After spending a wonderful Thanksgiving with our son and his family, we traveled home early Saturday morning so I could could help greet customers during Small Business Saturday at Bookends. It was a great day - cider and cookies and 10% off everything in the store! Lots of people took advantage of the event to stock up on new items, gifts, and used books, of course.
On the way home Dave and I started to talk about books I would gift to others from this year's huge amount of new books. I personally love receiving books as Christmas gifts (yes, I was THAT kid) and usually have a huge stack of books on my own wish list.
So here are some books I'd recommend gifting to the booklover in your life (or maybe even yourself)!
Sweet Baby James by James Taylor - I love autobiographies and growing up in the 70's James Taylor was a fixture in my musical life. This book was just published so, to be honest, I have not had a chance to read it as yet. I did read Carly Simon's autobiography Boys in the Trees when that came out a few Christmases ago, however. I think their story from Taylor's perspective will be interesting, not to mention his own journey. Buy them both for a special gift or accompany his new book with the Sweet Baby James CD.
The Great Halifax Explosion: A World War I Story of Treachery, Tragedy, and Extraordinary Heroism by John U. Bacon - I just finished reading this and have to say it is one of the best history books I've read this year. If your history buff does not know about this event (the largest man-made disaster prior to the atomic bomb), it would be a wonderful gift. Always fun to introduce a history lover to something new. Pair this with Burden of Desire by Robert Macneil, a 1992 novel about the same disaster.
Killing England by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard - I hadn't read much about the American Revolution since I was in high school and this book was full of interesting facts. Did you know that most Revolutionary War battles, for example, were fought in South Carolina? Find out why England finally gave up and allowed us to be an independent nation. This would go nicely with Ron Chernow's Alexander Hamilton or The Hamilton Affair by Elizabeth Cobbs.
The Lying Game by Ruth Ware - Ware's most recent success was last summer's The Girl in Cabin 10 which was a good but not great book for me. I enjoyed her latest, The Lying Game, so much more. The story is that a woman walking her dogs finds something on the beach that makes her call her three school friends for help. One things leads to another and now the friends don't even know who is lying to whom. Suggest trying In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ware to team up with her latest. You can see The Girl in Cabin 10 when it comes out in a movie.
The Child by Fiona Barton - Barton followed up last year's success, The Widow, with this latest book. Again, I think this was the better book. The story is about a baby's body found in an excavation site. A reporter sees her opportunity to investigate the story further. Her investigations lead to discoveries and secrets unveiled. Put both her books together for a really great gift!
Reading People: How Seeing the World through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything by Anne Bogel - For your more introspective friend or family member I recommend Anne Bogel's book. Anne has taken the most popular personality frameworks and put them into easy to understand concepts so readers can learn more about themselves and others. This would pair nicely with Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project for a bang-up gift.
Any books on your gift giving or receiving list this year?