GINGER: It's Christmas, David by David Shannon. My youngest son in particular loves the David books. Cute, funny, to the point--the David books are like children you can stick on a shelf and take down when you have the energy to enjoy them.
Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel by Eoin Colfer. My daughter never quite forgave me for not buying this at Colfer's signing event at our library. I bugged him so badly during his signing of the books we did buy that I'm sure one more second with me would have brought upon us some evil curse. Sorry, Mr. Colfer--I promise to just smile politely and be quiet in future! And for all you who may have a chance to see Mr. Colfer in person, do everything in your power to go. I would pay just to see his presentation again. If he wasn't an author, he could very well be a stand-up comic. Just don't, you know, say stupid things to him while he signs your books.
And unconventional: The Murder of Napoleon by Weider and Hapgood. For the person in your life fascinated with power and crime. Or my teen daughter who recently discovered that history depends on the book you're reading.
PAT: The first two books I’m giving as Christmas gifts are going to my mother as a pair. A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter and Gene Stratton Porter: Novelist and Naturalist by Judith Reick Long. When my mother was a girl, Gene Stratton-Porter was her favorite author and I know she’ll be delighted to revisit it. She’s also a fan of biographies, so the second book was a natural choice. As a writer, I think Limberlost is a great example of how a story can speak to the heart of the teen experience for generations. And who doesn’t love a book with swamps and moth selling?
First is Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George. I read the first in the series some time ago, then re-read it again while my daughter devoured it. She's since bought herself the second and third in the series, foiling my plan to a) Check them out from the library so she couldn't and then b) give her both copies for Christmas. Instead I've had to settle for sewing a pair of dragon decals on a new pair of slippers. I hope she likes them! SUZANNE:
LAURA: Some of the books given this year are esoteric and (cough, cough) ones I haven't read. Like Death by Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries by Neil deGrasse Tyson. That's going to my physics major college son and I although I love him enough to die for him, I see no need to read the philosophy of physics for him.
Redshirts by John Scalzi. I discovered Scalzi through this year's release about a starship on which an unusual number of fatalities occur to low-ranking crew members (the title references the unnamed, redshirt-wearing ensigns that so often died in the first five minutes of Star Trek episodes.) Laugh out loud funny and cleverly constructed. You need not be a Trekkie to enjoy.
Possession by A.S. Byatt went to two friends this year. I give this book sparingly, because it's one of my all-time favorites and it's rather like sending my children into the world for approval. It's an intricate, beautiful story of two literary researchers who fall in love as they trace the history of two Victorian poets through fairytales and epic poetry and personal secrets.
Tell us, readers: What books did you give this year? Even better, what books did you get?