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Little Willow
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Holiday Book Shopping

Looking for the perfect books to give to your loved ones? Thinking about expanding your own personal library? Consider a few things before you go shopping:

* Give what you like. If you really enjoyed a certain book, get a few copies and give them to your best friends, then have fun discussing it with them. Have your own little book club! (Take some tips on how to organize a book group from readergirlz, where you'll also find plenty of recommended reads.)

* Get what you like. There's no shame in stocking your library with light, fun reads as well as longer, more serious tales.

* Bulk up on the classics. I'm a huge fan of The Great Gatsby and the Anne of Green Gables series. If you liked the romance in Twilight, get Wuthering Heights; if you liked the vampires, get Dracula.

* Make mix tapes. Create playlists for books, then burn them onto CDs and give them away with the books. If you need some ideas, check out my book-related playlists.

* Treat yourself to a little something! Get that book you've had your eye on for the past few months. If you like writing, buy or make yourself a journal and a nice set of writing pens. Remember: Recyclable and refillable pens and pencils are more cost-effective and better for the environment!

. . . and now for the recommendations!

I've written a bunch of booklists with holiday book shopping in mind, including an article for SparkLife which focused on selections for teens. Categories and titles within that piece include:

If you're going to buy just one . . .

For horror fans: Soulless by Christopher Golden

For realistic drama: A Little Friendly Advice by Siobhan Vivian

If you're looking for a specific genre . . .

(Click links for specific book reviews or related booklists at Bildungsroman. You will see that I have first listed an author's name, then a title. This is because each author has multiple books I would recommend, either within that category or in general.)

Realistic drama with a touch of romance: Books by Sarah Dessen (The Truth About Forever), Deb Caletti (The Nature of Jade), Elizabeth Scott (Bloom)

Contemporary drama with teen male protagonists: Books by John Green (Looking for Alaska), Markus Zusak (I am the Messenger) - and more!

Contemporary drama with teen female protagonists: E. Lockhart (The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks), Catherine Clark (The Alison Rules), Rachel Cohn (Gingerbread), Christopher Golden (Body Bags, first in the Body of Evidence series)

Intense, edgy drama: Sara Zarr (Sweethearts), Rachel Cohn (You Know Where to Find Me), Laura Kasischke (Feathered), Elizabeth Scott (Living Dead Girl)

Sci-fi, fantasy, or horror: Christopher Golden (Prowlers, first in a quartet), Tom Sniegoski (A Kiss Before the Apocalypse, first in a series), Libba Bray (A Great and Terrible Beauty, first in a trilogy), Scott Westerfeld (Peeps), Justine Larbalestier (How to Ditch Your Fairy) - and more - and some more!

Poetry and verse novels: Lorie Ann Grover (Hold Me Tight), Lisa Ann Sandell (Song of the Sparrow), and Stephanie Hemphill (Your Own, Sylvia: A Verse Portrait of Sylvia Plath) - and more!

Non-fiction gift books: Prince of Stories: The Many Worlds of Neil Gaiman by Hank Wagner, Christopher Golden and Stephen R. Bissette, Things That Make Us [Sic] by Martha Brockenbrough, Chill: Stress-Reducing Techniques for a More Balanced, Peaceful You by Deborah Reber

Read the entire post at SparkLife!

For even more ideas for various age groups (ranging from babies and toddlers to adults) and genres, consult my booklists, including:

If Then for Elementary School
If Then for Middle School
If Then for High School
- These lists are set up like so: If you like that book, then you'll also like this book!

Tough Issues for Teens
- One of my longest and most often hit booklists.

Suggested Sets
- Created with gift-giving in mind!

Also browse through my book reviews (I have a few hundred posted) and my best of the month and best of the year booklists.

I will be posting my complete and official Best Books of 2008 booklist here at Bildungsroman on either New Year's Eve or New Year's Day. Here's a teaser to tide you over until then!
Tags: anne, articles, booklists, books, christopher golden, classics, gatsby, readergirlz, reviews, sparklife, tom sniegoski
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