Memes: What to Give & What to Get

Penguin asked a bunch of their authors what books they’re giving and what books they’d like to get this holiday season, and I thought, “Hey, that’s a good idea for a meme.” So, if you’d like to join in, here are the rules.

1. Post a link to the original list from the Penguin Group.
2. Tell us what books you’re planning (or would like to) give this holiday season.
3. Tell us what books you’d like to receive this holiday season.
4. Tag others, if you so choose.

The Graveyard Book
Neil Gaiman’s newest novel is pretty much everything you want in a book: funny, sweet (but not cloying), honest, poignant, scary, adventurous, great for all readers, etc., etc., etc.

This was my first Neil Gaiman novel, and I think it’s still my favorite. It’s quite different from the movie in tone (but fairly similar in content). Often billed as a “fairy tale for grown-ups,” it’s a story about love, longing, evil and, of course, magic.

The Picture of Dorian Gray
I think I’ve already made my love for this story and for Oscar Wilde in general quite clear. With a movie adaptation coming out next year, this seems like the perfect time to introduce or reacquaint people with this excellent novel. Also, because of Wilde’s way with words, it’s a great starting point for people looking to get into the “classics” without being overwhelmed by the language.

A great way to introduce someone to the graphic novel medium. Beautiful art and an intense story. And again, with an adaptation coming out next year, it’s a good time to do it.

Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously

Hey look! Another book being adapted for film next year! Julie & Julia is the memoir of a woman who decides to cook through every single one of the recipes in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. And she has no training, and she lives in a tiny New York apartment, and she’s going through a quarter-life crisis after turning 30. It’s a fun story, obviously good enough to grab Amy Adams and Meryl Streep for the movie version.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book, and a bunch of the Penguin authors agree. So, apparently it’s going on my “to read” list next year.

Sandman / American Gods / Coraline

In the pursuit of continuning my Neil Gaiman education, of course.

His Dark Materials Trilogy
Controversial books always pique my interest. After seeing the film adaptation of the first in the triology last year, I’m intrigued enough to read them. Also, epic fantasy is a guilty pleasure.

Biographies by Antonia FraserI’ve found Antonia Fraser to be an extremely skilled biographer. Historical nonfiction has the tendency to err on the side of boring, but that’s something from which Fraser manages to steer quite clear. I’ve read Marie Antoinette: The Journey and The Wives of Henry VIII, and I’m looking forward to reading another one next year.

PersuasionAfter being delighted by Pride and Prejudice and then not being able to force myself through Emma, I’ve decided it’s time to give Jane Austen another shot.

Now that that’s finally done, I’m tagging Brittany, Matt and Jen. Have fun!

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