1 December 2017

2017 Holiday Gift Guide

Stressed about what to get for those hard to shop for people like your boyfriend's mom or kid's teacher? We have you covered. Below are 10 books that would make great gifts for a wide range of ages, genders, and interests. Those who "don't read" don't deserve gifts anyways right?
Since I've read this book I've gifted it more times than I'd have expected. Apatow is a well-known comedy writer, director, and producer (married to the beautiful Leslie Mann) and this book is a series of conversations with / write-ups on comedians that have inspired him. If you like comedy, stand-up or otherwise, you'll love this book. That's why it's so easy to gift. If you don't know the person he's discussing in the current section it's super easy to skip it, and there's a lot of personal details included that Apatow is able to provide because he's friends with a lot of these people and grew up in this community. The best part is all the sales from the paperback copy go to support a nonprofit for young aspiring writers called 826 National, so it's like two presents in one!

I feel like any dad in the world would probably love this book? I mean I would also love it, but if you have to find a gift for a history buff / avid non-fiction reader than you definitely couldn't go wrong with this one. I had previously read Alone Against the North, another book by Shoalts, (full review here) and it was well written and interesting. This book is a little different in that it is more imaginative, and doesn't relate to Shoalts' own personal voyage. My dad loves history, and I think anyone could learn an extra thing or two about our country and its vast amount of geography.
I think basically everyone likes to read memoirs by famous people and this one is brand spanking new so likely the person you're buying for doesn't have it yet. I anticipate this will be similar to most other memoirs by her comedic counterparts (Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, etc.) but those are wildly popular so I don't see much of an issue here... the other interesting thing is that her very recently ex-husband wrote the foreword which I expect will be kind of sad, when he wrote it they were still 'together'. While I feel like a celebrity memoir is a great gift idea, Anna Faris may not be suitable for every demographic. As an alternative, Nevertheless by Alec Baldwin was also recently published and would likely be better for a guy on your list or someone more mature...
Again, in a way I feel like I am Christmas shopping for myself here, BUT this would be a perfect book for any basketball fanatic in your life. Serrano is a very funny writer for Bill Simmons' The Ringer. He is constantly coming up with hilarious listicles (like The Best Movie Homes, Ranked) and also tweeting insightful / perfect basketball memes. This isn't a traditional "text-only book" ... there are lots of colourful images, drawings, and hypotheticals.

I wrote a very positive review on this short story collection here so it's obvious I really like this, but I also think it would make an excellent gift. Huebert is a London, ON local and is from the East Coast (also where all these stories are set) so I think it would appeal to a lot of Canadian readers. It would also make a great gift for people who aren't avid readers as the short story format makes it really easy to pick up for a week, put down for a month, pick back up on vacation, etc. I also think a wide variety of demographics would like this... it appeals to all ages and genders.
This is still a hardcover edition, so be prepared to spend.. but it is obviously the perfect gift for pop-culture junkies, sports fans, pseudo-intellectuals, etc. This is a collection of Klosterman's previously published essays from places like Grantland, Esquire, GQ, etc. It is also his 10th publication, hence the giant X on it. I love Klosterman and was lucky enough to already received this as a gift myself.
So this book is actually the last part of a series Hilderbrand has slowly been revealing which include Winter Street, Winter Stroll, and Winter Storms before it... I think giving all three together would make a wonderful gift, but they don't NEED to be read in order (I don't think). Hilderbrand writes very beautiful fiction set on Nantucket Island. Anyone who likes to read romantic dramas (think Emily Griffin, Jodi Picoult, Nicholas Sparks) would also enjoy Hilderbrand and probably be elated that you've introduced them to a new author because she has a massive repertoire. Winter Solstice is new just in time for Christmas and I think this collection would be perfect for a mom, mother-in-law, sister, friend, teacher, etc. or just anyone who enjoys fiction.
I mean I would really recommend buying ANY Joan Didion book for ANY ONE in your life. Because I guarantee their life will be much more interesting after reading one of her publications. The reason I am suggesting South and West is because it is her newest publication. You can also dream of warmer destinations like California and other southern states while freezing your butt off in Canada. This was also a selection for Emma Roberts and Kara Preiss' Belletrist book club, so if you have a friend who loves celebrities they would feel pretty cool carrying this book around.

This would be a great pick for anyone on your list who is into science, psychology, medicine, research, or academia. Owen is a neuroscientist at Western University and Meghan wrote an entire review on this book here. It's about his research on communicating with coma patients and I haven't read it yet but I know that it is COOL. It's not super science-y and involves a personal element for Owen. I think this would be an unexpected gift for someone hard to shop for.
This book is all over Indigo again because of the recent CBC / Sarah Polley adaptation. I wrote a full review on it recently that you can read here. All Margaret Atwood books are great, but this one is certainly less bleak than The Handmaid's Tale (review here). I would recommend this to a reader of any age - a mom or a coworker. They can read the book and then binge watch the series on CBC for free!

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