There are all kinds of gifts for all kinds of people to buy, and if your giftee is one of those hard-to-buy-for people with interesting interests, then look for “Real Wolfmen: True Encounters in Modern America” by Linda Godfrey. You never know what might be lurking behind the Christmas tree. You never know what’s outside your window.
And speaking of which, what’s outside may be inside “Unexplained!” by Jerome Clark, now in its third edition. Odd phenomena, weird creatures, scary sightings, what else could your giftee want?
If your giftee sees those things that go “bump” in the night, then you can’t go wrong with “Real Ghosts, Restless Spirits, and Haunted Places: Second Edition” by Brad Steiger. This big, heavy, thick book is filled with haunting stories and pictures that will raise the hair on your giftee’s neck.
And speaking of spooks, they’re everywhere — including Minnesota, as is evident in “Mysterious Minnesota” by Adrian Lee. This book contains ghost stories from thirteen haunted sites, and is a definite scream-generator.
Another bewitching book to wrap is “Mrs. B’s Guide to Household Witchery” by Kris Bradley. Believe it or not, this book contains recipes as well as spells and other ways your giftee can make magic.
Memoirs and biographies
There are jobs, and then there are jobs, and if someone on your list loves to read about unique jobs, then look for “In the Land of Long Fingernails: A Gravedigger’s Memoir” by Charles Wilkins. Canadian Wilkins gives readers the dirt (ahem) on what life’s like for someone who deals with death. You have to agree (and so will your giftee) – that’s fascinating stuff.
If there’s a hunter on your list and you’re tired of giving the same old stuff for the holiday, look for “Meat Eater” by Steven Rinella. This is a book about a life-long hunter and his adventures, but the author also writes about nature, history, and how we need to remember where our food comes from.
Your green giftee will appreciate knowing where the movement started, particularly when you give “Beyond Earth Day: Fulfilling the Promise” by Gaylord Nelson, with Susan Campbell and Paul Wozniak. Though Nelson, the father of Earth Day, died in 2005, this book lays out his ideas for a better planet and includes a foreword by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and a preface by Nelson’s daughter, Tia.
Giftees who are exploring a new-found faith will love reading “Does This Church Make Me Look Fat?” by Rhoda Janzen. It’s the continuing story of a former Mennonite who finds a home with Pentecostals —but is it really where her heart lives?
Armchair adventurers will love reading “The Last Viking: The Life of Roald Amundsen” by Stephen R. Bown. It’s the story of polar explorer Amundsen who, within two short decades, explored four geographical passages that had been a sort of last frontier. Wrap it up with a warm polar-fleecy blanket.
If there’s a political animal on your gift list, then “Golden” by Jeff Coen and John Chase is a certain winner. It’s a book about Rod Blagojevich and the scandal that got him arrested some four years ago. It’s hard-hitting journalism at its best, and political watchers will love it.
For the giftee who likes a little humor in his memoir-reading, “Kasher in the Rye” by Moshe Kasher might be a good gift. This is the story of a nice Jewish boy who turned not-so-nice after his mother moved him from New York to California. It’s a fish-out-of-water kind of book that’s funny, scary, and sobering.
The new homeowner on your list will love “Sugarhouse” by Matthew Batt. It’s the story of a well-meaning family that purchases what was supposed to be their dream home. Nope, it’s a nightmare, for a lot of reasons. Wrap it up with a gift certificate to a Home Improvement store because, as you know, no house is ever completely done…
The pugilistic person on your gift list will love unwrapping “The Good Son: The Life of Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini” by Mark Kriegel. It’s a bio on the lightweight champ, his fights, his life, his wins, and his troubles in the ring.
Do you have someone on your list who loves reading medical memoirs? Okay, good, then you’ll want to wrap up “Monkey Mind: A Memoir of Anxiety” by Daniel Smith. With bravery and honesty, Smith tells what it’s like to live with dread and – believe it or not – a good sense of humor about it all.