I think good books make the best presents. So here's a random, idiosyncratic guide to books that I think would make good gifts...
First of all, give superhero-lovers whatever COMIC BOOK or Avengers film that they don't have yet.
Second of all, this awesome Superman ornament.
Third of all, SUPERMAN by Larry Tye. I got this for Christmas last year & I'd read it by New Years. (This MARVEL book also looks really good, but I haven't read it yet.)
for NARNIA FANS
This is my favourite C.S. LEWIS biography. I also loved J.R.R. TOLKIEN by Humphrey Carpenter (for Lord of the Rings fans) & his book on the INKLINGS.
for SPORTSY TYPES
I think the fact that I just used the word "sportsy" tells you that I am not a typical sports fan. However, I do love reading sports books & OPEN by Andre Agassi (TENNIS) is my very favourite. I highly recommend it even if you don't watch/play tennis. It's well-written & just a fascinating story.
FEVER PITCH by Nick Hornby (FOOTBALL/SOCCER) is also great. And I'm going to go ahead & mention two books I've never read but have heard such great things about: FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS by H.G. Bissinger (American FOOTBALL) & MONEYBALL by Michael Lewis (BASEBALL.) Both are on my To Be Read list. Ooh, another good baseball book is CALICO JOE by John Grisham.
We just made Shauna Niequist's Bacon Wrapped Dates for Thanksgiving. They were bizarre & delicious. BREAD & WINE was the first Shauna Niequist book I'd read, & I loved it. My mom has already read it twice.
RELISH by Lucy Knisley is awesome - a graphic memoir filled with unpretentious food love, & illustrated recipes.
for DOWNTON ABBEY FANS
LADY CATHERINE, THE EARL, & THE REAL DOWNTON ABBEY takes the residents of Highclere Castle through to World War II. If you like history & especially if you like Downton, you'll like this one.
I also can't stop talking about TO MARRY AN ENGLISH LORD, which is the book, written in the 80's, that inspired Julian Fellowes to create the character of Cora for Downton Abbey. If you have any history lovers/Downton fans on your gift list, give them this book. But then be prepared for a barrage of random historical facts at your next dinner party.
BTW, I seriously love getting book recommendations from you guys. I've read several books this year that were recommended in Everyday Planet comments, & I'm always looking for more. So, if you want, please do tell me what you've been reading this year!
Also: If you buy these books from these links, we get a little commission & also you support a real live bookstore. But even if you buy them somewhere else (or just get them for yourself at the library) we hope you really like them.