Hey ho, it’s the holidays! As you know, a lot of publishers send me books in hopes that I’ll write about them. So, instead of sending the November batch to the library donation bin (which is where a lot of books go even if I DO read them), I put together a small gift guide of many types of books. Deck the halls, people. Deck. The. Halls.

29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Lifeby Cami Walker.

This is the perfect gift for anyone who needs a feel good story. It starts bad, though — Walker dives into a steep depression when she finds out she has MS. She digs out of it by giving one gift a day for 29 days. Now, for someone with Spock-like logic, it’s a little spacey and new-agey, but I enjoyed the read. It made me give a few gifts myself.

PostSecret: Confessions on Life, Death, and God

Ever heard of PostSecret? It’s this movement where you can anonymously send postcards with whatever you want on it. IT IS FASCINATING. What would you say if no one knew you were saying it? PostSecret: Confessions on Life, Death, and God is a collection of PostSecrets that have to do with — you guessed it — life, death and God. It’s a great gift for anyone interesting in such things, like the relatively who isn’t that into Christmas, or your friend who points out that Christmas is a pagan holiday. Great stuff. Just flipping through the book prompts a lot of though.

Ace of Cakes: Inside the World of Charm City Cakes by Duff Goldman and Willie Goldman.

Obviously, if you know someone who likes this Food Network show, it’ll be a good gift. But here’s why it’s a great gift — this isn’t just a book of pretty pictures. Ace of Cakes includes in depth interviews, behind the scenes shots, and even fan mail from viewers. When you can sit down with a big glossy book and read it cover to cover without turning the page every two seconds, you’ve got a winner.

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters

Yes, the book is as silly as the title suggests. This is the second book out of Philadelphia-based Quirk publishers that puts something strange in the text of Jane Austen. The first, Pride, Prejudice & Zombies was a runaway hit and also out in a new deluxe editionfor the holidays. Either one is a silly romp for English lit fans.

Dita: Stripteese by Dita Von Teese.

Holy moly. If you’re got a burlesque fan in your midst, this is the book to get him or her. The package includes three flipbooks. Of a burlesque dancer. Enough said.

Bon Jovi: When We Were Beautiful

Also in the “people with pretty hair” category is this massive tome about Bon Jovi. Come on. You know you’ve screamed “Livin’ on a Prayer” at one point in your life. It’s like a rite of passage. The book was made in honor of the band’s 25th anniversary and focuses mostly on 2008, though there are some beauties of early career shots (AND THAT HAIR).

Led Zeppelin: Shadows Taller Than Our Soulsby Charles R. Cross

This isn’t just a book — it’s a Led Zeppelin experience for any super fan. It includes photos, of course, but also reproductions of ticket stubs, set lists, magazine covers, posters and backstage passes. There’s also a CD including an interview with Jimmy Page, and a keepsake slipcase. Like I said — perfect for superfans.

The Christmas Secretby Donna VanLiere.

I’m not a big fan of super sappy Christmastime. But some people are, and this blog is a blog for all book lovers. So if you have one such person in your life, The Christmas Secret would be a great choice. It’s by the same author of The Christmas Shoes and The Christmas Hope. It’s about a struggling single mother who saves someone’s life. This costs her the job that kept her afloat, but leads to a series of events that change her life.

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Jen Miller

Jen Miller

Jen A. Miller is a an author and freelance writer. Her memoir, Running a Love Story, was a Philadelphia Inquirer best book of the year. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, SELF, Buzzfeed and the Guardian, among others.


  1. Carlin Reagan on December 2, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    I just put 29 Gifts in my bag as my "on-the-go" book. My Bf is hinting about the Bon Jovi book as a potential gift.

Leave a Comment