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Gift suggestions from Mark Hemingway:

3. Paul Newman died this year, an event which led to the appalling discovery that my wife had not seen Cool Hand Luke. I heartily recommend you prevent such gaps in taste by purchasing the Deluxe Edition DVD. Even better, few people know that the movie is based on a terrific book. Besides being a tragically overlooked writer, the author — Donn Pearce — has been a World War II veteran, merchant marine, safecracker, counterfeiter, and private investigator. His life story is something else. Not surprisingly, Pearce actually spent time on a Florida chain gang, which inspired Cool Hand Luke. In any event, it’s a crime that Pearce’s writing talents remain under-appreciated.

4. I try and avoid metrosexual accoutrements, but my wife has the temerity to insist on me being “presentable.” As winter nears, my lips tend to crack badly — so thank goodness my better half gave me with this John Allan’s Spearmint Lime Lip Balm. It’s not cheap, but it works great and I love the stuff. My skin also dries out a lot this time of year, so I also have my wife to thank for supplying me with Kiehl’s Facial Fuel, which is invigorating in a manly-enough way that I can forget for a moment that I’m, egad, moisturizing.

More here. The lines are much better than at the mall.


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