Want to buy a book for someone but don’t know what to get?
I’ve read and blogged about a lot of good books this year. Here are five that I wouldn’t hesitate to give as gifts to my own family and friends. Put some of these on your black Friday shopping list and you’re sure to make someone happy.
“The Boys in the Boat”, by Daniel James Brown (published June, 2013)
This was my absolute favorite this year and one I gave to a couple of friends as birthday gifts. It’s the true, incredibly inspiring story of the eight man crew team that won the gold medal at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Although it will appeal to sports and history buffs, it’s so much more than that. It’s a story of hard work, sacrifice and overcoming huge obstacles to achieve greatness. Click here to read my full blog post.
“A Man Called Ove”, by Fredrik Backman (published 2012)
This is fiction with heart. It tells the story of a widowed curmudgeon who finds new purpose in life when his neighbors refuse to let him live in lonely isolation. This should appeal to readers who enjoy a feel-good story with meaning. Read my full post here.
“Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania”, by Erik Larson (published March, 2015).
This is a well researched and engagingly told story of the Lusitania, an “unsinkable” ocean liner that was sunk by a German torpedo in 1915. History lovers on your list will enjoy this one. Read more about it here.
“All the Light We Cannot See”, by Anthony Doerr (published May, 2014).
This book won a well-deserved Pulitzer. It’s a haunting and beautifully written story about the impact of World War II on a German boy and a French girl. People who enjoy fine literature should love this book. I blogged about it here.
“Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis”, by J. D. Vance (published June, 2016).
This is both a personal account and a social commentary on one segment of the white working class. It made my list for two reasons. First of all, it’s a very good book. Second, it helps explain some of what just happened in our presidential election. It should appeal to anyone who is genuinely interested in understanding some of their fellow Americans a little bit better. Here is my blog post.
I hope this list has provided you with some good gift ideas. My only word of caution is that some of these books have been out for a couple of years, so you’ll need to do some snooping to determine if your gift recipient already has them. But on the plus side, that also means that three of the books (Boys in the Boat, Man Called Ove, and Dead Wake) are available in paperback, making them cheaper and more likely to fit in a stocking.