I’ve been trying to do a lot of my Christmas shopping early this year and I decided about a month ago that most everyone would be getting books. It’s a little tricky to gift books when you work in the publishing industry. Friends and family often assume you’re getting them free and are just unloading a space on your bookshelf.
Even so, I think it’s more important than ever to support the bookstores and publishing industry this year. Sure, my paychecks come from that industry, so it’s pretty self-serving. But, actually, it serves anyone who loves books and doesn’t want their choices to start diminishing.
So, here’s just a few books on my shopping list:
For Dad: Boys Will Be Boys: The Glory Days and Party Nights of the Dallas Cowboys Dynasty by Jeff Pearlman.
My dad is actually a Baltimore Ravens season ticket-holder. He’s not a Cowboys fan, but he loves football and I know he’ll be interested in the inside scoop on some of the game’s legendary players, like Michael Irvin, Troy Aikman, and Emmitt Smith. Plus, Jeff is a friend. I could buy a copy and get it signed, and my husband’s name is listed in the acknowledgments! :)
For my son, Nicky: Merry Christmas, Curious George! by H. A. and Margret Rey, Cathy Hapka and Mary O’Keefe Young
There aren’t too many Curious George stories that my son doesn’t already own . . . and has completely memorized. His favorites are George’s trips to the chocolate factory and the pancake breakfast. He can really relate to George’s sweet tooth! I’m sure this will become another favorite that we’ll read over and over and over again.
For my daughter, Samantha: Samantha: An American Girl collection by Susan S. Adler
Well, my Samantha is only 4 months old, and while I’m sure she’s brilliant, she’s not quite up to this reading level yet. But the Samantha doll from American Girl is being retired after this holiday season, so Santa will be putting one under our tree this year, along with the set of books that details her adventures.
For the young teenage girls in our family: All About Me Teenage Edition: The Story of Your Life by Philipp Keel, Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg and The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
The ages of 12 to 14 can be a difficult, awkward time. I really wanted to buy the girls in our family a journal, but one that was a bit more interactive and enticing. I was excited to find the All About Me book. It’s kind of like a cross between a journal and a Seventeen magazine quiz. Some questions are deeper than others, but who doesn’t love taking those quizzes?
These girls are booklovers, so I also wanted to throw in some classic and award-winning novels as well.
For the pre-teen boys in our family: The News Way Things Work by David Macaulay, Heat by Mike Lupica and The Big Field by Mike Lupica
One of the boys in our family is a technology junkie. The kid already has the mind of an engineer. He’ll either gobble up The News Way Things Work or declare that he could have written it himself. Either way, it’s definitely his area of interest.
Both he and his brother are big sports fans. They both play baseball, and the younger is a big Yankee fan (smart kid). I have a feeling he’ll enjoy Mike Lupica’s books about a kid’s baseball team in the Bronx.
And for the vampire lovers in my family: The Sookie Stackhouse box set by Charlaine Harris
Well, they already devoured the Twilight series and are now completely hooked on HBO’s True Blood. Somehow they overlooked the books that the series is based on. I was working at Berkley when my colleague John Morgan first discovered this author and character. I never got around to reading them while I was there, but just picked up Dead Until Dark for the first time and now I’m completely hooked. I have a feeling these family members will be too.
I’m still deciding on the rest of my list (yes—it’s a long one!). What books are on your shopping list this year?