Seems like this time of year everyone has a “Best of” list or a gift-buying guide, so I figured why shouldn’t I have one as well?
2011 Releases, in no particular order:
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen Good for: children who froth at the mouth when the alligator eats the monkeys during “Five Little Monkeys Swingin’ in the Tree”, meme lovers (this book has spawned a ton of imitators, check it out), Charley Harper fans.
Hark! A Vagrant! by Kate Beaton Good for: history nerds, literature nerds, middle and high schoolers who hate their history class, fans of Drunk History on funny or die.
Star Trek Book of Opposites by David Borgenicht. Good for: nerds with babies, nerds. Did I mention nerds? People who have trouble with opposites.
Every Thing On It by Shel Silverstein Good for: Poetry lovers, children, Johnny Cash fans (you can check and see if they know that Shel wrote “A Boy Named Sue” and was actually quite a formidable musician in his own right (write? right)).
Press Here by Herve Tullet. Good for: anyone with a soul and a sense of wonder.
The Conductor by Laetitia Devernay. Good for: music geeks. Every time they read the book, they can play a different piece of music and totally change their experience.
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray. Good for: Ironic fans of America’s Next Top Model, Toddlers and Tiaras, pretty much any reality show ever, crazysauce yet brave writing.
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. Good for: Romance fans, Francophiles, movie buffs.
Backlist Beauties, again in no particular order:
Boxed set of the Time Quartet by Madeline L’Engle. Good for: children who like speculative fiction, adults who like speculative fiction, those who like a faith message in their fiction, anyone who loves tall, gangly gingers (*raises hand*).
Anything by Russell Hoban. Good for: speculative fiction fans (Ridley Walker), children who sing to themselves (the Frances books), children and adults who are precociously philosophical (A Mouse and His Child).
Sunshine by Robin McKinley. Good for: people who give gifts out of their own selfish motivations rather than in the spirit of the season. You give this book to Twilight fans hoping to destroy their devotion to Mary Sue--I mean, Bella.
The Freak Observer by Blythe Woolston. Good for: women and girls who feel like they’re never good or pretty enough, fans of Harold and Maude and Being There.
Suggested to me by my good friends on Twitter. I can’t personally recommend these, but I trust my Twitter pals:
A History of the World in 100 Objects by Neil MacGregor
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Recommended by: http://twitter.com/#!/pnkrcklibrarian/status/145536086934949888
Aesop's Fables: A Pop-Up Book of Classic Tales by Kees Moerbeek, Bruce Whatley (Illustrator), Chris Beatrice (Illustrator)
http://twitter.com/#!/klmpeace/status/145591291500167168 (Kim also recommended Every Thing On It)
Sandman Slim series by Richard Kadrey
Recommended by: http://twitter.com/#!/AbelUndercity/status/145517073093771264
Serious Men: A Novel by Manu Joseph
Recommended by: http://twitter.com/#!/lizzieskurnick/status/145517852986834945
A Ship for The King by Richard Woodman
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Recommended by: http://twitter.com/#!/kdnorthrup/status/145529889070657536, http://twitter.com/#!/kdnorthrup/status/145529417022701570
You can find more information about all of these books via the Goodreads list I put together. Please try and support independent booksellers for your holiday gift giving, and you can always go to your local library to try before you buy. Happy holidays everyone!