I love to give books as presents (only to people who would appreciate them- I do not like to force reading on people!) and this year I think I found perfect books to give as gifts to each of my immediate family members. I thought it might be fun to share them with you, and maybe give you a few gift ideas at the same time!
Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Stills Matters by Anne Boyd Rioux
In Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy, Rioux recounts how Louisa May Alcott came to write Little Women, drawing inspiration for it from her own life. Rioux also examines why this tale of family and community ties, set while the Civil War tore America apart, has resonated through later wars, the Depression, and times of changing opportunities for women.
Alcott’s novel has moved generations of women, many of them writers: Simone de Beauvoir, J. K. Rowling, bell hooks, Cynthia Ozick, Jane Smiley, Margo Jefferson, and Ursula K. Le Guin were inspired by Little Women, particularly its portrait of the iconoclastic young writer, Jo. Many have felt, as Anna Quindlen has declared, “Little Women changed my life.”
Today, Rioux sees the novel’s beating heart in Alcott’s portrayal of family resilience and her honest look at the struggles of girls growing into women. In gauging its current status, Rioux shows why Little Women remains a book with such power that people carrits characters and spirit throughout their lives.
My mom absolutely adores Little Women so I know that this book is going to be a huge hit! She also loves to use books as decor, and I think this cover is perfect for her shelves. I might have to borrow this one from her…
Baseball Americana: Treasures from the Library of Congress by Harry Katz, Frank Ceresi, Susan Reyburn, Phil Michel
Baseball Americana is a lavishly illustrated history of America’s favorite sport, compiled from the unparalleled collections of the Library of Congress, now available from Smithsonian Books. From baseball’s biggest stars to street urchins, from its most newsworthy stories to sandlot and little League games, Baseball Americana tells the history of baseball’s hardscrabble origins, rich cultural heritage, and uniquely American character.
My dad is a HUGE baseball fan so he is bound to love a book like this one. It includes a lot of interesting historical photos and its a beautiful book. I think he will enjoy flipping through it and learning a bit more about the history of his favourite sport.
Team, a Resilient City, and Our Magical Run to the 1968 World Series by Tom Gage, Mickey Lolich
Fifty years on, the 1968 World Series remains one of the most iconic in major league history, a seven-game star-studded gauntlet which fittingly capped off a season for the ages in Detroit. Featuring St. Louis Cardinals ace Bob Gibson in MVP form, Mr. Tiger himself, Al Kaline, coming through at the plate with heroic timing, and Mickey Lolich shouldering unimaginable weight—three complete games pitched in a single series—it was baseball at its best, and baseball when and where it was most needed. Told with the vibrant first-hand perspective of Lolich himself and the expertise of award-winning Detroit journalist Tom Gage, this is the remarkable saga of that ’68 season which culminated in Tigers glory. Incorporating new reflections from players and personnel, Joy in Tigertown traces such achievements as Denny McClain’s 31-win season as well as the remarkable slugging performances of Kaline, Norm Cash, Willie Horton, and Bill Freehan. Experience the journey of a madcap team, a city reeling from riots, and a country immersed in turbulence and transition.
My dad’s favourite team is the Detroit Tigers so I was very excited to find this book! There are not a lot of books that focus solely on his team so I think he will be excited about. I am excited to see his reaction!
Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation by Blake J. Harris
In 1990, Nintendo had a virtual monopoly on the video game industry. Sega, on the other hand, was just a faltering arcade company with big aspirations and even bigger personalities. But that would all change with the arrival of Tom Kalinske, a man who knew nothing about videogames and everything about fighting uphill battles. His unconventional tactics, combined with the blood, sweat and bold ideas of his renegade employees, transformed Sega and eventually led to a ruthless David-and-Goliath showdown with rival Nintendo.
The battle was vicious, relentless, and highly profitable, eventually sparking a global corporate war that would be fought on several fronts: from living rooms and schoolyards to boardrooms and Congress. It was a once-in-a-lifetime, no-holds-barred conflict that pitted brother against brother, kid against adult, Sonic against Mario, and the US against Japan.
My brother loves video games and it is how we bonded growing up. I always get him nerdy gifts and he does the same for me. It is a tradition that I always look forward to. He is not a big reader but he will devour a book if it is about something he is interested in. I have heard great things about Console Wars and I think it has the potential to be a book that he loves.
Ten Things Video Games Can Teach Us: (about life, philosophy and everything) by Jordan Erica Webber, Daniel Griliopoulos
WOULD YOU KILL ONE PERSON TO SAVE FIVE OTHERS?
If you could upload all of your memories into a machine, would that machine be you? Is it possible we’re all already artificial intelligences, living inside a simulation?
These sound like questions from a philosophy class, but in fact they’re from modern, popular video games. Philosophical discussion often uses thought experiments to consider ideas that we can’t test in real life, and media like books, films, and games can make these thought experiments far more accessible to a non-academic audience. Thanks to their interactive nature, video games can be especially effective ways to explore these ideas.
Each chapter of this book introduces a philosophical topic through discussion of relevant video games, with interviews with game creators and expert philosophers.
I picked this one up for him on a whim but I think he will really enjoy it. He has a degree in philosophy so I am sure he will think this is interesting. I am sure he will also be happy to be armed with same facts about what video games to teach us when he gets in debates with people about them…
As someone who has deconstructed life’s hilarious facade, RuPaul has broken “the fourth wall” to expand on the concept of mind, body, and spirit. This unique perspective has allowed RuPaul to break the shackles of self-imposed limitations, but reader beware, this is a daily practice that requires diligence and touchstones to keep you walking in the sunshine of the spirit. Once you’re willing to look beyond the identity that was given to you, a hidden world of possibilities will open its doors.
Throughout the history of humans on this planet, there’ve always been shaman, seers, and mediums who are able to interpret both high and low frequencies and remind humans to look beyond the surface for the truth of who we really are. And who we really are is an extension of the power that created the universe (aka: God in drag). FYI: most people are not willing to hear or accept that.
That is RuPaul’s secret for success, not only in show business, but in all aspects of life, especially in navigating the emotional landmines that inhibit most sweet, sensitive souls.
If you think this book is just about “doing drag,” you are sorely mistaken because for RuPaul, drag is merely a device to deactivate the identity-based ego and allow space for the unlimited.
My brother and his girlfriend live in Toronto, so they have access to a pretty amazing library system, of which she takes full advantage! She reads quite a bit and I am not sure what books she has read, so I didn’t want to take the risk! We both really love Ru Paul’s Drag Race and I know this isn’t a book she would buy for herself. I think she is going to be happy to have it!
I would love to know if you are gifting any books this holiday season! I think it is really fun trying to find the perfect book to suit the interests of the people on your list! I am pretty happy with the books that I chose this year, and I hope that they enjoy them.