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.