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Books, books, more books for the holidays: Gifts for geeks

Gifts for geeks

Nothing says "I love you" like 250 pages of small print! Here are some books Hour writers enjoyed

Showbiz, by Jason Anderson (ECW Press)

What would the gift-giving season be without presenting your favourite conspiracy theorist with a Kennedy murder theory romp? Author Jason Anderson’s first novel evolved out of an article about comedian Vaughn Meader. In the early 1960s Meader was the one of the biggest recording artists of his time. A JFK impersonator whose light-hearted comedy albums poked fun at the President, Meader becomes the focal point of the Kennedy assassination in this light-hearted roman à clef. As journalist Nathan Grant gets closer to the truth about the impersonator, he suddenly encounters clandestine forces that make their presence felt to the young journalist. That’s when Nathan realizes that shedding light on the 1963 assassination comes with a hefty price tag… his life. (MJ Stone)

The Coldest Winter: A Stringer in Liberated Europe, by Paula Fox (Henry Holt & Company)

For those pragmatic types who prefer facts over fiction, Paula Fox’s memoir may be the book you’re looking for. The Coldest Winter is an account of Fox’s 1946 travels as a stringer with a British news service; she was a 22-year-old seeking experience and salvation amongst the ruins of London, Warsaw, Prague and Paris. The author of the award-winning memoir Borrowed Finery, Fox recounts everything from her meeting with Jean-Paul Sartre to card-playing with a concentration camp survivor to her affair with a married Corsican. A rare and unsentimental examination of the world as seen by a young writer at the beginning of her career, this is a lucid and touching memoir that is sure to please. (MJ Stone)

The Dolphin’s Tooth, by Bruce Kirkby (McClelland & Stewart)

Anyone with a wilderness adventurer on their gift list will want to pick up Bruce Kirkby’s The Dolphin’s Tooth. Navigating the path less travelled, Kirkby chronicles his transformation as a dutiful engineer trapped in an office job to Canada’s premier adventurer. From his solo bicycle journey across Pakistan’s Karakoram Highway to his rafting adventure down the crocodile-infested waters of the Blue Nile, Kirby’s lively prose is succinct and engaging and brings the joys and sorrows of adventure travel to life. Spiced with the rescue of a fallen sherpa on Mount Everest and the story of how a wilderness adventure through Northern British Columbia nearly cost Kirkby a friendship and his life, this book explores the agony and ecstasy that shadows the extreme traveller. (MJ Stone)

The Bicycle Eater, by Larry Tremblay (Talonbooks)

If you’ve got a unilingual anglo to buy for, make a stocking stuffer of The Bicycle Eater, a superb translation of Larry Tremblay’s wonderfully surreal 2002 novel. It’s the story of Montreal photographer Christophe Langelier, who remains obsessed with Anna, his anima projection, 10 years after failing to eat a bicycle as proof of his never-ending love for her. Tremblay brings the Plateau to life in all its eccentricities and writes about love and loss like a man who has had a limb amputated, and Sheila Fischman’s translation of his comic novel is a riotous romp that exposes Langelier’s obsessive self-loathing. The Anna-echo in the protagonist’s heart (even his lexicon is imbued with her), resounding throughout The Bicycle Eater, is little more than a phantom of the real Anna-thing. (MJ Stone)

The Best Game You Can Name, by Dave Bidini (McClelland & Stewart)

When in doubt, there’s always hockey. For the stick-handler in your life, why not pick up Dave Bidini’s The Best Game You Can Name? The Rheostatics guitarist’s latest adventure in prose was inspired by his defensive efforts with the Morningstars, an amateur hockey club in Toronto. Filled with conversations with former professional hockey players, such as Frank Mahovlich, Yvan Cournoyer, Steve Larmer and Ryan Walter, the book weaves together voices from the NHL with Bidini’s own on-ice experiences. The result is a romantic account of the best goals and most outrageous fights, as well as tons of hockey trivia in a prose that’s both frank and rich with humour. Outrageous and quirky, The Best Game You Can Name is sure to delight the puck-head in your life. (MJ Stone)

