Here are some suggestions for gifts both bookish and fun for the reader in your life.
- Canada, by Richard Ford;
- Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn,
- Telegraph Avenue, by Michael Chabon,
- The Twelve, by Justin Cronin,
- Broken Harbor, by Tana French,
- Casual Vacancy, by J.K. Rowling, and
- The Yellow Birds, by Kevin Powers.
- Alice Munro's new collection Dear Life: Stories,
- The Forgiven, by Lawrence Osborne, a sleek and page-turning suspenser,
- Bring Up the Bodies, by Hilary Mantel, this year's Booker Prize winner,
- The People of Forever are not Afraid, by Shani Boianjiu, set in Israel and focusing on female IDF soldiers,
- Sweet Tooth, by Ian McEwan, and
- The Watch, by Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya.
Some recent paperbacks that would make great gifts include
- Elza's Kitchen, by Marc Fitten, for foodies and Eastern-Europe buffs,
- Pure, by Andrew Miller, for historical fiction fans,
- Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, by Ben Fountain, for readers interested in the Iraq War,
- Bossypants, by Tina Fey, a great, funny memoir,
- Drowned, by Therese Bowman, if your gift recipient liked Gone Girl,
- The Sense of an Ending, by Julian Barnes, last year's Booker Prize winner,
- Arcadia, by Lauren Groff, about the demise of a hippie commune and the fate of its members, and
- The Ghosts of Belfast, by Stuart Neville, for crime fans.
It's also worth noting that Robert Massie's Catherine the Great is now in paperback but Steve Jobs alas is still hardcover only.
Humor and Pets
Francesco Marciuliano's I Could Pee on This: And Other Poems by Cats is a must-get for the cat lover in your life. I mean, just look at the title. I own this book and it's hysterical.
Bookish Gifts Besides Books-Etsy and BeyondEtsy is a boon to the book lover. I don't know where else you can find so many customized and unique items for the bookish! All of the shops I'm spotlighting are favorites of mine.
Elizabeth David Designs. She makes beautiful, sturdy and customized covers from her huge stash of gorgeous fabric. And she's very prompt and nice.
Heaven Sent Crafts.
Chick-Lit Designs. I love my purse! It's so cute and always gets me noticed. She now sells iPad and other tablet and e-reader covers as well.
For something really different, find an art doll of a favorite fictional character, historical figure or author at Uneek Doll Designs. I have one of her Jane Eyre dolls; I love it! Artist Debbie Ritter makes beautiful, detail-rich miniatures of many, many people both real and imaginary and they are
Totes and Branded Gifts. Publishers Penguin and Melville House sell branded tote bags for the imprint fan in your life; both are high-quality, durable and very attractive.
Many bookstores- biggies like Powell's and the Strand as well as many of your local independent bookstores- sell branded totes, mugs, t-shirts and other goodies. If you know someone loves Porter Square Books in Cambridge (just to pick a random example *cough*) get them a tote and see their face light up!
Out of Print Clothing has a well-known line of totes, shirts and accessories featuring famous book covers like Lolita and The Master and Margarita.
OK. You've got your book. You carried it home in a great purse or tote, and you've got a cute doll or notebook to decorate your table. Now what? Now you need to curl up and read.
Pick up perennial favorite Novel Tea from Bag Ladies Tea Co. for yourself or an easy office gift. At $12.50 for 12 bags, they're priced to give! Novel Tea is a yummy English breakfast blend of caffeinated black tea.
Protect that beautiful dust jacket with mylar covers to keep it safe from dust and tears. Demco, Brodart and other library suppliers have a great selection and good prices.
Hit a bargain store like TJ Maxx or Homegoods for pretty pillows, fun mugs and warm throws so your favorite reader can really get comfortable with that cup of tea!
For the crafty reader, consider a book-making kit. Lineco brand kits are sold in many arts and crafts stores and feature projects from Japanese stab-binding books, to checkbooks, to photo albums, boxes and blank journals. And that is but one of many brands of bookmaking kits and supplies!
Or give the gift of time. Take your friend (or child) out to a bookstore and a cup of something warm and yummy. Make a day of bookstore tourism and find a new-to-them-or-both-of-you store to explore. Use LibraryThing Local or IndieBound.org to find your next destination.
Paper Passion perfume, created by Geza Schoen, Gerhard Steidl, and Wallpaper* magazine, with packaging designed by Steild and Karl Lagerfeld, the latter of Chanel. Supposedly it smells like paper. $98.00 is a lot for a gag gift, but what the heck, right?