Moscow But Dreaming
By Ekaterina Sedia (Prime Books)
What it is: Sedia is a Russian-born author of strange, lyrical fantasies who teaches science in Philly’s South Jersey suburbs when she’s not writing fairy tales about feminist wind-up robots and beach houses that drift off to sea. Her latest book collects 21 short fictions featuring ghost stories about beer, adopted children plagued by monsters, the absurdity of Nigerian-style email spam and a tale whose title, “Zombie Lenin,” pretty much says it all.
Who it’s for: Short story lovers, urban fantasy readers, Russian Americans.
Where to get it: Available wherever books are sold. (S.H.S.)
Scrabble-esque Drink Coasters
What it is: Local designer Bryan Sculthorpe, a.k.a. YardsalePress on Etsy, is responsible for one limited-edition gift that’s currently in the process of selling out at South Philly boutique Nice Things Handmade: wooden coasters in the form of oversized Scrabble-style tiles. Buy the letters of your friends’ initials as unusual monographed gifts! If other holiday shoppers beat you to the punch, Nice Things Handmade has lots more budget-minded artistry to offer as well, like Volta Organics’ all-new line of candles and Paul Carpenter’s Phanatic tote bags and T-shirts.
Who it’s for: Significant others who work a desk job, board game junkies, Facebook pals who won’t stop nudging you to play Words With Friends.
Where to get it: Nice Things Handmade, 1731 E. Passyunk Ave. 267.455.0256. nicethingshandmade.com (S.H.S.)
Education, the arts, disaster relief, counseling services, retail charity: These are just a few worthy local causes to donate to this season.
Calendar: Aug. 26-Sept. 2