Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Gift Guide: Books

You can read through all my Book Reports if you like, but I decided to put together a gift guide based on books I've read over the last 13 years. (I keep a list.) Some are old and some are new. There are a lot of great books out there that I haven't read that would probably make wonderful presents for someone. But I've read all of these and can guarantee them.

Remember, when it comes to reading books there are no guarantees.

Here's a thought, you could also ask for any of these books for yourself for Christmas. 

For your teenaged daughter or niece (who might be in need of a make-under): Bobbi Brown Teenage Beauty: Everything You Need to Look Pretty, Natural, Sexy & Awesome or Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold

Great books for your mom or dad:
Shipping News: A Novel (Scribner Classics)
The Ladies Auxiliary (Ballantine Reader's Circle)
 Major Pettigrew's Last Stand: A Novel
Angela's Ashes: A Memoir
Little Heathens: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression
"Why Do I Love These People?": Understanding, Surviving, and Creating Your Own Family.

And here's a nice way to tell them to take better care of themselves: YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger

Need a present for a college grad? Try  The Promise or The Chosen (Ballantine Reader's Circle) or What Should I Do with My Life?: The True Story of People Who Answered the Ultimate Question.

For someone poor (things are tough all over): Debt-Proof Living: The Complete Guide to Living Financially Free (Debt-Proof Living (Paperback))

For the aspiring writer, my favorite book about writing by Stephen King:  On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft or The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life.

For your favorite grade schooler: Harry Potter Paperback Box Set (Books 1-7) and Harry Potter: The Complete 8-Film Collection. Oh my goodness. I am so excited for them. Also, Truce: The Day the Soldiers Stopped Fighting would make a wonderful Christmas book.

A little boy who can read would probably like The Calvin and Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book.

A little girl who can read needs Miracles on Maple Hill and The Little House Collection Box Set (Full Color).

And here are some good ones for your girl friends or anyone newly married or a new mom or an old mom:
The Family Manager's Everyday Survival Guide
Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House
House Thinking: A Room-by-Room Look at How We Live (P.S.)
To Hell with All That: Loving and Loathing Our Inner Housewife
The Perfectly Imperfect Home: How to Decorate and Live Well
The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun, she also has a newer book which would make a great gift, but I haven't read it yet.

For someone who appreciates funny: A Girl Named Zippy: Growing Up Small in Mooreland, Indiana or Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim and I Was Told There'd Be Cake: Essays or Notes from the Underwire: Adventures from My Awkward and Lovely Life. I recommend these bitterly because they are basically the books I wanted to write but let's be honest: It's too late for me.

For the cool music-loving person:
High Fidelity
Bumping Into Geniuses: My Life Inside the Rock and Roll Business
Talking to Girls About Duran Duran: One Young Man's Quest for True Love and a Cooler Haircut Corn Flakes with John Lennon: And Other Tales from a Rock 'n' Roll Life
Seriously. I love all of these books.

For your literary pal with LOTS of time on their hands: Drood.

For people who like the idea of Twilight but are smart: The Historian.

For pregnant people: Beyond Jennifer & Jason, Madison & Montana: What to Name Your Baby Now. It's the best baby-naming book ever. Also, NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children.

For a sweet friend who loves animals and is kind of old-fashioned: All Creatures Great and Small.

If you know anyone who really loves poetry (you probably don't): The Trouble with Poetry and Other Poems.

For sewing and crafting friends or possibly grandmas:
The Creative Family: How to Encourage Imagination and Nurture Family Connections
Weekend Sewing: More Than 40 Projects and Ideas for Inspired Stitching
 The Gentle Art of Domesticity: Stitching, Baking, Nature, Art & the Comforts of Home.

Your foodie friend wants to own: The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons, and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution and Make the Bread, Buy the Butter: What You Should (and Shouldn't!) Cook from Scratch to Save Time and Money.

My faves for everyone: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (with bonus content): A Novel and The Intentional Family: Simple Rituals to Strengthen Family Ties and The History of Love: A Novel also Maus: A Survivor's Tale.

Also, of course, The Book Thief. And also, Peace Like a River.

I also really like The Submission: A Novel and The Sisters Brothers and The Family Fang: A Novel.

What could be easier? Books are simple to wrap, too--because they are rectangles. Or you can give Kindle or Nook editions. Or maybe you're that generous kid who gets their mom a Kindle and loads it up with all of these in order to become her favorite child. I don't know what your budget or intentions are. And I don't care. It's Christmas.


  1. What, no recommendations for your post-apocalyptic obsessed gal pal? ;)

    You're the best--this is a great list.

    1. That's a glaring omission Hailey! I would get you The Passage and The Twelve and special collected editions of The Walking Dead comics, of course.

  2. Once again, Kacy, you are spot on. Little Heathens and Why do I Love These People are both on my top 10 list.

    Hailey - You should read "Genesis" by Bernard Beckett. I'm a cheater and read the end of books before I really get there. I did that with this one, and it still ended up surprising me...

  3. Yay. I love posts like this.

    My mom was just telling me about The Ladies Auxiliary like 2 days ago.

    I will now proceed to read all of these. Except for the ones I've read: Little House, Calvin & Hobbes, Harry Potter (although I only read the first 4 HP--sorry--will repent someday); Home Comforts; To Hell with All That; Happiness Project; Angela's Ashes; Pettigrew; loved all of those. Couldn't get into Peace like a River or Shipping News but maybe I'll try again.


  4. Oh yes and Nurture Shock. I liked that one too.

  5. Love the list, have you made any lists for music gift giving? I would LOVE to see one!

  6. Jacqui9:42 PM

    Great recommendations! I've just downloaded a bunch of these as samples (for Kindle). Can't wait to give them a try. Have you read Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple ? I really identified with the quirky main character. I think you may enjoy it but I'd love to hear your opinion.

  7. I love when you blog about books. I love that you are smart about your reviews and list actual reasons for your opinions. Your blog has lead me to many excellent reads. Please keep making lists like this, and I will promise to keep reading your blog, even though I disagree with you on The Book Thief and The History of Love. Both could have been so great, but kind of fizzled. I hate that wasted potential. I prefer a book to just be lame or excellent all the way through.

  8. Thanks for the list! I just got The Creative Habit from the library. And I love All Creatures Great and Small ... now I feel like a farm granny.


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