Monday, December 8, 2008

Giving a book for Christmas

I planned to write up some favorite books for gift suggestions and will here, but have been amazed at the lists that two people in the publishing industry have amassed. Here is Jim McCarthy's, an agent at Dystel & Goderich, and Moonrat's, an editorial assistant at a publishing house. (More on Moonrat tomorrow.)

My list of favorite books is here on the left of my blog. Unfortunately I didn't read the volumes of fiction this year that I normally do, for various reasons--mostly writing got in the way. But some suggestions follow:

For that seldom-reader sister-in-law who likes to laugh: We're Just Like You Only Prettier by Celia Rivenbark or anything else by Celia. Also Laurie Nataro's Idiot Girls books are funny (but for some reason, I always feel like I need to take a bath after reading her), and Amy Sedaris (David's sister) is a hoot.

For that brother/uncle/friend who likes a quick, light adventure: You can't miss with Harlan Coben. His Myron Bolitar series is the best. You can go to his website to find them in the order they were written although you can read them out of order and not suffer any irreparable damage.

For little kids: The Ant and the Elephant by Bill Peet, Frances books by Russell Hoban, Peach and Blue by Sarah Kilborne, Stellaluna by Janell Cannon, Green Wilma by Tedd Arnold, Ain't Gonna Paint No More by Karen Beaumont, and if you can find it--Tommy at the Grocery Store by Bill Grossman (it's out of print but worth the hunt).

For artistic kids: Doodles: A Really Giant Coloring and Doodling Book by Taro Gomi. Jennifer bought this for my kids one year and they all enjoyed it.

For grade school kids: Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park is my fav, especially the books on CD. (My daughter listens to them almost every night before falling asleep.) The Magic Treehouse books are good as are Mrs. Piggle Wiggle.

For preteen girls: I'm passing along recommendations from Julie since I asked her professional opinion--as a mom of two daughters. Here's what she wrote: Catherine Ryan Hyde (she wrote Pay It Forward, which I didn’t read but saw the movie) and she has several YA books, and it seems I’ve heard girls raving about Sarah Dessen. Emilie (her daughter recommends) the Ally Carter books, too.

Kristen said something about a series with books called “Among the Hidden,” “Among the Betrayed,” and so on. I’ve never heard of them, she hasn’t read them because she said they’re always checked out at the library. On Amazon that they are the Shadow Children series.

I just remembered a book I’ve wanted to find by an author/editor I met at La Jolla. They sound quite funny but also with good messages—Deborah Halverson's Honk if You Hate Me and Big Mouth. I just got the giggles again reading the summary for Honk if You Hate Me.

I'm also curious about the Uglies trilogy by Scott Westerfeld. The premise sounds fascinating and I'm going to read these myself in the new year.

So, what are you buying or what would you recommend for someone on your list this year? I'm sure we could all use some suggestions.


Julie Layne said...

Hey, just saw my name in lights. :) I would actually recomment Catherine Ryan Hyde and Sarah Dessen for teens, not preteens. At least 13, I think. Ally Carter and the other one, definitely for pre-teens.

Hyde and Dessen touch on some more mature subjects than I'd probably want my 11-year-old or "young" 12-year-old reading.

Wila said...

I don't think you can fail with the gift of a book. Even if it sits on the bedside table for a while, it will eventually be read and hopefuly enjoyed. Sometimes more than once. And the books you give tell the receiver so much about you.

My 13 year-old daughter and her friends are huge fans of the entire Twilight series (way before the movie which she also loves). She also enjoyed reading Pride and Predjudice, Wuthering Heights and Gone With the Wind. My most recent and enjoyable reads have been Rise and Shine by Anna Quindlan and Anthem by Ayn Rand. Ayn Rand is highly recommended by my two high schoolers. I could get carried away with authors I enjoy but a few at the top of my list are Anita Shreve, Anita Diamant, Elizabeth Bert and Jodi Picoult. Just to throw in one male author I do like Cormack McCarthy.

Joan Mora said...

I couldn't believe Jim's list! If I had time for only 1/2 of them!

I bought books for almost everyone on my list this year. For the historical fiction lover:

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. It's told in letter form (very much like 84 Charing Cross Road) and is set on Guernsey (a tiny British island that turns out to be closer to France than Britain). Just after WWII, an author corresponds to a cast of characters who relay their stories about life on the island during occupation by German soldiers.

Wila said...

Finally had a minute to check the lists you posted. Am headed book shopping in five minutes and am so happy I did. Thanks Jim, thanks Moonrat (I almost named one of my children that) and of course, thank you Pamela.

Anonymous said...

A few others that are worth a trip to the bookstore..... The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart for anyone grades 4 and up is a wonderful read about a group of gifted children chosen for a mission by mysterious Mr. Benedict. For all of the adults in your life, you can't go wrong with The People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn.

Great blog........