A gift that can deliver whole new worlds

by Debbie Gress Jansen
Posted 11/17/22

The time has come to start thinking about the holidays and searching for that perfect gift. My humble suggestion, dear reader, should not come as a surprise. It’s a book. 

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A gift that can deliver whole new worlds


The time has come to start thinking about the holidays and searching for that perfect gift. My humble suggestion, dear reader, should not come as a surprise. It’s a book. 

Yes, a book. It really is the ideal gift.

But how in the world do you choose the right one for that special someone, you ask?

The New York Times will always have a book review to help guide you, of course. Or you can look to an exuberant bibliophile who can steer you in various directions, or even recommend the perfect thing. 

But if you were to ask me, I’d tell you this: Books are unique because they can offer whatever a person desires. 

They can take you on a journey or leave you in a quandary. They can help you create your next great pièce de résistance, be it food or anything else. At this very moment, you can walk into a bookshop and discover a book that will tell you how to tie a knot, go fly fishing, or turn yourself into an optimist. You can even find a book with utter nonsense just for a giggle or two. Books make the world your oyster. 

Keep this in mind when choosing that book, and your gift may well become something that’s treasured for days, months or even years to come. And once you’ve discovered the joy of reading for yourself, I’m betting that you, too, will appreciate both the getting and the giving of the perfect book. 

What’s popular?

In no particular order, here are some of the titles that are trending in my store at the moment, as well as an  attempt at a real-time “Top 10” list. 

  1. Anything by Colleen Hoover. Who is Colleen Hoover, you might ask? Ms. Hoover has been  writing for quite some time, and her books have done well. However, last year Ms. Hoover took  to Book Tok and the rest, as they say, is history. Her books leave the shop almost as quickly as they arrive. Some favorite titles include Verity, Layla, It Ends With Us, It Starts With Us, and  the list continues.  
  2. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Now this book also had a  resurgence. The original release of TSHoEH was in 2017, and it is just as popular now, if not  more so. It is scheduled to be made into a movie; however, read the book first and you’ll be  glad you did. 
  3. Bob Dylan’s Biography, The Philosophy of Modern Song. I can’t keep it in the shop and  have received many calls requesting this recent release title. 
  4. Thanks to the Magnolia Network and a large contingency of foodies on the Hill and beyond,  The Lost Kitchen has been hugely sought after. Chef extraordinaire and memoirist (Finding  Freedom) Erin French shares her exquisite recipes and stories of her life and struggles. 
  5. Children’s books. I can’t put it any simpler. Children’s books are the go-to for folks ages  1-92, and it is a joy to watch a child come in with their grandparents, aunts, uncles, moms, and  dads and place their hands on a book they love.  

And just in case, here’s what the New York Times book review has on their “Top 10” list:

  1. The Boys from Biloxi - John Grisham
  2. Going Rogue - Janet Evanovich 
  3. No Plan B - Lee Chill 
  4. Long Shadows - David Baldacci 
  5. Fairy Tale - Stephen King 
  6. Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing - Matthew Perry 
  7. Surrender - Bono
  8. The Philosophy of Modern Song - Bob Dylan 
  9. Cinema Speculation - Quentin Tarantino  
  10. The Myth of Normal - Gabor Maté