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Martha Wells

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Gift Book Recommendations

It's December 3 and I feel like I'm already behind on Christmas. I need to get Christmas cards and get them in the mail. (And I like the kind that are a) pretty b) cheap c) use recycled paper plus bonus d) benefiting a hospital or charity or something. It's amazingly hard to find ones that combine all those elements.) I need to disassemble the house, clean it, and reassemble it. I need to do something about the great wasp invasion of 2010. (Fortunately the great sugar ant invasion of 2010 seems to be petering out.) I need to figure out good presents that are a) pretty and b) cheap.

In light of that, let's do a book recommendation post for the present-giving winter holiday you celebrate. Post about a book or books in the comments that you would a) like to get for a present b) planning to get for someone else c) think other people should get for you or someone else. Bonus points for SF, fantasy, mystery, or romance, but any kind of fiction or non-fiction will do.


Bonus links that are pretty but not cheap:

The WorldBuilders Fundraiser has already raised over $60,000 for Heifer International. Contribute and enter to win fabulous signed books as prizes.

The Warrior's Way is finally out this weekend and I am so there.

The Nervous Breakdown: 12 Common Misperceptions About Publishing especially number 10:
10. Authors are rich.

The most visible authors are often pretty well off, it’s true. But most authors who rely on writing as their primary means of support are poor indeed. Authorship, like it or not, is a form of celebrity, and we live in a winner-take-all society with very few winners. That said, even the top one percent of richest authors doesn’t hold a candle to the top one percent of creative people in, say, Hollywood. Becoming an author in order to get rich is like going to the desert in order to become wet.

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I wish someone would give me a copy of Cryoburn for Christmas! I've no money for hardcovers at the moment...

I'm going to try and get hold of a copy of a second hand copy of The Steerswoman by Rosemary Kirstein to send to a friend who has just moved out of the area. I recently re-read it for the umpteenth time, and I still love the way it switches from fantasy quest to sci-fi.

And I've giving a copy of Savvy by Ingrid Law to my niece - a wonderful book for younger YA readers. It has the eccentric family in it to end all eccentric families...








(Deleted comment)
Thanks! :)

I enjoyed Dreadnought a lot, and Clementine was really good too.

Yep, I couldn't wait, and broke down and bought Cryoburn for myself.

I think The Steerswoman was reprinted not too long ago, so hopefully it won't be hard to find.

I've heard good things about the new biography of Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff. I'm miffed a conversation on local public radio with her today has been postponed because of local political news.

Cleopatra: A Life

The author was on the Daily Show last night and the book sounded fabulous.

I really want Pratchett's most recent (last) Tiffany Aching book, I Shall Wear Midnight.

I haven't read those yet but they sound good.

Seconded. But I am forcing myself to wait for the paperback.

Reading Recommendations for Gift Giving:

1.) Any of the "Clockwork Century" novels by Cherie Priest:
Boneshaker, Clementine, and Dreadnought.

2.) Leviathan and Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld for teens.

3.) Any of the "Western Lights" novels by Jefferey Barlough:
Dark Sleeper, The House in the High Wood, and Strange Cargo.

4.) Either of the "Newbury and Hobbes" novels by George Mann:
The Affinity Bridge and The Osirus Ritual.

5.) Any of the "October Daye" novels by Seanan McGuire:
Rosemary and Rue, A Local Habitation, and An Artificial Night.

5.) The Mystery of Grace by Charles de Lint.

6.) The Peshawar Lancers or Conquistador by S.M. Stirling.

7.) The Two Georges by Harry Turtledove and Richard Dreyfuss.

Edited at 2010-12-03 04:33 pm (UTC)

Cryoburn is worth it (i finished it two days after it arrived in my mailbox).

I often give out copies of Guy Gavriel Kay's Tigana, & Fionavar Tapestry (The Summer Tree, The Wandering Fire, The Darkest Road) as gifts. His newest, Under Heaven, is fully as good as Tigana and would make an excellent gift. Also Kushner's Thomas the Rhymer, and Windling's The Wood Wife.


I think The Honey Month looks like a really lovely gifting book (plus I want one for myself). http://www.papaveria.com/the-honey-month/

There are so many many books I want to read on my wishlist I can't otherwise begin to list good books for gifting.

I recommend Carousel Tides, by Sharon Lee. Contemporary fantasy, realistic Maine small-town life blended smoothly with selkies, land magic, ocean magic, magical creatures from other dimensions, and a carousel at an old amusement park that has some rather odd qualities. Romance subplot, but it is a subplot - it doesn't repeatedly grab the story and drag it off into dark corners for a quickie. Wonderful, varied characters, the secondary ones as well as the main ones.

I got my husband a copy of Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand, because it's been really well reviewed and he likes that kind of real-life adventure. I got my daughter a copy of "The Cat in the Hat" in Russian, since she is studying that, and I haven't kept up enough with her reading while she's away at college to know what else she might or might not be interested in.

For nonfiction, I recommend Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard, by Chip and Dan Heath. A very readable and, I find, very usable book about creating change in ourselves, our organizations, and our society. They say that a person is like a rider on an elephant, where the person is the logical rational part of us, and the elephant is the emotional and passionate part. The rider provides direction but can't manage the elephant by strength alone; the elephant provides the motive power but needs to be aimed in the right direction. You can't solve an elephant problem by implementing rider solutions.

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