We're both book lovers, you and me, so you understand that when you ask a book lover to recommend one
book to give as a gift, what you get is a dozen books! Thus, for your consideration, our gift ideas, part 2: Fiction.
We have a ton of Gold Room fans in the department. Carla, who has, I swear, read every book in the Sci-Fi section picked The Silver Bough by Lisa Tuttle: "Beautiful. Full of magic, love, books, and apples." Mindy says that Spirits That Walk in Shadow, by Oregon writer Nina Kiriki Hoffman, is a must-read fantasy. For the romance lover on your list, Heidi recommends Outlander: "Just give them the whole series; it will keep them happy for months!"
Turning to the dark side... "What about zombie books?" you ask. Try Monster Island by David Wellington; James says it is "an original and inventive zombie novel that you can really sink your teeth into." Or take Lynn's suggestion and give Stephen King's zombie novel The Cell and his new novel Lisey's Story as a nice combo pack. Our last Gold Room pick is The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes. Weighing in at over 1,800 pages and costing a whopping $95 this set will, according to Carrie, "keep your favorite Sherlockian blissfully happy this winter. It includes all fifty-six Sherlock Holmes stories, over 700 illustrations, and enough footnotes to delight any historian."
Walk down a few steps and you are in the Blue Room. It's where you'll find The Nimrod Flipout: Stories, by Etgar Keret, recommended by Alex B.: "for the surrealist, short story lover in your life. Half humor, half horror, and written so well that the unexpected makes sense." The Kite Runner, says Lynn, is for every book lover on your gift list ? "it will dig into your soul and resonate there for a long time." More than one person picked Geek Love by Katherine Dunn; one admirer describes it as "poignant, gritty, shocking...it keeps you wrapped up, literally making you part of it all, right up until the last page."
I agree with Salli ? Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell is for "readers who enjoy good stories wrapped around an inventive structure. Each tale is obliquely connected to another moving forward through time. And each has a totally different voice and style"... and with Jonathan, who picked The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon. "It is a perfect book to make you feel good about the underdogs of the world. This book makes you feel like anyone can be a hero." Carol says, "If you like Irish stories you will enjoy The Chisellers by Brendon O'Carroll. It is part of a trilogy set in the '60s about a working class Dublin family of seven raised by an indomitable mother."
Annabelle's pick: Nicholas Christopher's Trip to the Stars; "Here is a book to heal a troubled mind. With magical poetic storytelling, this book captures the journey from child to adult through recognition and human awareness." Another "magical" book is One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel García Márquez, of which Tim says, "This is a spectacularly well written and inventive story following the rise and fall of a remarkable family. I love how Garcia Marquez was able to interweave historical fact with bizarre fiction." Shannon suggests The Alchemist, saying it's "a positive and undaunting read for that dour relative of yours who needs a little refreshment in life."
We'll end this long list on lighter note... with Mommy? by Maurice Sendak. Everyone needs a pop-up book, right? Well, Mommy is hard to beat. As India says, "Sendak + badass pop-up = coolest present ever." Or, for the truly silly person on your holiday list: Runny Babbit: A Billy Sook by Shel Silverstein. Says Barbara, "It smakes you think and mile all at the tame sime."