The Bookworm Sez
The following are selected from The Bookworm’s holiday gift suggestions. – Mark
The gift list was easy this year.
For once, you knew what to get everybody. Every. Single. Giftee. Easy-peasy… except, oops, that one person who vexes you each year.
What to get? Well, books are always good gifts, and they’re super-easy to wrap, too. How about one of these great selections for that One Person…
For the independent traveler on your list, “Paris for One & Other Stories” by Jojo Moyes might be a great bon voyage gift. It’s a collection of short stories about change, opportunity, independence, and life in general. Pair it with “The Jungle Around Us: Stories” by Anne Raeff. It’s a collection of tales with the jungle, its mystery, darkness, and richness, as both metaphor and connecting force here.
The reader on your gift list who prefers books set in other time periods will love “Cruel Beautiful World” by Caroline Leavitt. It’s a 1960s-era story of a woman who chooses a man over the sister who basically raised her, and the dynamics of family. Put it together with “Jazz Moon” by Joe Okonkwo, a book set in Harlem, 1925, where Paris is where it’s at, baby.
The person who loves a little mid-century drama will enjoy “The Jealous Kind” by James Lee Burke. It’s a bit of a Romeo-and-Juliet novel set in the 1950s in Texas, at a time when the line between the “haves” and the “have-nots” was drawn in the sand with danger, and money talked a lot. Definitely wrap it up with another great drama-mystery, “Manitou Canyon” by William Kent Krueger. Cork O’Connor is back and sleuthing. Fans, rejoice.
I’m guessing there’s a mystery fan on your list. Imagine his face when he unwraps “Seduced: A Hannah Smith Novel” by Randy Wayne White. In this novel, fishing guide and part time PI Hannah Smith goes in search of heirloom orange tree seeds – or maybe even rootstock – to save an industry. But what she wants…? So do others, whose intentions aren’t as pure.
Historical novel lovers will devour “News of the World” by Paulette Jiles, a book set in Texas in the years following the Civil War. When a down-and-out former Captain of the military is hired to deliver an orphan girl to her distant relatives, he partakes an adventure – not just through rough terrain, but through rocky childcaring, too. Wrap it up with “The German Girl” by Armando Lucas Correa, a multigenerational novel about home, based on a true story.
Dog lovers will howl over “Jonathan Unleashed” by Meg Rosoff. It’s the story of a man who’s at the end of his leash, and his brother’s dogs, who begin to show him that dogs are smarter than they seem. Wrap it up with another perfect book for your dog lover: “Lily and the Octopus” by Steven Rowley, the story of a man, his aging, best friend, and love.
And won’t the pet lover on your list love getting “A Guinea Pig Oliver Twist” in that package, too? Yes, it’s Dickens as you’ve never seen him before…
For the true crime buff, “Trials of the Century” by Mark J. Phillips & Aryn Z. Phillips is a great go-to gift. What made Sam Sheppard’s case, the Lindbergh baby, and Charles Manson leap onto the headlines? This book looks at those famous cases, and more…Wrap it up with “I Will Find You” by Joanna Connors, a story of a reporter who finally reveals a crime she had to hide, and the man who committed it.
The new homeowner will love opening “Detroit Hustle: A Memoir of Love, Life & Home” by Amy Haimerl. It’s the story of a couple who bought a fixer-upper in one of the country’s most economically-hard-hit areas, and how four walls can become a place to call home. Wrap it up with “Detroit Resurrected” by Nathan Bomey, a book about that city, its bankruptcy, and its path toward getting back on track.
Is there someone on your gift list who loves nothing more than to be scared? The one who longs for a different holiday? If so, “The Monster Book” by Nick Redfern is what you want to wrap up. Using quick chapters and scattered photos, this book informs, entertains and (good for your giftee) scares! Definitely wrap it up with “Real Visitors, Voices from Beyond, and Parallel Dimensions” by Brad Steiger and Sherry Hansen Steiger. Ooooooh, then shiver!
The person on your gift list with the most wanderlust will love having “The Handy California Answer Book” by Kevin S. Hile. It’s a book filled with fun-to-know facts about California, in a Q-and-A format and it contains everything you need to know. If the other side of the country is where your giftee is headed, look for “The Handy Boston Answer Book” by Samual Willard Crompton.
The new mother on your gift list – or, for that matter, the experienced Mom – will love opening “Navigating Live: Things I Wish My Mother Had Told Me” by Margaux Bergen. It’s a meditation on things to know, and things to share. Wrap it up with “Corsets & Codpieces” by Karen Bowman, a book about the things we wore (and wish Mom had warned us about!) throughout history.
Is there someone on your list who’s about to retire? Then, for sure, they’ll need “Get What’s Yours for Medicare” by Philip Moeller. It’s a handy reference guide to help get the best coverage for the best price.
The science fan on your gift list will love “Death on Earth” by Jules Howard. It’s a straightforward book on life, life expectancy, and the deaths of creatures of all kinds, including parasites and more. Bonus: it’s not just about dead things. Add to it “The Point Is” by Lee Eisenberg, a book on who we are, why we’re here, and how we can make the most of life until we die.