Sunday, November 16, 2008

Weekly Geek 25

With winter (or summer) holidays coming up, many of us have started thinking about gift giving. And, of course, many book bloggers prefer to give books. At Amazon, there are gift guides based on relationship or personality. Unfortunately, I don’t really find the gift suggestions for mom and wife very suited to me, and the personality guides are even worse. I may be interested in green living, but I’d be pretty disappointed to find an energy-saving lightbulb in my stocking.
So let’s make our own, a books-based Weekly Geeks Gift Giving Guide!
How to:
1. Think about the books that you and people in your life love. It’s best to use more obscure books, because we’ve all heard plenty about the more popular ones.
2. Come up with categories, based on relationship, personality, or whatever else you like. I think this is easier to do once you have your books in mind; you can then just assign categories to those books.
3. Post your own gift giving guide! Add short blurbs about the books, just enough so that your readers can determine if it’d be a good gift for people on their list. Don’t forget to come back and sign Mr Linky.
4. Visit other Weekly Geeks, and if you like their guides, maybe add links to the bottom of your own.

Um ... h'm. Apart from immediate family, we don't buy Christmas presents for anyone else, so I'm having trouble coming up with categories of people. And while I like to get books as presents, I don't very often, unless I've specifically asked for one. I'll give them _ if there's a book I know that Jeremy wants I'll buy it for him for Christmas _ and I know my mother and my sisters' tastes pretty well, although one of my sisters is married with kids, so we just buy presents for the kids, and bypass the grown-ups. I have a niece who is a real bookworm, so buying books for her is a no-brainer.
Um ... I just don't know.

Wow, that's wishy-washy, huh?

So, I've decided to go through my own archives, pick out some books and say why I think they'd make good presents. :)

Let's start with my bookworm niece. She's 13 and reads voraciously. So I'm probably going to get her Un Lun Dun by China Mieville for Christmas: it's a great read, has fantastic characters and a fast-paced story, and, best of all, a strong and smart female protagonist. Great stuff, I think, for any 13-year-old bookworm.

My mother and both my sisters are nurses (well, my mother is retired) and I know that my oldest sister would really enjoy The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Jean-Dominique Bauby's account of life post-stroke with locked-in syndrome. It's not a clinical read by any stretch of the imagination, but I think anyone in the medical field would appreciate Bauby's perspective of being on the other side of the bedpan, so to speak.

My other sister is an avid reader of crime _ both fiction and non-fiction. Not the Agatha Christies that I have on my finished list, but I'm sure she'd enjoy Sail by James Patterson and Howard Roughan. It's fast-paced, has a pretty good story, and holds the attention. And, given that it's coming up to summer in this part of the world, perfect holiday reading.

My oldest brother is the one who introduced me to the Lord of the Rings. I read his copy over and over again when I was a teenager, until my mother finally got me my own for my birthday. So, for the avid Lord of the Rings (books and movies) fan, I don't think you can go past Alan Lee's Sketchbook. It's a hardback of sketches and notes from his work on all three films, and really is a beautiful book. (That's a cheat because it's not on this year's list, but I have been dipping into it on and off.)

I don't see a lot of my other brother (no particular reason, he lives with his family about 45mins away and they have three kids _ all teens, so a busy enough life!) And he's not really a big reader, so if I were to buy him a book (highly unlikely) I'd fall back on some kind of biography _ Buck Shelford's new one, perhaps.

My mother does a lot of patchwork and I've given her books on that topic in the past. If we're talking about books from my own list though, I think I'd have to go with Beach House by Jane Green. It's another one that's good for summer reading, and if you've got someone in your family who likes their books to be sweet, and not too demanding, then I'd go for Beach House. Or possibly Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, if I could find a nice copy _ Mum enjoys a good mystery and if you've got someone in your life who likes their mysteries seasoned with Gothic, you can't go past Rebecca.

What are we up to?
Right. My husband pretty much exclusively reads sci-fi and fantasy, so almost anything in that genre would be a goer.
He loved the Black Jewels Trilogy The Graveyard Book I made him read it), and Un Lun Dun, so any of those would suit. He's also been working his way through The Dresden Files and believes they are the greatest thing since sliced bread. One of his (and mine) favourite books is Tigana, by Guy Gavriel Kay, a standalone novel that is truly outstanding and one, I think, that any fan of the genre would enjoy.

Patrick ... ah, for the Kiwi kid there is only one choice: Hairy McLary, from Donaldson's Dairy, by Lynley Dodds, although Patrick's still at the book-tasting stage.
My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes by Eve Sutton, and illustrated by Lynley Dodd, is great too, and really fun to read out loud (''The cat from France, liked to sing and dance, but my cat likes to hide in boxes"). book for littlies, I think. :)
This year, though, I might branch out into a spot of Paddington Bear. I've got a book of classic Winnie the Pooh stories, and it seems like a natural progression.
Long enough, yes?


Louise said...

Wow. I think you got pretty much out of your wishy washy thoughts after all. And here I found the second recommendation of the Black Jewel series. That sounds so interesting and I think I am ready for some fantasy after having read other genres for a while now. Thanks for an interesting list and some interesting thoughts.


Icedream said...

Great list! I loved Diving Bell, I have Sail and Beach House on my TBR list, and now I am going to have to add Un Lun Dun and check out the Black Jewels series.

gautami tripathy said...

I see a few of my TBR books in here!

Here is my WG #25 post

Sherrie said...

I liked all your books. I have Sail and Beach House on my TBR list. Un Lun Dun sounds really interesting. Thanks for stopping by my place. Take Care!!