If your giftee can’t get enough of the undead, then you can’t go wrong with “Zombie: A Novel” by J.R. Angelella. It’s the story of a boy who’s obsessed with zombies, watching as many of those kinds of movies as he can. It serves him well when something mysteriously happens to his father. Wrap it up with a nightlight.
Your giftee has seen “The Godfather” so many times, you lost count. So this year, wrap up “The Family Corleone” by Ed Falco, based on a screenplay by Mario Puzo. This prequel to “The Godfather” doesn’t sleep with the fishes. It’s really something they can’t refuse (Sorry. I couldn’t resist).
Another family-type novel, this one of a different kind of edgy, is “The Lola Quartet” by Emily St. John Mandel. This is the story of a man who tries to find the child he recently learned he had, for himself and to save her life.
Is there somebody on your list who loves to play with words? Then “The Painted Word” by Phil Cousineau (artwork by Gregg Chadwick) is a book to wrap up. This brick of a book is filled with fun words and their origins, as well as trivia about the things we say. Give it to your favorite student, wordsmith, or writer.
Also look for “Around the Writer’s Block” by Rosanne Bane. It’s a book on solving that annoying brain block using scientific methods.
More books for the reader and writer: “The Indie Author Revolution: An Insider’s Guide to Self-Publishing” by Dara M. Beevas will help your budding author do self-publishing right.
Also look for “Read This!” with an introduction by Ann Patchett. It’s a book filled with favorites from America’s favorite independent booksellers.
At this holiest time of year, has your giftee decided that it’s time to redefine the reason for the season? Then wrap up “Faith Beyond Belief: Stories of Good People Who Left Their Church Behind” by Margaret Placentra Johnston. Through the stories of people who’ve decided to leave organized religion in favor of a spirituality all their own, this book will show your giftee that they’re not alone in their journey.
Another book that’s good for anyone on a spiritual journey is “Soul of Light: Works of Illumination” by Joma Sipe. This beautiful book is filled with gorgeous pictures of geometrical light formations, and accompanying poems perfect for meditation. Buy it to give. Borrow it back.
Your giftee trusts you to find the best possible present to wrap, so why not find “Liars and Outliers” by Bruce Schneier? This is a book about trust, society, and how they work in tandem. It’s the perfect gift for a deep thinker or for the science geek you love best.
Another book to try is “The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking” by Matthew Hutson, which is a book about irrational thinking and how it’s actually good for us. Wrap it up for that grown-up who still looks for gifts from Santa.
No doubt there’s a fashionista on your gift list, and I’m betting there’s nothing she’d love more than “The Truth About Style” by Stacy London. This is a book that will help her get the most out of accessories, ideas, color, and shoes. It will make her look her best, which is what she wants, not just for the holidays, but for the other 11 months of the year, too.
Another book to give to your fashion diva is “Lilly: Palm Beach, Tropical Exubberance, and the Birth of a Fashion Legend” by Kathryn Livingston. That’s a memoir of the iconic Lilly Pulitzer: her clothes, her flair, and her life.
The new mom on your gift list will love reading “Use Your Words: A Writing Guide for Mothers” by Kate Hopper. This is a book by mothers that teaches mothers to write, journal, create, and blog the stories from their lives.
Also look for “Words Can Change Your Brain” by Andrew Newberg, M.D. and Mark Robert Waldman. That’s a book about how to use those words to start conversation and build trust with the person you’re talking to.
The big question this year is, “What do we get Grandpa?” and the answer is “Rural Wit & Wisdom” by Jerry Apps. This is a re-release of an older book filled with old-time sayings, wise words, and humor, and it’s going to make any old farmer or farmer-at-heart smile.
Another book he’ll like is “A Farm in Wisconsin” by Richard Quinney. Yes, the title is accurate, but anyone who grew up on a farm or in a small town — particularly anyone who loves looking at old pictures of that farm — will cherish this book.
For the artist-at-heart, or for your giftee who claims to be unable to draw, look for “The Artist’s Eye,” “Drawing Techniques” and “Figure Drawing” by Peter Jenny. These three tiny little, palm-sized books are packed with instructions to turn anyone with a pencil into an almost-Rembrandt. The books are sold separately, but you’ll really want to give all three.