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January 7, 2010

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is: An All-Book Holiday

Kate Hart
Christmas shopping was awesome this year. We walked into a bookstore with a list one afternoon and walked out two hours later, several hundred dollars poorer but with 90% of our shopping finished. It felt great to pick out something personalized for each person on our list and support the industry in the process. Here's our list of picks:

Gifts for...

My dad, who likes old war movies and John Wayne:
The Things They Carried and Guns, Germs and Steel

My mom, who has been reading YA I recommend because she's awesome like that:
Post Secret and Perks of Being a Wallflower

My sister, who got Twilight for her birthday, likes romance novels and has 2 kids age 2 and under:
Speak, The Handmaid's Tale, The House of the Spirits and a cookbook about feeding your family for $7 a day.

My brother-in-law, who doesn't read, ever:
A subscription to a magazine about lowrider trucks (because sometimes, you gotta swallow your pride and give people what they'll actually enjoy).

My mother-in-law, who reads tons and tons of fiction but hasn't read any YA, and also travels a lot:
Perks and a guidebook to Costa Rica

My father-in-law, traveler and poetry fan:
Guidebook to France and a compilation by Mary Oliver

My brother-in-law, who likes sports and movies:
Friday Night Lights and The Killer Angels

His girlfriend, who I don't know very well:
The Sneaky Chef cookbook

Her 5 and 7 year old girls whose reading levels I don't know:
Activity books-- one for making jewelry and one for painting fingernails

Multiple aunt and uncle combos who are into self-sufficiency and do-it-yourself:

My best friend and co-grammar Nazi:
Eats Shoots and Leaves and Perks (yes, I bought all three copies that store had in stock.)

My best friend's husband, a fellow do-it-yourselfer with far madder skillz than my own:
Country Widsom and Know-How

11 year old niece:
Island of the Blue Dolphins, The Secret Garden, and the first two Narnia books

6 year old nephew:

My own boys, who have tons and tons of books:

My "second parents," who are amusement park aficionados:

21 year old daughter of  "second parents," who loved Letters From a Nut when she was younger:

and finally,
18 year old son of "second parents," who is headed to college in the fall:

What about you? Did you give or get any good books for the holidays? Tell us about it in the comments, and don't forget to vote on the first lines contest!


  1. Just so happens we got three good books for Christmas! Eats Shoots and Leaves, Perks of Being a Wallflower, and Country Wisdom and Know-How. :)

    Another great book Chris got from my folks: Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth. It's a graphic novel about the invention/discovery of symbolic logic. B/c he's awesome like that.

    Nice xkcd--that pretty much sums up our household!

  2. I bought books for 4 people.

    I bought Lament and Ballad for my cousin's 11 year old twin girls who are Twilight obsessed.

    I bought 2 copies of Silver Pheonix, one for my 25 year old sister and one my 17 year old cousin.

    From what my sister has said about it, I think I will be buying a third copy for myself.

    (my word verification is: readel)

  3. I gave my sister, Shiver, but that was my only book gift. Oh, no wait, I lied. I got my friend Twilight to read on the beach in Hawaii. :-P

  4. Way to support bookstores! I bought my sister Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver and Melissa Marr's WIcked Lovely (both books that I really wanted to read...) and definitely scored big -- we both loved both of them.

  5. I love that you found books for everyone!
    I bought John Grisham's latest for my mom and some Star Wars graphic novels for my step son. And the little guy got several Train books.

  6. My family is terrified to buy me books. I did get an eReader, though!

  7. This is so awesome! You thought about everyone's personality and got them books that it seems like they should really enjoy. I didn't give or receive any books this year, very sadly.

  8. That's pretty cool. I only bought books for three people. The Ken Burn's National Parks book for my mom, Scott Westerfield's Leviathan for my roomie (she's into steampunk), and Hannah Moskowitz's Break and Suzanne Collins's Hunger Games for my friend.


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