My Big Sis once said to me, "We'll always find room for the kids' books. More toys? Yeah, not so much." When it comes to giving gifts, I've taken this statement to heart. My niece and nephew have plenty of toys to play with. Oodles. More than they probably need. Which means their "boring Aunt Wendy" (they don't call me that - it's my own self-deprecation) tends to give the gift of books for holidays and birthdays. My niece is even at the age where she prefers gift cards because "I like to pick out my own books Aunt Wendy."
Don't we all sweetie. Don't we all.
As the librarian of the family, it's a little shocking to some that I never seem to get books as gifts. The reason for this is quite simple. You know that Giant TBR Mountain Range I sometimes mention here on the blog? Uh yeah. My family knows about it too. Most of them have even seen it with their own eyes. So needless to say, Wendy no get books as gifts. Which is fine. Because dang, I'm at the point where even I think I don't need anymore books (I know, the horrors!)
But when it comes to gifting others? Books can be grand. Here's what I put under the Christmas tree(s) this year for the family. A fairly eclectic mix!
The Last Boy: Mickle Mantle and the End of America's Childhood by Jane Leavy - I got my Dad hooked on audiobooks several years back when he had a job that required a lengthy commute. He has since moved on from the job, but not from audiobooks. He mostly likes non-fiction and biographies, so for the last several Christmases I try to pick up something that was well-received/well-reviewed. Hence, this warts-and-all Mickey Mantle bio. Dad is a Baby Boomer, so naturally grew up a huge Mantle fan. Dad's no dummy, and is well-aware that Mantle wasn't always the nicest, most well-adjusted, or decent human being - but heck, all that stuff can only mean interesting listening, right? He loved the Yogi Berra bio I got him for his birthday last year. Hopefully this one will be equally as enjoyable.
A Secret Gift: How One Man's Kindness - And a Trove of Letters - Revealed the Hidden History of the Great Depression by Ted Gup - There's one in every family. That person who is impossible to shop for. In my family, it's my mother. I was clueless this year (as usual) when my Lil' Sis mentioned that Mom was intrigued by this book when the story was featured on CBS Sunday Morning. Originally an op-ed piece in the New York Times, it's about the author's grandfather who took out an ad in the Canton, Ohio newspaper in 1933 anonymously promising 75 needy families money if they wrote letters describing their hardships. The author not only unearths secrets from his grandfather's past, but also connects with families who benefited from his generosity.
Who's Hiding? series
DC Super Heroes: The Ultimate Pop-Up Book by Matthew Reinhart - Big Sis married a Comic Book Geek. Naturally, his love of superheroes is getting passed down to both children. I saw this pop-up book at Costco, and thought it was so cool that I had to get it for the kids. Although, admittedly, I was wondering at the time if I was really purchasing it for my brother-in-law. No matter. Something the whole family will have fun looking at. And because I'm the best auntie in the whole wide world? Not only did my Big Sis' kids get these two neat-o books to share, they each got their own Barnes & Noble gift cards. Because, you know, I didn't want to deprive my niece the pleasure of picking out her own books.
So, what books did you give or receive as holiday gifts this year? Call me nosy.