Thursday, December 18, 2014

My Christmas Book List

I am a huge fan of giving books as Christmas presents. Not only am I sharing something I really, truly, love, I'm helping to support authors whose works I really, truly, love. It's completely win/win. Every year I tend to find one or two books that I give out to several different friends--recent past selections have including Half The Sky, The Scorpio Races, and Carry On, Warrior. This year I've been both buying books for and suggesting books to so many people that I figured I ought to write some of my suggestions down.

For preschoolers/young children:
--The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak. Yeah, he's the guy from The Office, and yeah, it sounds like a gimmick--a picture book without pictures!--but it's actually a really fantastic exploration of what makes a book a book. I love it.
--I Want My Hat Back and This Is Not My Hat. They're subversive, almost horrifying in a fairy-tale way, and kids love them.
--classic Christmas books. Not the crap that ties in with recent TV shows. Think The Polar Express.
--pop-up books. They're amazing and fun.

For middle grades (and up):
--Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan. A lot of adults on my list are getting this, too. It's absolutely gorgeous and difficult and real, and I love it to pieces. It's also written by a friend of mine, so how could it be wrong?
--Jefferson's Sons. Yeah, yeah, I wrote it. Buy it anyway. I'll sign it for you.
--The Scorpio Races. Skews into YA. I have yet to meet the person that read this and didn't love it. So, so good.

For YA:
--The Raven Boys and its two (so far) sequels, by Maggie Stiefvater. So good, so hard to describe.
--The Unfinished Life of Addison Stone. Combines photos and actual artwork to tell the story of a fictional character. In the words of one of my writer friends, "effing genius."

Adult:
The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert. Rich, literary, true.
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett. A scientist goes to the Amazon to rescue a colleague. Unexpected on many levels, which is something I probably should start to expect from Ann.
The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer. I came to this one late this year, or I'd be handing out a lot more copies. Nonfiction about--well, asking. And accepting. And life, and being a rock star. I loved it.