Shopping for the Holidays: Not Hard with Books

It’s that time of year again. I’m running from shop to shop doing my normal, last minute “What should I buy for that person?” routine. And if you know me at all, you know that my favorite present is a book.

I buy them for everyone.

Pretty much, if you know me in the real world, and I am getting you a present, you are getting a book.

The better I know you the more I will try to find something I really, really think you will love because of the television, books or whatever entertainment we have babbled about incessantly and how well I think I know your taste.

And if I really, really like you, I will throw you a surprise.

Like, “I know you love x, y and z. So, I got you this. I hope you love it.”

This year my presents are a bit more focused. Here’s what I’m giving to people:

For the book nerd:

A Novel Bookstore by Laurence Cosse

This book. You guys. I cannot get over this book. I read it two years ago. Two years ago, this book was on every single Staff Recommendations shelf I passed. The basic plot is that there is a bookstore where the stock is decided by committee, and they only stock “good” novels. This leads to judgment in the community, and then people are attacked, and it’s totally a mystery. I love it. And I want you to love it too.

For the classic literature fan:

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

Okay, this book is wonderful. And if you have a family member or a friend who reads a lot of classic literature – okay a lot of classic European literature – this is a great choice. The themes in this book that resonate are about socioeconomics, prejudice and the soul. They dig deep. They make you uncomfortable. And Rowling still speaks to the heart like she spoke to Harry Potter. Readers want to like it, and I was really pleasantly surprised by how much I did.

For the fantasy fan:

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I reread this book twice, cover to cover, this year. It is glorious and lush and beautiful. I want to give it to my stepmother for Christmas. I think part of what I connected to so well in this book was the embedded metaphors for the written word here. My love of printed pages is well documented. This book plays with actual world built by paper and ink and written on pages. I want to live there.

For the sci-fi fan:

Saga by Brian K. Vaughn

You may not read comic books, but you should read this one. There are people with televisions for heads. There are space ships and ghosts and magic and lasers. I froth at the mouth on new comic day when I know that this is going to be released. If you’re not reading it, you should be. I swear to you, it’s going to be as influential as Star Wars in ten years.

These are my holiday shopping choices this year. There may be a few more. Things that are a little older school: The Unwritten trades, and Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. Let’s be honest, Ender’s Game is totally my go-to present. I give it to everyone. I gave it to my sister in law two years ago, and she judged me because she thought I was judging her because she hadn’t read it yet.

Spoiler: I was.

But now she’s read it. And my giving it to her got my brother to reread it too so family gatherings have included moments of “OH MY GOD, REMEMBER WHEN” a lot for the last year.

I kind of love it.

I hope that these book purchases lead to the same reactions.

Image via Shutterstock

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