Help! What Should I Give to the Hard-to-Buy-For Person?? (part two)

… continued from last week….


There is absolutely no trivia fan in the world who could be without “1,339 Quite Interesting Facts to Make Your Jaw Drop” by John Lloyd, John Mitchinson, and James Harkin. This totally fun book is filled with I-didn’t-know-that facts that practically beg to be read aloud. It’s the kind of book you want to take on the ride to Grandma’s this holiday, so you can share it on the road.

If there’s someone on your gift list who likes to poke the bear and stir up trouble, then “Villains, Scoundrels, and Rogues” by Paul Martin may be the right thing to wrap. This book is filled with short chapters on all kinds of real-life troublemakers and shady citizens. How fun is that? Wrap it up with “Madam Belle: Sex, Money, and Influence in a Southern Brothel” by MaryJean Wall, for an even more rascally gift.

The person on your list who lives by the motto “I (Heart) NY” will absolutely swoon over “A History of New York in 101 Objects” by Sam Roberts. This book is a love story to The Big Apple, complete with pictures, stories, and tiny little things that make NYC so FUN. Wrap it up with “Confessions of a New York Taxi Driver” by Eugene Salomon, a name-dropping, jaw-dropping collection of memories of fares, no-fairs, stars, scandalous behavior, and tourists. Who could miss that?

Your card sharp will find Lady Luck smiling when he (or she!) opens “Blood Aces: The Wild Ride of Benny Binion, The Texas Gangster Who Created Vegas Poker” by Doug J. Swanson. This is a book to prove that what happens in Vegas doesn’t necessarily stay in Vegas – and that’s a good thing.

What makes a good love last?  Someone on your gift list wonders that same thing, and in “Love Cycles” by Linda Carroll, she (or he!) will find the answer. Wrap it up with two tickets to anywhere, and wish the happy couple well.

The gardener on your list is going to go wild for “A Garden of Marvels” by Ruth Kassinger. This is a book about the secret lives of plants: what they eat, how they mate, and how they grow. Wrap it up with a trowel and a few packages of seeds, for a nice promise-of-spring gift.

For the person on your list who seems to be Google’s biggest user, “Curious: The Desire to Know and Why Your Future Depends On It” by Ian Leslie could be just right to give. This book proves that curiosity isn’t at an all-time high, like you might think; in fact, it’s on the wane and that’s bad.

For the musician or lover of classical music, “The Late Starters Orchestra” by Ari L. Goldman will be a nice surprise this holiday. It’s the story of a group of amateur musicians of all ages who get together once a week to do something that makes their hearts soar – and it’ll put a song in the heart of your giftee.

The outdoorsman on your list doesn’t need another pair of hand warmers or wool socks – so wrap up “The Three-Minute Outdoorsman” by Robert M. Zink instead. This book is full of short, just-a-few-pages essays on hunting, fishing, and nature, and (believe it or not) science. He (or SHE!) is going to love this book.

For the True Crime aficionado, “Death Dealer: How Cops and Cadaver Dogs Brought a killer to Justice” by Kate Clark Flora might be the most thrilling gift she opens this year. It’s the story of a missing woman, murder, and the cooperation between law enforcement departments in two countries.

Your connoisseur of cocktails will love opening “Bourbon: A History of the American Spirit” by Dane Huckelbridge. This book takes a look at this drink that’s older than you think, and uniquely American.  Pair it up with a couple of good glasses and “Moonshine Nation” by Mark Spivak. It’s a history of the spirit, and your giftee will absolutely love that it contains party-worthy recipes!

For the lead on the debate team, “Impolite Conversations” by Cora Daniels and John L. Jackson Jr. will be a welcome gift. This discussion on all the things that start an argument in polite circles (race, politics, sex, cash, and God) may poke thoughts or anger; either way, it’s perfect for the person who loves a good, challenging argument. Add “Living with a Wild God” by Barbara Ehrenreich – a nonbeliever’s quest for a higher power – for a debatably perfect gift.

The animal lover on your list will sit up and beg for “Animal Madness” by Laurel Braitman. It’s a book about how neurotic, anxiety-ridden, misbehaving animals – domestic and otherwise – may hold clues to our own behavior. Pair it up with “Wild Connection” by Jennifer L. Verdolin, a book about animal courtship and how we’re more like them than we know…

And for any dog lover you know, a two-pronged book will be just right. First, you’ll want to fetch “Dogs in Cars” by Lara Jo Regan, a pictorial of (you guessed it) very happy dogs in very cool cars. Then add “Shake Puppies” by Carli Davidson, a book filled with pictures of (guessed it again) puppies in the midst of a good soul-fixing shake. For sure, these books made me hug my fur-boys, and they’re double delight for your doggie demands.

I was, by the way, completely, totally charmed by “Harlow & Sage (and Indiana)” by Brittni Vega, a tale (with pictures!) of three four-footed best friends and their adventures. It’s absolutely something your dog-lover would beg for.

For the spiritual person on your gift list, “The Grateful Table” by Brenda Knight, foreword by Nina Lesowitz will be an excellent book to wrap up. It’s filled with prayers, graces and thoughts meant for mealtime, but not only. Your giftee will be more than welcome to use it anytime… maybe even right after it’s opened! Pair it up with “Having the Time of Your Life: Little Lessons to Live By” by Allen Klein, a book of quotations to further enhance joy.

The movie buff on your list will eat up “The Zombie Book: An Encyclopedia of the Living Dead” by Nick Redfern, with Brad Steiger. It’s filled with entries on the genre, including directors, plots, and TV shows. Innocent fun – no. A welcome gruesome gift – absolutely yes!  Wrap it up with “The Government UFO Files: The Conspiracy of Cover-Up” by Kevin D. Randle for a gift that creeps on giving.

One more thing for your movie buff: “The Sci-Fi Movie Guide” by Chris Barsanti. It’s packed with SF goodness, facts, and bios, and when you add in a DVD of your favorite oldie-but-a-goodie, you know it’ll be the best thing beneath the tree.

So there’s a mathematician on your gift list, or someone who loves numbers?  Then look for “Whatever Happened to the Metric System?” by John Bemelmans Barciano. It’s a great account of why we don’t largely use millimeters and centimeters, but why science does and Europeans definitely do. It’ll be a great gift – count on it.

… to be continued next Wednesday…

Disclaimer: The views expressed on this weblog are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of PBG Lifestyle Magazine.

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