Of the eleven people who will be at my pad for Christmas dinner, six are getting at least one book from me. Most of the remaining five have received a book or two from me at one point or another, and there are at least four other people I picked up a book to give to as a gift. Tomorrow we announce a winner in the Scrawlers.com “Dead of Winter” contest – just so I can give away yet two more books. In short, I believe a good read makes a good gift and I encourage you to think likewise.
I’ve had many great books gifted to me over the years. When I was a kid, J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and Judy Blume’s Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. In college I got copies of Signal To Noise by Neil Gaiman, and my first copy of Writer’s Market. Christmas gifts have ranged from Dude, Where’s My Country? by Michael Moore, The Daily Show’s America: The Book, Terry Pratchett’s The Bromeliad Trilogy brilliant autobiography I Shouldn’t Even Be Doing This by Bob Newhart, and Walt Whitman’s Memorandum on the [Civil] War. For wedding gifts, Kelly and I picked up Malcolm Gladwell’s innovative duo, Blink and The Tipping Point. And just for fun, my mother snagged me a copy of Neil Gaiman’s Two Plays for Voices on audio. This is just a small sampling of the great books I’ve received as gifts, but you get the picture. If I didn’t get a book on my own, I’ve had good people kind enough to know my tastes and find me good picks.
I hope you’re giving the written word to someone special this year. Who’s getting what from you? Okay, you can reply on December 26th, if you’d like, but I’d love to hear your picks for others (and what you receive in return).
P.S. The image I’ve selected to go with this post is of Bob Newhart’s autobiography because it’s so unbelievable good, plus it has many of his classic routines in print for the first time: