Nancy and I are big believers in giving (and getting) books for the holidays. So is blogger My Friend Amy, whose online campaign called "Buy Books for the Holidays" notes that books are a good value and appeal to every interest. Giving books, she adds, makes you look intelligent and cool. We couldn't agree more. Some suggestions:
For laughs State by State, edited by Matt Weiland and Sean Wilsey. This quirky collection of essays includes Jhumpa Lahiri (Rhode Island), Ann Patchett (Tennessee) and John Hodgman (Massachusetts).
Fiction: A Mercy by Toni Morrison, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski.
Non-fiction: In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan, which led Nancy to lecture everyone for weeks about the dangers of refined breads, chickens that lack a free-range label and Go-gurt.
Mystery: Hardly Knew Her by Laura Lippman, The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff,
Fantasy: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. The tale of Nobody Owens, a boy who is raised by ghosts while being hunted by a killer.
Cookbooks: The Bon Appetit Fast Easy Fresh Cookbook by Barbara Fairchild, Best of the Best, Vol. 1 by the editors of Food & Wine.
Children's: The Lump of Coal by Lemony Snicket, Swing! By Rufus Butler Seder, Jake Starts School by Michael Wright, If You're Reading This Book, It's Too Late by Pseudonymous Bosch
Here's what readers had to say:
* I'm giving pretty much everyone I know a couple of books for Christmas. My current favorite author to share with people is Marcus Sakey (his latest, Good People, is also ridiculously cheap on Amazon right now). Another friend is getting Libba Bray's realms trilogy. A couple of people are getting my Favorite Book Ever, Carlos Ruiz Zafon's The Shadow of the Wind. - Kelly
* Anne Rice's Jesus books. Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series. Ian McEwan's Atonement. Anything Hemingway. - Erika
Which books are on your list? Let us know in an e-mail or a comment on Read Street.