I have had a challenging year but a great reading year.
Here are 12 great books as gifts for the holiday season. Links are from amazon.com but pick you favorite bookseller.
1. Slammed/Point of Retreat by Colleen Hoover: A great year for Ms. Hoover, a year ago she was working as a social worker. And wrote “Slammed” after work and late at night. Not generally a fan of romances, but definitely a fan of slam poetry. “Slammed” from a female perspective, the follow up “Point of Retreat” from a male perspective. Colleen has a new book being edited now and looking forward to it. And of course my poem “Write Poorly” is in “Point of Retreat” too since it helped her finish book 2, which I am very proud of.
2. Wool Omnibus by Hugh Howey: Really in many ways for me this is a recommendation for Wool 1, which is my favorite of this series. I just loved the little novella and how constrained it was. I am still in Wool 3 so an odd recommendation in that way, but Mr. Howey is just a wonderful author. I also love his book “The Hurricane.”
3. Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney: I can never spell Mr. McInerney’s name right but love this book. Definitely one I need to read again. A story of being in the middle of the crazy 1980s in New York. Good movie, great book, one of my all time favorites.
4. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter Thompson: Gonzo at it’s finest. One of those books you have probably read already, and one of my favorites of all time, just great.
5. Daytripper by Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá: My favorite new book of 2012. Outstanding graphic novel, lyrical and beautiful. Looks at death as a way to look at life, very appropriate in this tough year I have head. This is one I don’t own so on my own wish list (checked out of library.)
6. Slaughterhouse Five/Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut: Can’t believe it’s only been since last summer I have really been reading Vonnegut. I read “Player Piano” and liked it. I love “A Man Without a Country” but it’s “Cat’s Cradle” that got me into reading Kurt Vonnegut. And it re-read well a few months later. Slaughterhouse Five read amazing well within a year, even though it’s the much harsher book. Two books that should be on anyone’s life reading list.
7. Who You Are by Nancy A. Henry: This one took me a while to find online. Just outstanding stuff and one of my three five star poetry books this year (also “Coney Island of the Mind” by Lawrence Ferhlinghetti and “Chicago Poems” by Carl Sandburg.) Here is my Goodreads review: This is a book about working with those society has tossed aside: Prisoners, Sex Offenders, Learning Disabled… Powerful, powerful stuff. I feel like should include a poem or two from both, but don’t want to offend any copyrights. Amazing and heartbreaking book. Really brave, heartwrenching. And it’s great to support a Maine poet and Maine poetry press.
8. Pyongyang by Guy Delisle: Sometimes it takes the sarcastic voice of a French Canadian animator to really make you understand a place. One of the books that proves the power of graphic novels, and one of my favorite books of all time. Actually finally bought a copy this year and have lent it to about 10 people who all loved it. Just outstanding and lets you know how truly weird North Korea is. Just amazing.
9. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi: Another book (and outstanding movie) that shows the power of the graphic novel. Just stunning. Let’s you know more about Iranian culture than almost anything I can think of. I hope the people of Persia and Iran get a better government. And I really, really hope we don’t start a war with Iran. From the perpective of an Iranian girl and young woman as the revolution comes to Iran. Just outstanding.
10. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl: I have read a ton of Dahl this year since finding a nice copy of “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” at a thrift shop. This one is my favorite. Beautiful, lyrical and with tons of imagination. Amazing that this is one of his first books. Amazing stuff.
11. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak: One of my favorite books ever, and the one I have liked the longest. I am astounded how amazing this book is. I even read it on YouTube. Beautiful and amazing, and included in my post on “Picture Books.”
12. A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean: Beautiful, concise and lyrical. Just an amazing book. One of the many (including “Wool 1”) that shows the power of the novella. One of my favorite books ever.
And if you are not sure what to get a bibliophile, I am sure they would love an Amazon gift card, a gift card to a local bookstore or donation to their or your local library. All make great gifts. Libraries especially deserve our love now more than ever.