Monday, December 14, 2009

Two Good Gift Book Suggestions

Last week the folks from the McMaster Daily News came into Titles Bookstore with a camera and asked what book I'd recommend for holiday gift giving. I told them I'd have difficulty narrowing down the list to 10 books as it was (which I try to do around this time every December), but that picking just one would be impossible.

They let me pick two books, so I went with one fiction title and one non-fiction title both of which I believe would appeal to a broad spectrum of readers.

See video below, which not only includes my two selections, but great selections from Lorraine York, Professor of English and Cultural Studies and Associate University Librarian Vivian Lewis.

I selected these books for the following reason.

Lawrence Hill's THE BOOK OF NEGROES (Illustrated Edition)

This phenomenal story about one woman's life experience living through the slave trade is beautifully written and one that sticks with the reader long after reading. This is a great selection for a number of reasons. First, just on its own, it's a fantastic novel. Second, if you know someone who has already read the novel, this makes a great gift because the illustrated edition adds a whole new way for the reader to enjoy the novel. Because it includes much of the artwork that inspired Hill when he was researching for the writing of the novel, the additional layer of historical references are perfect. This new presentation of the novel would also be appealing for the history buff.


Everyone is connected. Everyone is talking about new media and social networking. But there are a lot of people out there who don't understand what it's all about nor how it can be used for the greater good. Joel introduces the worlds of social networking (such things as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, blogs and podcasting) in easy to understand layperson's terms then runs through various examples of how this interconnectedness can help benefit a person, brand or business. Though written with a business reader's perspective in mind, Joel's approach is one that can easily be appreciated by someone simply wanting to understand more about the digital world. And the cool thing is that once you finish reading it, you can continue to enjoy learning more from Joel's blog or podcast in which he continues to advance knowledge and resources in these areas.

You'll also notice that I picked two books by Canadian authors.

It never hurts to promote Canuck talent, but in all honesty I didn't make the selections Canadian on purpose -- it just happened that way.

What two books would YOU suggest make great gifts this holiday season?

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