There’s a closet in my house that holds a stack of books I’m giving to certain friends for Christmas. Oh, you don’t celebrate Christmas? Then maybe you have holiday gifts to buy. In any case, my holiday shopping is mostly done. That’s right. Yes, I know it’s just October. But I’m infamous for planning ahead. I shop all year so when the holidays come, I’m nowhere near retail stores, nor am I waiting for gifts to be delivered. Sure, I’ll order a thing or two online. But books? They’re bought and labeled with the recipient’s name. Right this minute.
I happen to think books make great Christmas gifts, so I’m going to suggest a few for you to consider. Christmas gift ideas. Or holiday gift ideas, whatever your tradition.
Finding Grace: a transformational journey, by Kathy Gottman.
I’m a year late in calling this novel to your attention because that’s how long ago I read it. You don’t have to be a New Age spirituality adherent to get something really good out of this thoughtful book about how the choices we make impact our lives. In a way it’s a spiritual book, but it’s a very readable and compelling story that I couldn’t put down. This is one to give anyone in your life who seeks more meaning or who’s asking the big life questions. I heart this book and lucky me, Kathy sent it to me.
Our Bodies, Our Shelves: A collection of library humor by Roz Warren.
You know a librarian, right? Everyone knows a librarian. I know three. Roz is one, and she sent me this book a while back. I wanted to save it, though, for this list.
Oh, you don’t know a librarian? Then you MUST know someone who has a fantasy about a librarian. I know one of those, probably more. But I digress. This book is a both hilarious and touching look behind the scenes at what goes on at your, my, any public library. And much of it is rip-roaring funny. The perfect gift for the librarian on your list or someone who uses the public library. Or who has a librarian fantasy. Just staying. Fun little volume, a great little gift.
Snowman by Diane Stringham Tolley (another in her Christmas series)
I want to hijack my friend Diane’s ranch life. It’s a Waltons existence but on a ranch in Alberta, and it’s the inspiration for her skillfully-written and heartwarming Christmas series. This one is lovely, as I discovered when I read the pdf she sent me. Sometimes you’re called to make a choice and your life changes in the split second after that point of no return. In this story, a man made a decision to save some kids and the story revolves around his coming to terms with the changes in his life after the bad accident that resulted. If there’s someone on your list who loves an old-fashioned, inspirational story, this is a great choice for them.
Cute way to wrap the books you’re going to give as holiday gifts.
Broken Angels, by Molly Best Tinsley
I’m way late on this, too, but it got hidden away after Molly sent it to me. A CIA thriller with a female protagonist? Oh yes. It’s not only adrenaline-pumping, but it’s well-written, too. It’s a little different kind of read for me, but I enjoyed it thoroughly and would read more in this vein. Give it to someone who likes strong female characters. Or thrillers. Or both. She co-authored Satan’s Chamber, another spy thriller, which turns gender roles on their heads. The second author is Karetta Hubbard. The two books are offered by Fuze Publishing and together they would make a nice little holiday gift. Fuze also offers Black Wings, by Kathleen Toomey. She’s a grad of the U.S. Naval Academy, so in the write-what-you-know vein, this novel is centered on women Naval Academy grads. A great choice for your young adult daughters or nieces.
Mending Stone by Sharon Duerst
It’s got a little bit of everything: mystery, romance, thrills, faith and even a little history. Clearly a women’s novel, this would be a great gift book for a mom, an aunt or a beloved friend –anyone who likes a book with some faith in it. If it make my Christmas gift ideas post, it’s worth reading!
The Zebra Affaire by Mark Fine
This is another good choice for holiday gift. It’s a super-well-written book about South African life in the mid-1970s, when apartheid ruled and love affairs between races were forbidden. The author is South African and he brings the era alive with detail, color and fine writing. I’ve given it as a gift and it was appreciated. Don’t miss this one.
And as a bonus:
If you love literary fiction and creative nonfiction, give yourself the gift of Every Love Story is a Ghost Story by D.T. Max. Max is a New Yorker writer who authored this first biography of the talented, tormented David Foster Wallace. It’s a deep dive into the man and how he viewed his work and his talent, and while it’s always heartbreaking when a story ends the way this one inevitably does. Max does his subject credit. I read it in one sitting.
Speaking of bonuses: Add your suggestions for great gift books in the Comments and Riley will choose one commenter to receive a book, themselves. Giveaway ends at midnight tonight and is open to U.S. residents only. Make sure you give me your email when you comment so I can reach you to get your mailing address.