"The Luminaries" by Eleanor Catton; Little, Brown, $27.
This Booker Prize-winning period piece is huge, sprawling and -- depending on whom you talk to -- either a wonder or impenetrable. But no serious reader should ignore it.
"The Goldfinch" by Donna Tartt; Little, Brown, $30.
On everyone's top 10 list this year, from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "The Secret History." A mesmerizing novel of a boy's journey into adulthood, propelled by a terrorist's bomb and a priceless painting by an Old Master, with stops on New York's Upper East Side, Las Vegas and Amsterdam.
These exquisite works of art are from Scribe on Filbert Street in Shadyside. Ranging in price from $10 to $18 each, they are engraved in gold and hand-painted by Bernard Meisner, an internationally renowned calligrapher, stationer and contemporary artist. Place them in a book you treasure.
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Caliban, Pittsburgh's one-of-a-kind used and rare book store on Craig Street in Oakland, has a first edition of the great American novel "Huckleberry Finn," published in 1884 in England; $3,000. There is also a rare 1828 Pittsburgh Directory for $450, listing everyone's trade or occupation as well as address. Most of these directories were destroyed in Pittsburgh's Great Fire of 1845.
"Mad About the Boy" by Helen Fielding; Random House, $26.95.
Bridget Jones is back. We won't spoil anything but suffice to say she is out "there" again (draw your own conclusions), getting into all kinds of predicaments that will resonate with any woman over a certain age.
Melanin reading glasses, The Sharper Image, $49.
These aren't the chicest reading glasses in the world, but they contain melanin, the pigment that gives our eyes their color and filters out glare and harsh blue light. As we age, our eyes lose melanin and become more tired and sensitive. These glasses promise to make your eyes feel better instantly. Available in strengths 1.25, 1.5, 2, 2.5. www.sharperimage.com.
"Doctor Sleep" by Stephen King; Scribner, $30
The gripping sequel to "The Shining," 36 years later. Little Danny Torrance -- son of Jack Torrance, played so murderously and memorably by Jack Nicholson in the film (remember "Here's Johnny!"?) -- is now in his 40s and works as an orderly at a hospice, helping terminally ill patients die. Scary events ensue and some reviewers think it's better than the original.
Timothy Richards is based in England and makes exquisite architectural plaster models of the world's great buildings, from the Royal Opera House in London to the Flatiron Building in New York to the Hotel Central in Prague. They can stand alone as art or, as with this model of Ellis Island, serve as bookends. Available at Penhollows, 244A S. Highland Ave., Shadyside; $540.
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