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Holiday Gift Giving 2011: Jump Start!

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Holiday Gift Giving 2011: Jump Start!

Hard to believe, but the holiday season is only weeks away. Ready for parties, presents, and sharing good cheer?

I love the festivities and excitement, but if you’re like me, the thought of going to the mall or a big box store makes you break out in hives! My suggestion this year (and most years)? Books!

Since they never go out of style, spoil, or expire, books make the perfect gift for almost anyone. So, stay home, check out these top picks, and remember to shop Indie Bookstores. (See, everyone wins this holiday season!)

Happy giving, receiving, and reading!


11/22/63: A Novel by Stephen King – The ‘King’ of creative genius does it again! Though the length and the price may be daunting, the plot is irresistible! King takes his protagonist back five years before JFK’s assassination, plops him down in Texas to learn the lay of the land, then shoots him off on his journey to thwart Lee Harvey Oswald’s plans to kill the president.

Dreams of Joy by Lisa See – You never would have convinced me that a novel about Communist China in the 1950s would be a gripping read, but Lisa See makes the characters come alive. I listened to the story on Audible (often in the driveway of my own home!) and found myself wondering about the next chapter and the next. A true coming of age/mother-daughter book.

Other picks: The Affair by Lee Child, The Litigators by John Grisham, and The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman


Moneyball by Michael Lewis – One of the breakaway hits of the year! Even if you’re not a baseball fan, there’s something to be learned about life, statistics, and relationships. Director and actor Brad Pitt read the book several years ago and poured his heart and soul into getting the movie made. Worth the money for sports fans and Monday morning shortstops alike! (The book was first released in 2003)

No Higher Honor by Condoleezza Rice – One of the nation’s finest leaders shares her thoughts and insights about working for the White House. With refreshing honesty and candor, Rice weaves her story from her time as national security advisor to secretary of state.

Other picks: The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer  by Siddhartha Mukherjee, Outliers by Malcolm Galdwell (first released in 2008), In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson, and Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (yes, this was a 2010 release but deserves all of the acclaim it has received! A truly marvelous, moving story about perseverance and redemption!)

Young Adult

Farsighted by Emlyn Chand — Alex Kosmitoras’s life has never been easy. The school bully is out to get him, his parents are dead-broke, and to complicate matters even more, he’s blind. Just when the embarrassment reaches epic proportions, a new girl from India moves into town. Simmi is smart, nice, and smells like an Almond Joy bar. Yes, sophomore year might not be so bad after all.

Forbidden Mind Series by Kimberly Kinrade – Just shy of her 18th birthday, Sam looks forward to living a normal life, go to college, and being on her own. But Sam — far from being `normal’ — is extraordinary: She reads minds. When Sam discovers that her employer (referred to as Rent-A-Kid) isn’t willing to grant her freedom, she teams up with Drake to launch an escape plan.

Other picks: The Heroes of Olympus Series by Rick Riordan, Nate Rocks the World (Children) by Karen Pokras Toz, and Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble by D. Robert Pease.

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About Laura Reese