The Freedom to Smoke: Tobacco Consumption and Identity, by Jarrett Rudy (McGill-Queen’s University Press)

I once saw an advertisement from the 1930s depicting Santa Claus merrily stuffing stockings with cartons of Dunhill cigarettes. If this idea intrigues you, then you might scribble Jarrett Rudy’s The Freedom to Smoke onto your holiday wish list. This thoughtful and unusual cultural history of Montreal’s love affair with smoking argues that gender, class and race have always influenced a person’s decision to light up. With the complete ban looming next spring, topics such as smoking’s role in identity formation, social hierarchy and the health care system will provide plenty of fodder for discussions in hazy bars until the weather turns warm again. (Brett Hooton)

The Case for Peace: How the Arab-Israeli Conflict Can Be Resolved, by Alan Dershowitz (John Wiley & Sons)

Whether it’s because of nativity scenes or the Gaza withdrawal, Israel will inevitably be on our minds in the coming months. This holiday season, Alan Dershowitz offers political junkies a controversial, but surprisingly balanced and optimistic plan for achieving peace in the Middle East. Rejecting extremists on both sides, he identifies 12 intractable obstacles – such as targeted assassinations by Israelis and Palestinian suicide bombers – then meticulously outlines how these hurdles can be overcome. Best of all, Dershowitz spreads good cheer in his own way by labelling Noam Chomsky and other like-minded academics as "anti-Israel, anti-peace, and anti-truth zealots." Happy holidays, Noam. (Brett Hooton)

Riding With Rilke: Reflections on Motorcycles and Books, by Ted Bishop (Viking Canada)

In the winter, we tend to slog from our homes to the metro to work with barely a nostril-ful of fresh air. For those seeking relief from this vicious subterranean cycle, Ted Bishop’s Riding With Rilke will intoxicate you with a heady mixture of asphalt and dusty, crumbling manuscripts. This Governor-General’s short-listed book recounts its author’s epic motorcycle journey from Edmonton to one of the world’s greatest modernist archives in Texas. With philosophical acumen, he exposes a rare freedom found in both the "archive jolt" of, for example, holding Virginia Woolf’s suicide note, and the roar of his Ducati on seamless desert highway. (Brett Hooton)

The Dance of Molecules: How Nanotechnology Is Changing Our Lives, by Ted Sargent (Viking Canada)

For Ted Sargent, it isn’t sugarplums but Buckyballs that pirouette through his dreams. In The Dance of Molecules, this world-renowned Canadian researcher attempts to demystify the complex world of nanotechnology, or the science of "building new materials and devices from the molecule up." With visions of the future that are alternately frightening and inspirational, Sargent explores nanotechnology’s potential effects on our health, environment and access to information. He even fantasizes about reconstructing Greta Garbo and "uploading [his] lips to her cheek." After reading this challenging new book, you too may start imagining your first virtual kiss under the holographic mistletoe. (Brett Hooton)

The Polite Revolution: Perfecting the Canadian Dream, by John Ibbitson (McClelland & Stewart)

As Canadians, our signature politeness makes us the very definition of those who appear on Santa’s "nice list." That is why John Ibbitson’s new work of political analysis may shock its readers. Despite its title, it is not polite at all. Instead, this prominent newspaper columnist fills his tome with contentious claims, such as that Canada represents "the world’s most successful country." With true patriotic gusto, he highlights the central challenges facing Canada in the 21st century, and then proposes solutions that are levelheaded and intelligent. Few will wholeheartedly embrace his ideas, but nevertheless, his candour is refreshing. (Brett Hooton)

Bud Inc.: Inside Canada’s Marijuana Industry, by Ian Mulgrew (Random House)

