1990s, Tale of the Tigers tells the story of how the tables have turned on race relations and sexual jealousy and of how two young Americans weather the storm of that heritage in the post-Civil Rights Era."
I met and was very impressed by the harpist Sarah Marie Mullen. I'd like to recommend her music, especially for those interested in the Celtic harp; but she is classically trained and, particularly in Harper's Bizarre, extends to French, Andalusian, and some eastern European forms.
Weapons of War:
I would appreciate suggestions from you in this area. Of the three best weaponsmiths I knew, one died last year; another gave up his work due to arthritis; the third went out of business due to the economy. I know no craftsman whose work in steel suits me, although there are some reasonably good production companies now.