The holidays can be a stressful time—so much to do, see, decorate, cook, bake, and eat! Of course, there is also the matter of holiday shopping. Knowing what to buy for the different people in your life is a challenge at the best of times (let alone in a crowded, hectic, sticky mall). Here’s your solution: only go to one store. Yes, you only need one store to satisfy all your holiday shopping needs, and that is the bookstore. Once you know what type of person you’re shopping for, finding the perfect book for them is easy! To help, we’ve outlined ten types of books lovers—from the Brainiac to the Technophile—and paired them with a book they’re sure to love! Spread the joy of the season along with the joy of reading!
1) The Brainiac: The Power of Why by Amanda Lang
The Power of Why is the perfect book to buy for the student, intellectual, or entrepreneur in your life. Amanda Lang, CBC’s senior business correspondent and co-host of The Lang & O’Leary Exchange, artfully explores the connection between productivity, innovation and success, and determines one common denominator among them: curiosity. Looking at examples from business and psychology, and pulling from fascinating research, Lang explains how asking the right questions can change the world and reinvigorate your career. Candid stories from her life and interviews with innovation gurus and business leaders make The Power of Why an entertaining and informative read. It’s guaranteed to inspire one New Year’s resolution: ask more questions!
2) The Environmentalist: Straphanger by Taras Grescoe
Taras Grescoe has proven he can write about anything and make it interesting. The award-winning author of Bottomfeeder (about seafood) and The Devil’s Picnic (about illicit substances) tackles the automobile in Straphanger. Grescoe explores—and challenges—global car culture and suburban sprawl through his examination of alternative transportation and urban transit. He talks to bicycle commuters, subway engineers, and urban planners; those who are idealistic, and those who are disillusioned. This is the book to buy for anyone who is concerned about congestion, rising gas prices, and the environmental and political consequences of both. Straphanger is an engaging and insightful national bestseller—you can’t go wrong.
3) The Girlie Girl: Beauty by Lauren Conrad
We all know a girl like her: the one who always looks perfectly pretty and put together; the one who knows what makeup and hair styles flatter her best; the one who has all the tips and tricks for getting glowing, flawless skin; the one who can apply red lipstick like a pro—Lauren Conrad is that girl. You may recognize Conrad from her stint on MTV, but since then she has grown into a successful business woman and brand unto herself. She’s also accumulated insider knowledge on how to look your best on- and off-camera, and luckily, she’s sharing all her secrets! Her beauty bible, simply titled Lauren Conrad Beauty, caters to the ultra-feminine with step-by-step tutorials on nails, makeup, hair, and more. It makes the perfect girlie gift!
4) The Romantic: Juliet by Anne Fortier
Juliet is one of those epic love stories that has it all: a lush Italian setting, a mysterious, ancient family secret, a perilous journey, and—of course—a passionate romance. The National Post called it “a cross between The Da Vinci Code, Twilight and Shakespeare…”— what could be more intriguing than that? Juliet isn’t your typical formulaic, chick-lit romance either. It follows narrator Julie Jacobs as she tries to unravel the mystery surrounding her Italian ancestor, Giulietta— a woman whose forbidden romance with a young man named Romeo shook medieval Siena to its core… sound familiar? This delicious twist on the ultimate love story will delight the romantic book lover on your list!
5) The Sports Fan: Crossing the Line by Derek Sanderson
Derek Sanderson has been called “A Hockey Original,” and he surely is. While playing for the legendary Boston Bruins in the 1970s, Sanderson became as infamous for his flamboyant lifestyle as he did for his hockey skills. At one time, he was the highest-paid athlete in the world; he drove a burgundy Rolls-Royce and wore a fox coat. Hockey fans will remember him winning two Stanley Cups and playing with fellow legends like Bobby Orr. But when Sanderson’s hedonistic lifestyle led him into drug and alcohol addiction, his hockey career ended and he entered a downward spiral that would see him sleeping under bridges and worse. Crossing the Line is a fascinating memoir about the rise, fall, and eventual redemption of a hockey heavyweight that will satisfy Sanderson fans and NHL-lovers.
6) The Comedian: Moranthology by Caitlin Moran
On the cover of Moranthology, Caitlin Moran is christened as “The U.K.’s answer to Tina Fey, Chelsea Handler, and Lena Dunham all rolled into one” (Marie Claire). While those women are all extremely funny, smart, and successful comedians, there is something special about Moran. Her voice is fresh and distinctive, not to mention hysterical. Moran’s previous book How to be a Woman became a runaway bestseller and launched the author as a “feminist rock star.” In Moranthology, readers are presented with a collection of hilarious and award-winning columns outlining Moran’s views on everything from Ghostbusters to Twitter; transsexuals to the royal wedding. This book will make an awesome gift to fans of edgy, witty comedy.
7) The Artist: Just Kids by Patti Smith
Just Kids is a book that speaks to the artist in all of us. Patti Smith, whose creative work in diverse mediums such as poetry, painting, performance art, and (most famously) music, has always sparked thoughtful conversation. With Just Kids, Smith tries her hand at prose and the result is magical. Anyone with artistic inclinations will be enthralled by her descriptions of the now-mythologized art scene of New York City during the late 60s and 70s. The memoir recalls a bygone era when starving artists lived at the Chelsea Hotel and danced to the Velvet Underground in dark, dank clubs. It’s about the joy and the struggle of two scrappy artists before they hit it big. Smith’s lyrical writing style will transport you. This book is a must-read (in other words, the perfect gift) for the artist or music fan in your life!
8) The Young at Heart: The 100 Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
This quirky novel will enchant any fiction lover, but it would make an especially good gift for those with an adventurous spirit! The 100 Year-Old Man follows Allan Karlsson, a “reluctant centenarian” with a soft spot for vodka, as he escapes from his nursing home and sets off on a wild and hilarious adventure. Through his journey we learn about his long and (extremely) eventful life. You see, Allan has played a key role in many of the most important events of the twentieth century, Forrest Gump-style. This novel—an international sensation with over 2 million copies sold— is a stocking stuffer that will have you laughing out loud.
9) The Foodie: Garde Manger by Chuck Hughes
There are a lot of cookbooks out there, and it takes a special one to stand out in the age of the celebrity chef. Chuck Hughes definitely stands out, in a good way! Hughes, who hosts his own shows on Food Network Canada called “Chuck’s Day Off” and “Chuck’s Week Off,” is at once down-to-earth, charismatic, and full of contagious energy! Garde Manger—named after Hughes’ restaurant in Montreal—serves up stylish dishes that reflect his impressive skill (he beat out Bobby Flay on Iron Chef!) without ever being fussy. The design of Garde Manger sets it apart by reflecting Hughes’ personality and unpolished, tattooed aesthetic—it’s beautiful enough to be a hip coffee table book! The foodies on your list will find lots to love about this cookbook and its rising star.
10) The Technophile: Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
Robin Sloan has crafted a “literary adventure story for the 21st century.” Weaving together a love of books with a love of technology, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore celebrates both the old and the new in equal measure. Sloan—who worked at Twitter—embraces technology in a way that any technophile can appreciate, from programmers to web designers to social media devotees. You might be curious to know how a novel about an old, mysterious bookstore blends these elements together successfully, but therein lies the charm of Mr. Penumbra—it’s unexpected! This book has been a huge hit with the indie bookstore-crowd, who can’t say enough good things about this feisty little gem!
And there you have it: a book for every kind of person on your list (well, maybe not every kind). You may even have some new ideas of what to put on your own wish list! Here’s hoping you have a delightful and book-filled holiday season, savvy readers!
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