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Top Ten Books To Buy For Reader In Your Life (Holiday Gift Guide Freebie ):
This is my first Christmas at Fountain Bookstore, and I’m still amazed how often people ask what they should buy, or what they should read. I try really hard to match people up with good books, and I don’t find it as daunting anymore. Here’s what I’m recommending the most these days!
- Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson: Okay, confession time, I have not read this book. But I’ve read enough to know she’s funny as hell and that she’s perfect for the readers who have been coming into the bookstore looking for something to make them laugh. While I do recommend this mostly to women whom I can tell has a sense of humor, this book really works for most people (unless they really don’t like cussing).
- Paper Girls, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang (Artist), Matthew Wilson (Artist) : Another confession, we don’t carry many graphic novels at the bookstore. We’re a tiny, independent bookstore so our shelf space is pretty limited. But we can order practically anything, and since reading this, I’ve been recommending this to people who love graphic novels. I always start off with, “Did you like Stranger Things on Netflix?” because I think this really taps into the same audience. A bunch of paper delivery girls from the 80’s encounter some weird science fiction shiz, doesn’t that sound awesome?
- As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of the Princess Bride by Cary Elwes: The Hubs got me this in hardback last year for Christmas, but now it’s out in paperback. Although this is on my Employee Pick shelf, I barely have to work at selling this one. Princess Bride fans are everywhere, and they are awesome! Right now this is the book I’m selling the most of, and I have a blast trading quotes with customers. I love watching people discover this book.
- Books for Living by Will Schwalbe: This actually doesn’t come out until Dec. 27th, but now you know what to do with all those bookstore gift cards you get. I really enjoyed Schwalbe’s The End of Your Life Book Club, but this one is even better. It’s honestly like reading blog posts in our book loving community. It’ll definitely be a book I’ll be gifting quite a bit next year. Perfect for yourself or the Reader (yes, with a capital R) in your life.
- Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris: I read this thriller in arc form several months ago, and then again recently for book club. I love a good thriller, and this one is a perfect one to gift. But don’t just gift it, read it yourself so that you can both discuss that ending!
- Ready Player One by Ernest Cline: Yeah, this one has been out for awhile, but it’s still the one I find myself recommending to customers. It’s perfect for fans of sci-fi, for fans of the 1980’s, for reluctant readers (especially of the male variety, but by no means is it just a dude book). Not only did my whole book club read it, but I made everyone in my family read it, including The Hubs, who only reads a few books a year. When I first started working in the bookstore, I kind of took it for granted that everyone had heard of this book because most of my book loving friends had not only heard about it but read it and blogged about it. Like As You Wish, I love helping people discover this book.
- Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen: Third confession, haven’t read this one either. But it’s the Boss. We all know that one Bruce Springsteen fan in our lives, so give them this book. I have read the first few pages, and like most singer/songwriters, he’s good at telling his story. We also get a number of people in the bookstore who don’t read fiction (Like, Ever!) and I usually have to rely on my fellow co-workers and their recommendations. Memoirs is the one area of non-fiction that I truly like, but even so, I can’t read everything… I’m trying though.
- Nanette’s Baguette by Mo Willems: I LOVE reading this book aloud. My boss read it to me at work one day, and at first I thought she was crazy, but it’s so much fun! So now I make customers read it to each other. I read it to the Hubs, and recently to my 15 and 17 year old nieces. I am reading more children’s books these days in order to help customers find new books for their kids, or for people like myself who are panicked at the thought of having to buy a book for a child not their own. My advice to anyone buying a children’s book- read it yourself. Can you imagine re-reading it at least a dozen times without wanting to smack your head into walls? Then that’s the one you should get.
- The Secret Horses of Briar Hill by Megan Shepherd: So, I have a Children’s Book option, so I should cover Middle Grade too, but to be honest, this is good for any age level. It’s simply lovely. It’s got that timeless quality of The Secret Garden or The Little Princess, but with more magic and maybe a touch more melancholy. It’s a book that a young Midnight Book Girl would have loved (screw unicorns, I’m Team Pegasus!), and it’s a book that a Pushing 40 Midnight Book Girl can love instantly too.
- What Light by Jay Asher: No, this is not anything at all like his 13 Reasons Why. What it is is a wonderful, heartwarming contemporary YA romance novel about a girl from a family that sells Christmas trees. It’s all candy cane hot chocolate and snuggling under the blankets kinds of good. Like a YA version of a Hallmark movie, only with more depth and complexity. Perfect for the teen in your life (or for yourself, dammit, treat your shelf, you totally deserve it).