For the budding Samuel Bronfman on your list, Vancouver journalist Ian Mulgrew takes us inside B.C.’s lucrative marijuana industry, which is "Canada’s most valuable agricultural product" according to Forbes Magazine. While there’s plenty of interesting characters and colourful anecdotes, some actually believable, the title itself is a misnomer. Everything in this book seems to start and stop at the B.C. border and the rest of the country is ignored. There’s no mention of Toronto epilepsy patient Terry Parker’s lengthy court battles, for example, that paved the way for government recognition of medicinal marijuana, and there is a glaring omission of Valleyfield, Quebec grower "Backyard Bob" Hamon, whose early 1980s Charter challenge to marijuana prohibition became an obligatory reference for all subsequent and future court challenges. Indeed, the real story of Canada’s marijuana industry has yet to be written, but these 287 pages do make for an entertaining chapter. (Charlie McKenzie)

The Main, by Trevanian (Three Rivers Press)

The one author who arguably spread the Main’s grimy, no-holds-barred reputation to all four corners of the globe was none other than mysterious American spy novelist Trevanian (a.k.a. Rodney William Whitaker), whose 1976 book The Main sold millions worldwide. The novel – re-released for its 25th anniversary during The Main’s 100th birthday this year – is about Montreal police Lieutenant Claude LaPointe’s hunt for a cold-blooded murderer. The critically hailed thriller will not only keep readers on the edge of their seats, it’ll keep them thinking long after they put it down about the inability of Western males to deal with grief and loss. (Bugs Burnett)

Harvard’s Secret Court: The Savage 1920 Purge of Campus Homosexuals, by William Wright (St. Martin’s Press)

In 2002, when a researcher for The Harvard Crimson came across a restricted archive labelled "Secret Files, 1920," he uncovered the most shameful episode in the history of Harvard University: The campus witch hunt for gay students. Several students committed suicide and the lives of others were destroyed by the university’s efforts to sully their reputations, all under the watchful eye of legendary Harvard president Lawrence Lowell. A stunning and heartbreakingly tragic tale that New York Times bestselling author (and Yale graduate) William Wright keeps moving at a steady clip. (Bugs Burnett)

Hockey’s Hottest Players: The On- and Off-Ice Stories of the Superstars, by Arpon Basu (OverTime Books)

With the return of the NHL, onetime Hour reporter and veteran sports journalist Arpon Basu has written a quick read, aimed mainly at young teens, about 10 of the sport’s biggest stars, including Rick Nash (the youngest player in NHL history to win the league’s goal-scoring title), Sidney Crosby (whom Gretzky calls "The Next One") and Habs hero José Théodore. Basu mixes a breezy writing style with colourful quotes and anecdotes that will inspire every young hockey fan. A fun stocking stuffer. (Bugs Burnett)

Bob Marley and The Wailers: The Definitive Discography, by Roger Steffens & Leroy Jodie Pierson (Rounder Books)

Dubwise: Reasoning From the Reggae Underground, by Klive Walker (Insomniac Press)

This Marley discography by the world’s foremost reggae historian, Roger Steffens (also chair of the Grammy Awards reggae committee, whom Marley himself renamed "Ras Rojah"), is a photo-filled treasure trove that will thrill musicologists as well as Marley fans around the world. Very readable, practically laid out with a song-title index that makes everything that much easier. Meanwhile, in Dubwise, T-O music journalist Klive Walker takes a fresh look at Marley’s global impact, and explores the influence of such reggae legends as Dennis Brown, examines Briths and Canadian reggae, and looks at reggae’s relationship with hip-hop. A terrific read that takes reggae beyond the dancehalls. (Bugs Burnett)

Music Lust, by Nic Harcourt (Sasquatch Books)

