Five Books That Would Make Great Christmas Gifts

I’m the type of person who would give you a book for Christmas. Books are gifts that keep on giving; even after you’ve finished them, you can read them over and over for inspiration and entertainment. So here are some really awesome books…

1. My Drowning – Jim Grimsley

This is excellent literary fiction that gives you a glimpse inside rural North Carolina. It makes you think about the power of memory and what it means to truly come of age.

2. The Doctor’s Lady – Jody Hedlund

I have not read this book yet, but I have heard great things about it. I read Ms. Hedlund’s first book, The Preacher’s Bride and thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s a Christian historical romance that takes place in the 1830s.

3. Inside of a Dog – Alexandra Horowitz

For the dog lover on your list, this book explains how dogs perceive the world and discusses what it might be like to live inside a dog’s body. It’s a scientific book, but the language is easy for any reader to grasp.

4. Can I Wear My Nose Ring to the Interview? – Ellen Gordon Reeves

This book is excellent for recent college graduates; it gives a good overview of how to go about the search for your first full-time job. Ms. Reeves discusses resumes, cover letters, what to wear (and what not to wear) on interviews, and much more. As the title of the book would indicate, this information is conveyed with a lighthearted touch.

5. Chains – Laurie Halse Anderson

This engaging story is great for children who think reading about history is boring. The brave characters and action-packed storyline will bring the world of the Revolutionary War to life.

30 Day Book Challenge – Day 14

Today’s Prompt: Favorite book of your favorite writer

Since I listed four different writers yesterday, I’m going to have to list four different books!

1. Rose Madder – Stephen King

It was hard to choose just one favorite out of everything Stephen King has written, but Rose Madder is lovely. Rosie finally makes up her mind to escape from her abusive husband, then enters a fantasy world where she finds herself empowered by an alternate version of herself. King weaves reality and fantasy together so well that for a moment you find yourself thinking that you could slip into a fantasy world, too.

2. Dark Dance – Tanith Lee

It has been a long time since I read this book, but what I loved about it was the dark atmosphere and sense of horror that infiltrated every page. Lee is a master Gothic writer, and this vampire family saga is a brilliant example of her work.

3. Speak – Laurie Halse Anderson

Halse Anderson’s prose captures high school life in accurate and brutally honest detail. Melinda has been rendered almost mute by her horrifying rape during a summer party. Speak is a coming-of-age novel like no other – one teen is forced to confront an extremely painful experience, learn from it, and move on.

4. Berlin Diary – William Shirer

Berlin Diary is an account of Shirer’s (one of Murrow’s Boys) life in Germany during World War II. He captures the anxiety of the time period quite well and in good detail. Shirer uses his objective eye to illuminate how blindly the German people followed a madman like Hitler. Fascinating read and not in the least bit dry.

30 Day Book Challenge – Day 13

Today’s Prompt: Your favorite writer

A very hard question, so let’s bend the rules and make a list!

In no particular order:

Stephen King

It feels like it’s almost a cliche to say that King is my favorite writer. He’s the perennial favorite of a lot of people and for good reason. His books suck me in. Although they include supernatural elements and horrifying scenarios, they are very relate-able. King really knows the human condition. Some of his books are better than others, but I have enjoyed them all.

Tanith Lee

Tanith Lee’s works keep me entertained with their fairy-tale tone and otherworldly scenarios. She writes primarily horror/fantasy novels and is quite prolific. I’d recommend starting with the Tales from the Flat Earth series.

Laurie Halse Anderson

Halse Anderson is a YA author and one of the best writers in that genre. Her debut novel, Speak, won some awards and is known for its controversial depiction of rape. I deeply admire Halse Anderson and hope to someday write with as much clarity and high emotion as she does.

William Shirer

Most well-known for his tome The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, Shirer is my favorite non-fiction author. (He wrote fiction as well.) His books are written with such detail, the worlds and cultures he describes come immediately to life. Shirer was able to report about the Third Reich directly from Berlin with lucidity – and none of the dryness of other non-fiction writers.