So, it’s a wrap.
Everything’s under paper and under the tree. You’re done with all your shopping, except for one person. Or two. Maybe four.
So what do you get for that hard-to-buy-for person who never likes anything? Well, as they say, a book is a present they’ll open again and again, so why not head to your local bookstore for these great gifts:
For the reader who loves a little bit of romance with their ghost story, “The Ghost Clause” by Howard Norman is a good choice to wrap up. It’s the story of a ghost and his reflections on his marriage, as he observes the union of the new owners of his former home. Wrap it up with “The Plus One” by Sarah Archer, a novel about a robotics engineer who needs a date for a wedding. So why not just make one?
The traveler on your list will love reading “Layover” by David Bell. It’s the story of a man who meets an intriguing stranger in an airport and falls in love with her. What happens next isn’t a love story… Wrap it up with “The Dollmaker” by Nina Allan – because it is a sort of love story.
On your list, there’s undoubtedly someone’s mom, or maybe someone who has decided not to be. In “Motherhood” by Sheila Heti, a woman wrestles with a “to be or not to be” question and all that comes with it. Will she have children, or won’t she?
For the giftee who loves being organized, wrap up “Careful What You Wish For” by Hallie Ephron, a novel about a professional organizer whose husband is a hoarder. Good for her, though, she has a couple of new clients who will give her something else to think about – except one thing leads to another and she finds herself in a much, much bigger mess. Wrap it up with another makes-you-think novel: “The Lightest Object in the Universe” by Kimi Eisele, a story of the end of the world, and a chance to rebuild society anew.
For the reader who loves historical fiction, “Quintland Sisters” by Shelley Wood will be a great gift to give. It’s a fictionalized tale of the Dionne Quintuplets, as told by their nurse in novelized form.
Readers who enjoy crime fiction will love “The Shameless” by Ace Atkins. When a 20-year-old suicide suddenly becomes of interest to a couple of big-city reporters, Sheriff Quinn Colson wonders why – but before he can find out, he’s embroiled in another, more recent crime and an election that could send Tibbehah County into a crime-ridden tailspin.
The lover of magical novels, wrap up “The Daughters of Temperance Hobbs” by Katherine Howe. It’s a novel about a young woman who’s keeping a secret from her colleagues and the world: she’s a descendant of a possible witch, and she possesses powers that have come down the bloodline, but can it save a loved one’s life?
ANIMALS AND PETS
There are actually three kinds of people who will love seeing “No Beast So Fierce” by Dane Huckelbridge under the tree: animal lovers, for sure, will want to read this book about deadly tigers. Conservationists will be eager to see what the author says. And adventure lovers will thrill at the danger inside this book. Lucky are those three people with this book. Lucky you, if they’re one in the same giftee.
No dog lover is going to want to miss “Unleashing Your Dog” by Marc Bekoff and Jessica Pierce. It’s about how your giftee can learn more about their dog by learning about the dog’s senses and how to make Doggo as happy as possible through those senses. Wrap it up with “Smoky the Brave” by Damien Lewis, the true story of a tiny Yorkie dog and his role in World War II.
That cat lover on your list will yowl with joy when “Tiny but Mighty” by Hannah Shaw is unwrapped. Filled with the cutest of kitten pictures, this book is a delight right there. Add plenty of information and tips on saving orphans, and you’ve got a book absolutely meant to give this holiday.
The lover of wildlife and the feeder of birds will squawk when they open “Saving Jemima” by Julie Zickefoose. It’s the story of a blue jay and the woman who helped raise her, who kept the bird alive, and who loved a feathered friend. For more wild book lovers, try “The Hidden World of the Fox” by Adele Brand, and let your giftee see what the fox says. (Hint, this makes a great stocking-stuffer).
For the person who loves someone who doesn’t identify strictly as male-female will appreciate unwrapping “She He They Me” by Robyn Ryle this year. It’s a book that acts a bit like those old “choose-your-own-adventure” as it examines and explains gender, its definitions, and the way it’s been perceived historically. Hint: this is fun, and it’s also a book for someone who’s questioning…
If your giftee is exploring the ideas and limits of gender, you can’t go wrong by wrapping up “Nonbinary: Memoirs of Gender and Identity,” edited by Micah Rajunov and Scott Duane. This is a book filled with tales of those who’ve examined (or are examining) questions of gender, sexuality, age, and race.
For the child with two Mommies or two Daddies, and for the kids in that child’s preschool session, “The GayBCs” by M.L. Webb will make a great class gift. It’s the ABCs, but with terms familiar to the LGBTQ community and their families, so it’s for them, too. Or it might make a great gift for the adult who still possesses the wonder of a child. Or for an adult, just because.
For the newlywed (or the about-to-be-wed), “The Gay Marriage Generation” by Peter Hart-Brinson is the book to give. It takes a look at how same-sex marriage became law across the country, and how it changed the way America looks at gay men and lesbians. The gay giftee might also like “Out of the Shadows: Reimagining Gay Men’s Lives” by Walt Odets in that same wrapped gift.
The person on your list who enjoys reading short stories will love “Every True Pleasure: LGBTQ Tales of North Carolina,” edited by Wilton Barnhardt. It’s absolutely filled with tales from the South and from the heart.
For the parent of someone who’s come out this year, consider giving “Embracing the Journey” by Greg and Lynn McDonald, with Beth Jusino, foreword by Greg McDonald Jr. It’s a guide, really, for Christian parents who learn that their child is gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender, and how it fits with your spiritual beliefs.
The movie buff on your list will love reading “Hollywood Chinese: The Chinese in American Feature Films” by Arthur Dong. This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of Chinese and Chinese American actors from the first films shot in Chinatown, to modern times and contemporary film professionals. How can you go wrong?
For the giftee who is searching for new meaning in life, wrap up “My Buddha is Pink: Buddhism for the Modern Homosexual” by Richard Harrold. It’s a book of essays being a gay Buddhist and reconciling old beliefs with a new way of mindfulness and fulfillment in a new lifestyle.
And now the homework:
Books change, release dates change, things get cancelled, none of this is brain surgery or set in concrete. If you have any questions, need more ideas, or need help finding things, be sure to ASK your local booksellers. They’re the ones wearing invisible SuperHero logos, because they know things and they know how to make your giftee smile.
Seriously, they’re just that good.