Picking the season’s best books — for everyone from plutocrats to paupers

Reading class
By EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  December 6, 2011
Books were once the world’s easiest holiday gift. As recently as last year, you could buy any old book and its recipient could take it back to Borders for the full cover price in store credit. But giving books has become a whole lot more difficult: Borders is out of business, and Barnes and Noble won’t take anything back without a receipt (trust me, I’ve tried).

Fortunately, in recent months, Americans have become acutely aware of class divisions — thus it’s possible to choose books for your friends and family based on their income bracket. Below are picks for plutocrats and paupers alike.



CRIMES IN SOUTHERN INDIANA | FRANK BILL | FSG | $15 |Frank Bill doesn't have an MFA. Frank Bill is from Indiana. Frank Bill has not only somehow managed to write a book but to publish it with Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, perhaps the most respectable house in contemporary literature (and one whose editor-in-chief matriculated from both Harvard and Phillips Exeter Academy). As unlikely as Bill's success might seem, it's all true - just check FSG's publicity material for the veracity of his gritty, blue-collar credentials. Crimes in Southern Indiana, Bill's debut collection of short stories, sheds light on the depraved nature of the working class in the flyover states. Chilling, but so very necessary.



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