While it’s billed as "recommended listening for every mood, moment, and reason," I’d go with something more along the lines of "another middle-aged music guy book with no balls and little relevance." Written by Nic Harcourt, the host of the influential (to who?) Morning Becomes Eclectic radio show, this is essentially a series of short essays that run the gamut from "Deadheads and Jam Bands" to "Queens of Punk," with more cutely titled lists than you could shake a CD at. The idea is good and the presentation slick, but, between being obviously full of himself and claiming to have helped break the careers of Norah Jones and Dido (is this brag worthy?), he makes glaring missteps when he touches on the present day: His Canuck chapter is all Shanias and Barenaked Ladies, while his pitiful hip-hop chapter at one point mentions the Black Eyed Peas as having underground respect. When is someone (a publisher) going to let someone younger (me) write a book someone in its targeted demographic will actually want to read? (Brendan Murphy)

The Commitment, by Dan Savage (Dutton)

Dan Savage and his partner of 10 years, Terry, are in many ways a conservative’s wet dream. They’re the very portrait of a traditional nuclear family: Dan is the breadwinning partner while Terry cooks, cleans and is the stay-at-home parent to their adopted six-year-old son, D.J. But of course, in George W. Bush’s America, two people sharing the same combination of chromosomes can’t possibly be allowed to have the same rights so many straight couples abuse with impunity. So when Dan’s Catholic (and twice-married) mom suggests that Dan and Terry celebrate their 10th anniversary by getting married, suddenly the institution of marriage comes under closer scrutiny than the avian flu. The result will have you seeing matrimony and long-term relationships in a whole new light no matter what your sex, political leanings or sexual orientation are (while cackling hysterically on the metro). I can’t recommend this book highly enough. (Geeta Nadkarni)

Further Under the Duvet, by Marian Keyes (Penguin Canada)

My copy of Marian Keyes’ first collection of journalistic columns and anecdotes, Under the Duvet, has been around several blocks in Mumbai, Singapore and here in Montreal. It’s the book I lend girlfriends who are down and need to know that they’re not the only ones struggling with relationships, home improvement, foreign plug points and the eternal question: Does my base chakra look big in these pants? So you can imagine the glee with which I attacked the courier who brought me the sequel edition (this one thicker and even more promising). That night was impromptu girls’ night: We sat around, sipping wine and reading aloud from Further Under the Duvet, hamming up the Irish cadence of Keyes’ sentences and going from giggles to screams to tears. I’m all for sharing, but if you’re calling to borrow this book, leave a message after the beep… (Geeta Nadkarni)

Babyji, by Abha Dawesar (Anchor Books)

With their population having crossed the billion mark, it should come as no surprise that Indians are, well, passionate. And yet the land of the Kamasutra continues to be mired in outdated Victorian mores (which didn’t even work for the Brits!) that suppress a healthy sexuality. This is why Abha Dawesar is my hero. Anamika Sharma, the protagonist of Dawesar’s second novel, is a precocious 16-year-old who breaks more rules than I have words to name by having affairs with women. Not one, but three: an older woman, a servant girl and a classmate. Both innocent child and sexual predator, Anamika uses wave particle theory to construct an alternate morality in a book that’s full of flavours the locals never talk about. (Geeta Nadkarni)

Dragonslippers: This Is What an Abusive Relationship Looks Like, by Rosalind B. Penfold (Penguin Canada)

Why do smart, successful and independent women sometimes find themselves playing house with monsters? How does one decode kiss-slap-slap-kiss? What are the signs that the relationship you’re in is abusive? Why can’t you remember anything? And how do you get out? Rosalind B. Penfold drew pictures for 10 years in black and white – images of flowers and vacations turning into power play, sexual and emotional abuse – and hid them in a box in the basement. These are the pieces of her past that her mind defensively blotted out to keep her functional while she was with Brian. They succinctly and accurately expose the psychology of both the abused and the abuser, and the pictorial format makes the book extremely easy to read but hard to digest. If you’re fighting to get out of a relationship gone bad or looking for a way to support a friend who can no longer hold her head up, Dragonslippers might be a light switch in the tunnel. (Geeta Nadkarni)

