If you have family and friends who enjoy reading, why not slip a few books under the Christmas tree?Given all of the time we spend staring at screens these days, it actually feels good to bury your nose in a book printed on paper.
I know that I love to get—and give—books as gifts.
You can pick up a copy of Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln
($11.93 at Books-A-Million) for the history buff on your list. Written by respected presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, who often appears on Sunday morning political shows, the book chronicles Lincoln's path to the presidency and explores his ability to unite people.
First published in 2005, Team of Rivals is the basis for the recent Steven Spielberg movie, Lincoln, which casts Daniel Day-Lewis in the title role. (Save with Books-A-Million coupons.)
Inspired by their love for their pooches, friends Robin Layton, Kimi Culp and Lisa Erspamer put together A Letter to My Dog: Notes to Our Best Friends ($16.47 at Amazon), a book full of missives that people have written to their beloved canines.
The tome includes letters from the likes of Tony Bennett, Hilary Duff and Oprah Winfrey.
The dog lover in your life will surely appreciate the heartfelt sentiments. (Get Amazon coupons.)
You probably know someone who is obsessed with AMC's zombie fest, The Walking Dead.
And while some fans of the television series have read the comic books on which it's based, not everyone has, making The Walking Dead Compendium: Volume 1 ($35.99 at Target) an awesome gift.
Written by Robert Kirkman, with illustrations by Charlie Adlard, Tony Moore and Cliff Rathburn, this more than 1,000-page paperback features the first eight volumes of the comic book. (Get Target coupons.)
The Bruce Springsteen fanatic will pore over Bruce ($16.99 at Target).
Peter Ames Carlin wrote the biography with the full cooperation of The Boss and got to interview everyone from Springsteen's mother to late saxophonist Clarence Clemons, a founding member of The E Street Band.
The book is thorough, covering everything from Springsteen's battle with depression and relationships to how he developed his style and became one of music's most electrifying performers. (Get Target coupons.)
Anyone on your Christmas list who likes to cook will dig right into the mouthwatering Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust ($20.65 at Books-A-Million).
Author Ina Garten, known as the Barefoot Contessa, takes readers step-by-step through the recipes in this cookbook, which has chapters devoted to cocktails, starters, lunch, dinner, vegetables and desserts.
Actually, buy it as a gift for someone who cooks for you, so that you can taste all the delicious dishes! (Books-A-Million Club Members get free express shipping.)
Who doesn't like to curl up with a good mystery? Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl ($14.25 at Books-A-Million) has gotten rave reviews.
In her latest book, the author crafts a suspenseful tale in which a woman goes missing on her fifth wedding anniversary.
Her husband is the prime suspect in her disappearance, and he sure does look guilty of something, but…. OK, I'll stop there.
I don't want to give too much away in case you want to read the book, too.
Sticking with fiction for another moment, Alice Munro is one of the best short story writers out there, and she just released a new book, titled Dear Life ($15.90 at Amazon).
A must-read for fans of her writing, it's also a great introduction to Munro for those who haven't read the Canadian author before.
To give you a sense of the tales told: One of the stories in Dear Life centres on a woman who takes in a drifter, another finds a rich woman dealing with the blackmailer who threatens to expose her affair with a married man.
A suggestion for the person on your list who is interested in beer and business: Bitter Brew: The Rise and Fall of Anheuser-Busch and America's Kings of Beer ($18.65 from Barnes & Noble).
The nonfiction book, written by former Los Angeles Times journalist William Knoedelseder, tells the story of how the Busch family built an American brewing empire but got carried away with power and privilege in the process.
It's a truly fascinating story. (Get Barnes & Noble coupons.)
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