I've never had a holiday season in which I haven't given books. They come in all price ranges, can fit any interest, and are so simple to wrap. Here are a few suggestions of new titles you might want to pick up this holiday season.
Listening is an Act of Love: A Celebration of American Life from the StoryCorps Project
Dave Isay, editor
Penguin Press, $24.95/hardcover
If you listen to National Public Radio, it's likely you've heard of StoryCorps, Dave Isay's oral history project that's recorded more than 15,000 interviews from everyday people. This book is a collection of the most compelling. These are simple stories, filled with themes of love, relationships and dedication.
The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to follow the Bible as Literally as Possible
Simon & Schuster, $25/hardcover
The Year of Living Biblically answers the question, "Just what would it take for a person to live all the commandments of the Bible for an entire year?" This funny, yet thought-provoking, memoir follows A.J. Jacobs' attempts to keep the Bible's commonly known laws (turning the other cheek and loving your enemy) along with obscure ones like wearing white all the time, growing a beard and eating crickets.
The Intellectual Devotional: American History: Revive Your Mind, Complete Your Education, and Converse Confidently about Our Nation's Past
David S. Kidder and Noah D. Oppenheim
Modern Times, $24/hardcover
The national bestseller, The Intellectual Devotional, offered a year's worth of bedside readings from seven different fields of knowledge. In this follow-up, the co-authors have focused on seven diverse fields of our American past. From the Voting Rights Act to Watergate, to the inventions, art and literature of our history, the lessons in this book will refresh your memory of an "epic tale nearly three centuries long."
Ten Poems to Change Your Life Again and Again
In his latest Ten Poems volume, Roger Housden provides essays with each of his selections to show how they changed him and how they can change us, too. As Housden says, "Every one of the poems in this book ... has opened a door for me to go deeper into my own experience, my own longings, my own sorrows and joys, and into the silence that surrounds all of this, all of us, always."
Osprey Graphic History series
Osprey Publishing, $9.95 each/paperback
Perfect for middle-schoolers, history buffs or graphic-novel geeks, the Osprey Graphic History series melds 12 fast-paced storylines with high-quality artwork. Historically accurate, these books tell the tales of some of the most legendary battles and attacks of our time such as Gettysburg and Pearl Harbor in a compelling comic-strip style.
Blood Brothers: Sign of the Seven Trilogy, Book 1
Over 25 percent of all books sold are romance, meaning there's a good chance the perfect stocking stuffer for someone on your list is Blood Brothers, Nora Roberts' newest tale of love and intrigue. "In the town of Hawkins Hollow, every seven years, on the seventh day of the seventh month, strange things happen." Add in three men and three women, a battle of good and evil, and the table is set for another Roberts' best seller.