The Push Man and Other Stories, by Yoshihiro Tatsumi (Drawn and Quarterly)

The brainchild of renowned comic artist Adrian Toni, who pens the volume’s introduction, this collection of comic strips by Yoshihiro Tatsumi reveals to the English world the heretofore untranslated work of a man known as the grandfather of alternative Japanese comics. The designation is appropriate: Tatsumi, born in 1935 and active in comics for decades, makes quiet, dark biographies of troubled people making their misguided way in an overpopulated and heartless society – fare that could be signed by anyone today, from Joe Sacco to Julie Doucet. The beautifully bound book will be a delightful discovery for anyone into the medium, enveloping the reader in an addictive world of sexual alienation and emotional crippling. (Isa Tousignant)

Drawn and Quarterly Showcase Three, by various artists (Drawn and Quarterly)

If you’re looking to introduce someone on your list to the joys of narrative art, then a compendium like this is a great – and inexpensive – place to start. The crème of this third showcase of work by artists published by Drawn and Quarterly is one of my all-time favourite comic creators, Geneviève Elverum (previously Geneviève Castrée), whose transporting vision and deft draftsmanship grow with every passing year. Also included in this collection is work by two Americans (a depressingly lovely comic by L.A.’s Sammy Harkham and an ominous, surreal mystery by Matt Broersma), which all together give a good, wide spanning perspective on what graphic writing can be. (Isa Tousignant)

Baghdad Journal: An Artist in Occupied Iraq, by Steve Mumford (Drawn and Quarterly)

Each one of the many colour plates in this impressive volume is an accomplished work of art that expresses nearly tangibly the warmth, smell and sense of a place in time. Mumford is an New York-based American war artist who produced his journal after four voyages to war-torn Iraq in 2003 and ’04. His commentary is fascinating and intensive, if a bit frustratingly objective for those whose political leanings may be more critical. The strength of his perspective rests within his humanizing of all sides of this polarized conflict, from soldier to citizen. Baghdad Journal is a rich read, which, if given as a gift, will provide its recipient with days of intelligent entertainment. (Isa Tousignant)

The Big Book of Wag! by Joe Ollman (Conundrum Press)

This big book of comics by one of Montreal’s most integral zine producers represents nine years’ worth of silly laughs and quizzical fun all wrapped into a great single collection. For anyone who’s a fan – or better yet, for the person on your list who has shamefully let Wag! pass them by – here’s your opportunity to indulge in Ollman’s best-of, an infectious amalgam of disarming style and pointed imagination. Share the bug! (Isa Tousignant)

Something to Pet the Cat About, by Elisabeth Belliveau (Conundrum Press)

"Ooh, rounded corners" might be your first reaction to Conundrum’s new stylish little publication, but it won’t be your last. Following up on last year’s art book by Shary Boyle, Witness My Shame (still a fantastic gift idea, by the way), Montreal’s little publisher that could has put out an introduction to the art zines of Elisabeth Belliveau, whose délicatesse of penmanship and nostalgic notebook poetry (this should be made a genre) is a pleasure to discover. I’d recommend this gift for a gentle girl you’d like to see smile, who wears threadbare baseball tees and still has her teddy bear on her bed. (Isa Tousignant)

(Don’t miss the launch of Something to Pet the Cat About at Café Esperanza, Dec. 8 at 9 p.m., featuring all sorts of animation to boot.)

