Behold! Here comes the holiday book recommendation extravaganza bonanza thing! You asked me! About the books! I would recommend to buy as gifts! To those bookworms in your life you love! Well then. Here are my selections for you this Christmas season. Hey, if my selections will be popular, perhaps I'll do this every year. And, the gleaming sparkling glittering books you should buy for everyone are...
Okay, hold on a second. Let me warn you about something.
MY TASTE IN BOOKS IS WEIRD.
Like, it's my own weird taste, and it's as weird as the books I write. So, before you continue reading and trusting me with my choices, let me point you to some great book lists I came across.
- Check out John Scalzi's traditionally and non-traditionally published books listed by authors themselves in the comments. Scroll all the way down to read descriptions. These are books by living breathing authors who write now. Because I will recommend a bunch of books by dead people (okay, I'm kidding, they're not dead at all, only one of them).
- Check out Linda Poitevin's 8 clothing gifts for book lovers. Yes, I know it's not books, but it's cool book things. It has really some great stuff, from Where the Wild Things Are? bowties to Out of Print socks (I want those myself).
- Check out this Slate article about overlooked books of 2014. It has some hidden gems. Scroll through descriptions to find what you like.
AND NOW TO MY SUGGESTIONS (IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER).
FOR TV LOVERS: MONTY PYTHON'S FLYING CIRCUS: COMPLETE AND ANNOTATED...ALL THE BITS by Luke Dempsey
I'm a Monty Python fan. And a prankster. Well, this wonderful book is lying open on my couch and I keep reading a few pages every night for a laugh. It's a great prank of a gift. And it will make those who get it laugh hysterically. So here is what you do. Wrap it in brown paper, tie it with a string, and tell you friend that it's a brick. Watch for reaction.
TIP: Pair it with funny socks. Or silly hats. Or funky lingerie. You know, Monty Python style. Or, dig up DVDs and throw those on top.
FOR KIDS: A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS by Lemony Snicket
Okay, this is not only for kids. I love these books. All 13 of them. In fact, I want the whole set for Christmas myself. Every sentence is a laugh, or if not a laugh, then a smile. How could you not feel for three poor orphans who have lost everything and are crippled by misfortunes on every corner? The grief! The despair! The misery! Plus, the whole set looks like a formidable package.
TIP: Buy only the 1st book, if on a budget, or the set of the first 3, or all 13. Gift with a sad face.
FOR ARTISTS: THE ART OF ASKING by Amanda Palmer
You have all seen me raving about this book. It's a beautiful personal story about one musician trusting her fans and falling into their hands, bare, letting them help. Asking for help. It's what all of us artists are often ashamed to do. Plus, the book is funny as hell. And, for those who love Neil Gaiman, there are bonus stories about him. So, for artists in your life, buy it. They will thank you.
TIP: Gift together with Neil Gaiman's new book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, a fantastic story. Take it from me. I read it and loved it.
FOR WRITERS: DEPRAVED AND INSULTING ENGLISH by Peter Novobatzky and Ammon Shea
This will have your writerly friends rolling on the floor. The words these two authors have dug up must be in every respectable writer's vocabulary. Bdelloid, anyone? Know what it means? Resembling a leech. What a word to drop on a date that didn't go too well. How about gammerstang: a tall, skinny, and awkward woman. Or mome: a nitpicking critic.
FOR SCI-FI NERDS: THE HUMANS by Matt Haig
This is another one of those books that will leave the reader laughing, and crying, and laughing again. Matt's musings on humanity, I mean, ahem, not Matt's, the main character's, are to die for. He is an alien and he's appalled at how we live our lives. Our buildings don't move? We dress for some reason? Our faces have a strange protuberance called "nose"? We are a disease!
TIP: Add Douglas Adams's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy as a bonus book for a sci-fi themed gift set. You can throw in the movie too. It's great.
FOR TEENS: THE ABHORSEN SERIES by Garth Nix
When someone asks me for the teen fantasy series, I often recommend these. Yes, there is The Hunger Games, and Harry Potter, and The Lord of the Rings, and Uglies, and.... But Abhorsen series deals with death and growing up in a fantastical and yet down to earth way, with strange creatures crawling out from beyond. Besides, it has a kick-ass girl heroine who is a necromancer.
TIP: If you want to go up a notch, buy all 4 books (the 4th one, Clariel, just came out) and a stuffed white bunny. You'll know why if you read Sabriel's opening.
FOR ANYONE: TALES FROM MOOMINVALLEY by Tove Jansson
I have just finished rereading book number 7 in the Moomintroll series by Finnish author Tove Jansson, (you don't have to read them in order, here are all 9), and I laughed so hard, I peed my pants. These tales are adorable, humorous, and at the same time so full of love and life, that any one of them (or all 9) will bring delight to anyone you give them to, young or old.
There is more I can recommend, like Ender's Game for boys and girls who dream about space, or Etgar Keret's short stories like The Girl on the Fridge for 20 somethings who aren't quite sure about life, or The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for fierce women of all ages. But I should leave some of this for next year, right? Right.
Happy shopping! Leave your recommendations in the comments, if you have great ideas for book gifts this holiday season.