6 Books That Make Great Holiday Gifts

December 15, 2010

I love getting books as gifts. I love giving books as gifts, too. But sometimes it’s difficult to weed through the thousands of titles in a bookstores to choose one for a friend.

Here are six titles I recommend, books you can be sure your brother or mother-in-law or best friend will be happy to receive:

1. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot. Yes, it’s as good as everyone says. And because the story revolves around issues of race, class, science and more, it’s likely to interest almost anyone who picks it up. This was the best book I read in 2010.

2. The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls. I don’t care whether she embellished details of her life. This memoir is written with such voice and personality that I hung onto her every word. (Check out my review.) It’s not only a must-read for the memoirist, but also for any avid reader.

3. The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World, by Chris Guillebeau. If you missed my rave about this book, I’ll sum it up for you in one word: inspiring.

4. The Autobiography of an Execution, by David Dow. I stayed up all night reading this book. And not just because I’m fascinated with the death penalty. This is a fabulous example of a book that’s great because of how the author tells the story.

5. Generation Earn: The Young Professional’s Guide to Spending, Investing, and Giving Back, by Kimberly Palmer. Full disclosure: I haven’t actually read this yet. But it’s on my to-read list, and I know it will be fabulous, because it’s written by my co-worker, who’s awesome at breaking personal finance into practical steps we can take every day. This is a great gift for any twenty- or thirty-something who feels like he has something to learn about spending and saving money. (Um, ME!)

6. The Shack, by William P. Young. I almost didn’t read this because a. I’m completely uninterested in fiction and b. I don’t care to read about religion. But what a story! It’s woven together so well that it even made me think differently about God.

So go forth this holiday season, and buy books!

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