Dave Cooks the Turkey, by Stuart McLean (Penguin Group)

As a book, in and of itself, Vinyl Café legend Stuart McLean’s Dave Cooks the Turkey would make a mediocre gift. It’s nicely bound in hardcover fabric, and the story, one of the CBC show’s most famous, is touching and funny, but it’s $15 for 22 pages, and honestly, lacks narrative punch. I suggest, therefore, that you treat yourself and your family instead to the just released Vinyl Café: A Christmas Collection CD, which not only includes a reading of "Dave Cooks the Turkey," but also six other stories. Granted, it’s of the utmost sentimentality, but I had to suppress many a guffaw listening to this on the bus. It’s perfect for that Christmas Day after-dinner hour when all you can do is sit, watch the snow fall and let the turkey settle. (Isa Tousignant)

The Dishwashers, by Morris Panych (Talonbooks)

Like an extended joke that begins "Three dishwashers stand at the gates of hell…", Panych’s play, a treatise on work, class, power and freedom, is a big existential present lovingly packaged in grease and suds. In the light-starved basement of an upscale restaurant, petty scams are carried out, power struggles won and lost, against a teetering high rise of half-eaten dinners. Head dishwasher Dressler is a Scrooge stand-in for the Beckett set, waterlogged hands firmly clenching the ankles of his underlings. Like the dumbwaiter groaning under the weight of drudgery, Panych’s trio may think they can go up, but with fateful predictability they always come back down. An anti-holiday antidote for those who take their humour black. (Jodi Essery)

Ernestine Shuswap Gets Her Trout, by Tomson Highway (Talonbooks)

Tomson Highway is a clever trickster. His plays let you laugh, and laugh, and laugh. And all the while he is orchestrating a tragedy, on a scale made all the grander by its camouflage in those innocent, often adolescent chuckles. Like Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing and Rez Sisters before it, Ernestine Shuswap‘s irreverence masks and then reveals a deep reverence for humanity and for the stories we tell. Endless (and somehow endlessly funny) beaver jokes give way to a story whose haunting resonances are absolutely contemporary: The story may be set in 1910, but nothing about it save its details keeps us there. Like the aboriginal oral history coursing through Highway’s work, it gains momentum as it’s passed down. (Jodi Essery)

Cariboo Magi, by Lucia Frangione (Talonbooks)

"It’s a silent night in the Cariboo/ As dark and cold as my cup/ I’ve a Yuletide tale to travel with you/ Down the Fraser and back up". Thus begins Frangione’s Canuckian tall tale of a haphazard group of ne’er-do-wells who intercept a contract to travel from San Diego to Barkerville, B.C., to perform a Christmas pageant. The year is 1870, and the play a frolicking national alternative to the usual yarns spun sitting ’round the Yule log. Hamlet, A Christmas Carol and Last of the Mohicans never sounded like such a tasty holiday hash until they climbed aboard a camel to the Cariboo. (Jodi Essery)

Jerome Robbins: His Life, His Theatre, His Dance, by Deborah Jowitt (Simon and Schuster)

This is a respectful, exhaustive full-length biography about one of the great American choreographers. Robbins’s career spans five decades, from his early renown as a gifted ballet dancer to his work with New York City Ballet and his musical-theatre triumphs on Broadway in shows like On the Town, West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof and Gypsy. A difficult taskmaster, a perfectionist, an insecure, self-loathing Jew and homosexual with a well-reported devil of a temper, Robbins also named names to HUAC during the McCarthy witch-hunts. Yet gossip isn’t what fuels this book; as one the U.S.’s senior dance writers and scholars (and thanks to unprecedented, unlimited access to Robbin’s private papers, courtesy of his estate), Jowitt’s gift for description takes the reader right into his dances, with detailed and sophisticated analysis. (Philip Szporer)

Butting Out: Reading Resistive Choreographies Through Works by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar and Chandralekha, by Ananya Chatterjea (Wesleyan University Press)

In this distinctly scholarly text, artist, activist and teacher Ananya Chatterjea looks at two major female choreographers of colour and examines the ways in which they move bodies and expand practice beyond traditional forms. Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, founder-director of the African American dance ensemble Urban Bush Women, creates work frequently based on personal stories and women’s lore, i.e, Hair Stories, which explored conflicts around black women’s hair, beauty and self-esteem, and Batty Moves, celebrating female buttocks. Chandralekha, a Madras-based contemporary choreographer, works with South-Asian dancers and martial artists. Butting Out is a rare chance to chart dance theory and perceptions of gender, race, sexuality, ethnicity and national identities. (Philip Szporer)

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  • by Bryan Murray - December 1, 2005, 1:04 pm

    I was looking for a few gifts for hard to shop for friends and this article has given me some ideas. It’s nice to see some short , concise reviews that are not near copies of their dust jackets. Another timely review by the Hour staff. Bravo.

