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:
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
Sewing: More Than 40 Projects and Ideas for Inspired
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.