The List

December 18th, 2008

Okay. How can Christmas be NEXT WEEK?

I’m not ready! There were all these things I was going to do—like make a video of all my favorite books of the year and put it up on YouTube and urge you to buy them for your loved ones.

But there’s no time for that now. Christmas is in ONE WEEK. And Hanukkah starts on Sunday!

So, anyway, I’ve made a written list below of the books I’m giving to the people in my life.

This list obviously does not include all of the great books that would make wonderful gifts, just a a very small sampling of some of the ones I’ve read recently that have stuck in my brain for whatever reason as something I might give to someone I know.

Your local bookseller or librarian would be HAPPY to help give you more ideas, and there are tons of book blogs out there listing way more ideas.

Before I lose my train of thought with all this holiday business, just a reminder that I’m having an online chat tonight at Readergirlz! Just go here and look for the thread called “rgz LIVE! CHAT with Meg Cabot”. I’ll be there from 9PM-10PM Eastern Standard Time.

We can talk about whatever you want…my inability to Twitter, my book “How To Be Popular,” my upcoming books, Haagen Dazs’ new special edition for-the-holidays-only flavor, peppermint bark ice cream which I love more than life itself…whatever!

Okay, now, back to what I’m getting people for the holidays. All of these books should be available in your local bookstores. Ask for them by name! If your local bookstore doesn’t have them, they are all available from online retailers such as BarnesandNoble.com, Powells.com, and Amazon.com.

THE LIST:

Okay, seriously, the people in my life are difficult to shop for. I love them, but they aren’t normal. I can’t get them normal things. Some of them do things like, oh, shoot people in the head. For a living (to protect the innocent, of course).

Others spent the past eight years standing on a bridge in Annapolis with a big sign that said STOP THE WAR NOW, usually getting food thrown at them out of cars as people drove by.

Others operate anti-cyber terrorist task forces. Still others are epidemiologists or the heads of divisions of gigantic entertainment conglomerates I won’t name.

I can’t get them just any old book! The books I get them have to grip them from the very first page because these are people who are short on time. Also, attention spans.

So this list is special. Hold onto your hats:

For the men in your life who have, perhaps, not the most mature sense of humor, because they spend a lot of time on stake outs, I would recommend the Big Foot books.

Oh, you didn’t know Big Foot has written some books? Well, he has, with the help of someone called Graham Roumieu. (Although they are illustrated, I would not recommend these books to children as Big Foot is looking for a Mrs. Big Foot and he waxes rather eloquent about it, if you get my drift. He also makes quite a few scatological references.)

Men fond of books about Big Foot will also obviously enjoy Michael Ian Black’s My Custom Van. I know I did, particularly the chapter entitled “Taco Party” which I read aloud one night to He Who Shall Not Be Named In This Blog. He laughed till he puked.

For your lady friends who enjoy reading about drunken odysseys, I recommend Chelsea Handler’s Are You There Vodka, It’s Me, Chelsea. This book cured me of a long held desire to be arrested (just to see what it’s like, so I could write about it). Chelsea has been arrested, and it turns out, yeah, not for me. There is a prequel to this memoir called My Horizontal Life that is almost as good.

For your friend who is constantly annoying you by complaining about her weight, I recommend Valerie Frankel’s Thin is the New Happy.

I know there are a thousand weight loss memoirs out there, and most of them are quite inspirational (there is a book coming out soon by the author of this blog, and we’ll probably get one from Ruby on the Style network soon, if she doesn’t have one out already), but Valerie’s is different (in my opinion) because hers is about realizing that diets don’t work (sorry, Valerie Bertinelli, but I tried Jenny Craig, and you know what? I ate a week’s worth of the food in one day). But Valerie F. doesn’t diet. She gets healthy. C’est magnifique.

For your friend who claims to like mysteries but hides her eyes during the scary parts of movies, I can never say enough good things about the No 1 Ladies Detective series. It will be a TV movie (and possibly series) on HBO this spring. Your friend can dazzle everyone by telling them she’s already read the books.

For your friend who ONLY loves the scary parts in the movies, World War Z:

If he’s already read it:

Zombie Haikus.

For your Wiccan friend, The 2009-2010 Witch’s Almanac:

Available at Enchantments in NYC (don’t forget to check out the NY Times review of Jinx’s favorite supply store! Yes, it’s true: People who shop there–and leave money in the cat jar–DO have good luck) and most Barnes and Nobles.

For your friend or family member who needs to relax, Hyperchondriac is still the perfect read (now available in paperback).

As more and more of us medicate to deal with the stress of the current economy, it bears repeating: The narrator of this book needs to learn to de-stress fast, and without the aid of drugs. The methods he tries are hilarious, and how he finally does learn to cool it is super sweet.

For the very young readers in your life, get them a copy of Rachel Vail’s Jibberwillies:

It was recently banned at a school library because the librarian didn’t want to admit sometimes kids get scared at night. Um…okay. Support banned authors (and check out Rachel’s newly updated website and blog).

Don’t forget Boys Are Dogs.

Boys can be such a pain to girls at age 12ish (sorry, boys, but you know for some of you it’s true). This book teaches girls how to cope with them while also being an entertaining read. Useful for female readers of all ages, however.

For young mystery fans, Susan Juby’s Getting the Girl rules.
I had no idea who dunnit. I was simply, deliciously shocked.

For the chick-lit lovers in your life:
Anyone who found the collected works of Michele Jaffe in their stocking would be thrilled:

Same with Sarah Dessen!

(Okay, I’m thinking all that wouldn’t fit in a stocking….so maybe under the tree? Or one a night for Hanukkah?)

BRAND NEW CHICK LIT BOOK ALERT:

She’s trapped in an uber-conservative, religious Indiana town…and she got caught kissing her best friend’s BF at the mall (in front of the Santa display, no less). Now a super famous preacher is coming to town to “heal” everyone on TV. Get your copy before if gets banned from school shelves everywhere (because trust me, it’s going to)! Way to go, Eileen Cook!

And for the fairy lovers in your life:

These fairies aren’t scary. Or at least not that scary!

And because everyone already has this:

Why not try one of these under the tree:

For vampire lovers….

I know! It’s not a book! It’s a video collection. But Buffy is still The Chosen One. Sure, she had to give up her dreams in order to save the world (multiple times), but we had a lot of laughs while watching her do it! And her confusion about how she’s supposed to “have it all” while still looking good, maintaining a relationship, and working full time is something we can all still relate to.

And for yourself (come on, you HAVE to get yourself a little something):

Because we all know how hard it is to go home for the holidays (especially if they don’t like what you got them, after all that hard work)! Don’t let them drive you nuts. Dr. Felder gives great coping strategies.

And if they fail, there’s always copious amounts of peppermint bark ice cream and a good book.

See you at the chat tonight!

More later.

Much love,

Meg

PS If you’ve read a good book that you think would make a great gift, let me know! Maybe I’ll add it to the list for next week. If any of you are like me, you’ll still be shopping up until the last minute, and will need more suggestions, right? So bring’em on!