Slate Fare

What Slate Readers Are Buying This Christmas

Last-minute gift ideas based on what you’re buying at

Slate has an affiliate relationship with, which means that when you click on an Amazon link from Slate, we get a small percentage of what you purchase while you’re there, whether it’s an item from President Obama’s summer reading list, a Kitchen Aid mixer, or a new pair of socks. Don’t be alarmed: We have zero access to anyone’s personal or account information. We don’t know who bought what (rest easy, whoever bought all those Snuggies and tuxedo T-shirts), just that items were purchased via a link from Slate. As you’re planning your final gift-buying, we thought you might be interested in seeing which items are especially popular with your fellow Slate readers this holiday season:

The most popular book among Slate readers on Amazon was A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction. Other favorites were Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel; Bank Notes, by Ken Habarta; The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science, by Richard Holmes; and Soccernomics: Why England Loses, Why Germany and Brazil Win, and Why the U.S., Japan, Australia, Turkey—and Even Iraq—Are Destined to Become the  Kings of the Worlds Most Popular Sport, by Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski.

Other interesting trends: If Slate had a reader best-seller list, Between Parent and Child: The Bestselling Classic That Revolutionized Parent-Child Communication would be on it just about every month, along with Fix It Write, a book about improving one’s handwriting. Also, Slate readers must be foodies: Cooking with the 60-Minute Gourmet: 300 Rediscovered Recipes from Pierre Franey’s Classic New York Times Column was a popular choice. What’s in a name? As we all try to contemplate the receding economic crisis and prepare for the challenges facing us, it’s worth noting that A Short History of Financial Euphoria was purchased more often than the The Long Emergency: Surviving the End of Oil, Climate Change, and Other Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century.

Among DVDs, Gomorrahwas the best-seller. But almost as many people were hot after COLLISION: Christopher Hitchens vs. Douglas Wilson, in which Hitchens, Slate contributor and noted atheist, debates Wilson, the famous theologian. Copies of An Inconvenient Truth are also moving briskly among you, perhaps because of Copenhagen.

Many of you have ignored Farhad Manjoo’s advice to save money by purchasing older models of the hottest new gadgets. Lots of Slate readers’ loved will find the newest models of the iPod nano and iPod touch in their stockings on Christmas. If you’re not getting an iPod, have no fear. You might be getting a Flip UltraHD Camcorder, a Kindle, or a digital camera, or perhaps a Canon PowerShot, all popular with Slate readers.

And, finally, video games. Our critics in the Gaming Club spent a week debating the merits of Assassin’s Creed 2, Call of Duty 2: Modern Warfare, and Dragon Age: Origins. So we’re not sure how they’ll react when they hear that you bought just as many copies of Lego Star Wars and Lego Indiana Jones.

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