My Christmas 2010 Book-Giving Guide

Written by Lotus on Sunday, 28 of November , 2010 at 4:07 pm

You’ll notice I have very few political books on this list.  In my experience, people buy those books themselves.  The only exception would be if you are able to give a signed book. (Plug: CPAC book signings are a great opportunity for getting boat loads of personally signed books, so plan ahead for next year!)

For History Buffs:

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas — How can you beat a subtitle like that?  This is the only book on the list I haven’t had a chance to read.  I gave it to someone as a birthday gift and I’ve heard great things.  I’m also a fan of Eric’s other books. 

America: The Last Best Hope (Volumes I and II) by William J. Bennett — I am not a history buff, but I enjoyed these books.  Dr. Bennett is a great storyteller.  What gets lost in most scholastic history books is the interesting tidbits that make names, dates and places come alive.  Years later most of us only remember the interesting things like Washington’s “wood” teeth.  In America: The Last Best Hope, all the interesting parts are actually true.  Leave it to public schools to remove the humanity out of history!

For Fashionistas, Reality TV fans, Girls Like Me:

My Fair Lazy by Jen Lancaster — This book chronicles Jen’s transition from reality TV junky to cultured woman.  Jen is one of my favorite authors.  Read more about her here.

Good Enough to Eat by Stacey Ballis — I’m reading this book right now.  This could easily go in the next section, but I think the storyline is more important.  The gist of it: Starting over is hard.  Making perfect mashed potatoes is easy!

The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell — Warning: this book is only loosely based on what you know about Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City, so don’t obssess.  It’s not soul-shattering prose, but the last page makes it worth it.  Don’t skip ahead though!

For Foodies:

Hungry Girl 1-2-3 by Lisa Lillien — Ok, this one is not really for foodies, but for women who want to cook low-calorie meals without having to think about it.  The Hungry Girl series is pretty popular, so she must be doing something right.

At Blanchard’s Table: A Trip to the Beach Cookbook — I love this book because it takes me away from D.C.  Pair with the Blanchards’ memoir, A Trip to the Beach, which chronicles a Vermont couple who left the “concrete jungle” to open a restaurant in Barbados and live life on “island time.”

Kitchen Confidential and Medium Raw by Anthony Bourdain — If someone you know is a fan of the Travel Channel’s “No Reservations,” they’ll obviously love these books.  Just make sure they don’t already have them.  I’m a fan of the TV series, but only read Kitchen Confidential recently.  I recommend buying both just because I prefer the older Bourdain to the younger Bourdain.

Cooking for Mr. Latte by Amanda Hesser — This book is similiar to Good Enough to Eat in that it’s a memoir with recipes.  The author is a food writer for the New York Times but, surprisingly, it’s not pretentious at all.  That’s the problem most of negative reviewers have with the author, so ignore them.

Also be on the look out for church, Women’s League or any collaborative cookbooks.  They have great family recipes and purchasing them helps support local organizations.

For Sports Fans:

Andy Roddick Beat Me with a Frying Pan by Todd Gallagher — This book is perfect for people who sit around thinking about who was the greatest this or that or whether this team from yesteryear could beat the current team.  Some of the questions the author actually tested include: Could an average guy start in the WNBA?  Would an obese man be the best goalie ever?  Could an average swimmer beat a Olympic swimmer who could only dog-paddle?  (FYI, ladies, this book will probably end up in the bathroom.  Take it as a sign that he’s actually reading it!)

For People Who Have My Sense of Humor (i.e. Awesome People):

The Perry Bible Fellowship Almanack by Nicholas Gurewitch — I love this comic strip.  The book is a perfect way to introduce your favorite awesome person to this ridiculously funny comic strip.

The Bible of Unspeakable Truths by Greg Gutfeld  — This is the most political book on my list, but I’m including it in this section because Gutfeld’s sense of humor is more important than his politics (which are also pretty great). This is the political book I wish I could write.

For Parents:

The Dangerous Book for Boys and The Daring Book for Girls  — I’ve given this book several times and it always ends up in the hands of the parents.  I think it’s a good primer for teaching your kids how to do cool things like making the perfect paper airplane and how to tell a good ghost story.

(In case you missed it, also check out my online shopping guide here.)

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LOTUS lives in Northern Virginia. NOTE: The views expressed on LOTUS blog are the author’s alone. Organizations listed on this blog are for identification purposes only.