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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Stuff Their Stockings With Books!

By Jan Pease

There are so many lists to suggest gifts at this time of year, but I have a few suggestions of gifts to give to book lovers.


If you want to give a gift to a young adult who loved the “Hunger Games” series, try the first two books in the “Matched” series, by Ally Condie. The titles in the series are “Matched” and “Crossed.” The third book will be out next year. I’m reading “Matched” at the present time. So far, there’s not as much violence as the characters lived through in “Hunger Games,” but the oppression is subtle and in some ways, more terrifying. The “Society” makes every decision for its citizens, from what they wear, what they learn, where they work, what they eat and who they marry. The citizens die on their eightieth birthday. The one hundred most important poems, songs, artworks, historical events are all that the citizens know, and the ability to write has been lost thanks to keyboarding and cutting and pasting. The heroine, Cassia, is matched with her perfect match, but then something happens that makes her (somewhat) comfortable life unravel.

Diana Gabaldon has a book coming out on November 29th, The Scottish Prisoner. This is really part of the “Lord John Grey” series rather than the “Outlander” series. The next book in the “Outlander” series is “Written in My Own Heart’s Blood,” which will come out in 2013. This confusion between her series has completely ruined my plan of pre-ordering what I thought was the next “Outlander” book for a family member. So as a gift, perhaps I’ll recommend to myself to find the rest of the “Lord John Grey” and put them under the tree for said family member. Used books are a great resource for those of us who want to purchase an entire series of books.

If you are buying a gift for a fan of picture books, and want a pop-up book that will well, make their eyes pop, choose anything by Robert Sabuda. A friend gave me his extraordinary “Christmas ABC,” which I have already opened and enjoyed, even though Christmas is weeks away. The engineering and artistic brilliance of his pop-up books delights me, and I have a private collection. Someday I should bring them here so everyone can enjoy them, but I’m too selfish to share.

Another favorite picture book is “Gingerbread Friends,” by Jan Brett. Based on the traditional version of the Gingerbread Boy, this is a kinder, gentler version that includes a recipe to make your own gingerbread and a huge foldout at the end of an entire gingerbread village full of gingerbread friends. Yes, it’s almost too sweet, but Jan Brett’s illustrations alone could tell the story.

If a family member has a Nook or a Kindle, you might consider buying a gift card at either Barnes and Nobel or Amazon.com. These can be purchased online, and used to add books to an e-reader throughout the year.

Take time during the hustle and bustle of the next weeks to share a book with someone you love. I’ll see you at the library!