Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Holiday Haul and Carry: Part 1--Bookish Items I Gave

1.  Our school does a giving tree for families in need, and there was a last minute addition.  The woman in charge asked me if I could pick out two YA books, as that's what the kid had requested.  "What age within that?" I asked, and she said, "Oh, she's one of ours."  So, younger end of YA.  But growing out of MG.  I didn't have time to go to a real bookstore, so I went to the local grocery store and picked up Ghosts and Nerve.  When we wrapped them, they put the name on, and I said, "Oh!  That's one of my students!"  I was so pleased to think that one of my "struggling" readers requested books for Christmas (and knew the term "YA"), and I also feel pretty confident that she will like both of my choices.  It's supposed to be anonymous, so I won't ask her about them, but I am kind of hoping she'll tell me anyways.

2.  Last year I got my 9 year old the illustrated Harry Potter book that had just come out, and then we read it together over the next month or two.  So OF COURSE I had to get the next book this year, even though it's probably my least favorite in the series.  Still, I am exactly the audience this is intended for, I think, and will undoubtably get her each book as it comes out each year, so she'll have the complete collection by the time she leaves home.

3.  The same daughter--an eager story appreciator but a struggling reader--listened to Carl Hiassan's Chomp three times in a row this summer, so when I heard he was coming to our local bookstore, I wanted to take her.  But he was there promoting his latest adult book, so I asked their policy.  They said if we ALSO bought the book he was there for, he'd sign a copy of Chomp for her as well.  We mentioned our anticipation to my sister who said, "Oh!  That's one of [my brother-in-law]'s favorite authors too!"  My BIL is kind of hard to shop for, so I glommed onto that, and we got Mr. Hiassan (who was a hilarious speaker and a very gracious autographer) to sign Razor Girl to my BIL and Chomp for my daughter.  And he was delighted with the book and signature.

4.  The latest Diary of a Wimpy Kid for my son, who is the target audience to a T.

5.  My husband got his mom a vegetarian cookbook, because she felt that her 1980s cookbooks neglected things like kale.

6.  My adult nephew is also super hard to shop for.  I finally just asked him what he wanted, and he forwarded me his Amazon wishlist.  I noticed some Gaiman on it, so I wound up getting him all 3 of the new editions with the retro pulp covers.

7.  My sisters babysat for us for my anniversary earlier in the month, and I heard that there had been some carol singing with piano accompaniment.  Then I heard that one of the sisters was in raptures over the old book of carols that I have, which came with the piano when I inherited it from my parents.  So I wrapped that baby up and gave it to her instead, since she's a far better pianist than I am.

I love giving books for gifts, and I feel pretty good about all of these choices.  Did you give any books as gifts recently?  How were they received?  (When my nephew was about 10, he opened my gift of the first two Susan Cooper The Dark is Rising books and sneered, "Like I haven't already read these," and I literally had to leave the room and cry for a minute.)  

Next up--a bit about the small amount of bookish delights I received this year.  


  1. I got books for my parents, even though they aren’t readers. I got my dad 2 atlases because he used to be a cartographer and likes atlases. I got my mom 2 coloring books and a memoir by an annoying psychic lady she watches on TV.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. See, those sound just right for the recipients. My husband doesn't read fiction, but gets irritated when I say he's "not a reader." It all counts, right?

  2. I always buy my 11 year old niece and 8 year old nephew books for their birthdays and Christmas. This year I got my niece the newest Diary of a Wimpy Kid (which she was thrilled with), and my nephew, who is way into sports, received an SI for Kids subscriptions, and an SI Hockey Greats Book (which he was thrilled with). Buying books for others is the best!


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