  • by Martin Dansky - December 2, 2005, 1:38 am

    Today if you make fun of a politician, who knows into which basket you can fall into. So why not have a book where comedy becomes intrigue where one can imagine why at times politicians can’t take light hearted jokes. Now looking at the politican from an impersonator point of view should add to the intrigue. Wonder what gets such performers so attached to their prey? And in reality we’re still accepting a theory that one famous bullet had the tenacity to enter and exit a mulitple of places including the president and a governor.
    I suppose that theories of a peaceful solution to the Mid East crisis could enter into book form now and then but I would like to see what else there is left to get a tangible peace. Since many argue that the violence there is the cause of estremism on both sides others will state the foundation for extremism will always be there no matter what. Now how someone can be so sure of eradicating violent upsurges in the populace should be another topic for a book.
    The fact that marijuana plant growers reach the news now and then ought to get readers to enjoy this book. It might even be a source of inspiration on getting laws modified about furthering its medicinal use.

  • by Meghna Patel - December 2, 2005, 5:55 pm

    This is a great article and in just the right timing. With christmas just around the corner, this list will definately help people looking for some good reads. The books listed seem intellectual and cover a broad range of topics that will help keep things different. And with teh hour writers making the picks, you know that these books are more than just an already-heard of author. I hope to get my hands on a few of these books in the very near future. A great stocking stuffer for all! Even for people who like to give themselves gifts!

  • by Heath Abram - December 2, 2005, 6:30 pm

    This list certainly covers many topics from cooking to politics to sports. There is something here for everyone. I love to give books as well as receive books and I think they make wonderful gifts. Of course, everyone has that friend that doesn’t read so don’t buy him a book. Thanks for the great suggestions.

  • by Maria Cecillia Silva - December 4, 2005, 12:44 am

    Don’t make the mistake of picking the wrong book for the wrong person. It really becomes a burdon if the person can’t part with the gift which really they dislike. Beter still ,give the book gift certificate and let them pick their own book. This way your gift will be cherished for years to come and will be the best gift ever.

  • by Cathy Spathis - December 5, 2005, 10:12 am

    I’m sort of clueless to what new books are out and to which ones are the hot ones to read. I do love reading though and giving books as gifts is a great idea. I’ll be sure to make this list useful.

  • by Mark St Pierre - December 5, 2005, 9:19 pm

    You simply can’t go wrong with Dave Bidini’s “The Best Game You Can Name”. Dude is a hockey fanatic and is also a member of The Rheostatics so he definitely has the right pedigree. You can be sure that he’s going to be equal parts whimsical, nostalgic, and downright comical in his reverential ode to our country’s greatest sport!!!

  • by Cindy Tam - December 8, 2005, 2:28 am

    Let me start off by saying, this is completely from a female perspective so if you’re not into chick flicks, you’re probably not going to be into my review either. That being said… let the turnpaging begin!
    Books are the best because if they are good (and most of the titles listed here are!!!), they engage you so much that you become like an invisible omnicient character in the story and you become absolutely hooked. The Lovely Bones, slightly older book, by Alice Sebold had that very effect on me. It was like 300 pages but i zoomed right through it.
    So thats why I think it’s a great idea for Hour to suggest a booklist!! There are surely bookworms in our circle of family and friends… and now we can cross off a few names from our Christmas Shopping List. How helpful!
    And for booklovers like myself, why not get books for yourself. Make some hot cocoa, get a blanket and read on the couch while the snow is falling. You’ll find it really relaxing during this busy holiday :)

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