The Booklist Reader’s Oddly Specific Guide to Holiday Gift-Giving, 2016

It’s always a headache shopping for certain people on your list, particularly when it comes to books. But we’re here to help—again—with an oddly specific gift guide. Check out our entries from last year if you need further suggestions.

For your pregnant friend, who’s determined to raise his or her future son to be a feminist

interstellar-cinderella-deborah-underwood

Interstellar Cinderella, by Deborah Underwood, illustrated by Meg Hunt

This jaunty rhyming story features a determined, pink-haired Cinderella who dreams of being a rocket engineer, romance be damned. From the retrofuturistic artwork of zooming spaceships to the universally great message of steadfastly following your dreams, this delightful picture book will entertain while simultaneously setting the little guy on the path to valuing equal rights for all, before he can even walk. —Sarah Hunter, Senior Editor, Books for Youth and Graphic Novels, Booklist

 

 

smoke-dan-vyletaFor your 30-something cousin rereading Harry Potter, Divergent, and The Hunger Games

Smoke, by Dan Vyleta

So maybe it’s time to get your cousin into the world of adult literature, but they’re not going to be sitting down with Dave Eggers anytime soon. Smoke scratches all their YA itches. Boarding school heroes? Check. A large sociological gap between the haves and have-nots? Check. Moral ambiguity and questions on the nature of evil thoughts? Checks in droves! Smoke pits the moral aristocratic pure against the sin-laden masses who are identified by their smoke-emitting bad thoughts. And yes, it is set in London. The best gift to give to that person who will always look for an excuse not to read Dostoyevsky. —Michael Ruzicka, Office Manager, Booklist

 

cocktails-for-drinkers-jennifer-mccartneyFor your friend who loves the idea of making craft cocktails, but won’t

Cocktails for Drinkers, by Jennifer McCartney

Craft cocktails! Everyone’s drinking them, and you have a friend who can’t stop talking about how he or she is going to buy some eye droppers, distill some botanical extracts, and then whip up a comically named concoction using five kinds of liquor nobody has ever heard of. They’ll never do it, of course, but rather than let them rotate slowly in an endless shame spiral, you should give them Jennifer McCartney’s Cocktails for Drinkers. The book has a credibility-enhancing, classic look and feel, but the drinks couldn’t be easier to assemble. Capable of pouring peach schnapps into Mountain Dew? Behold, the “Sweet South”—and success! Your friend is a mixologist, after all. —Keir Graff, Executive Editor, Booklist

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About the Author:

Eugenia Williamson is the Associate Editor of Digital Products at Booklist. She worked in bookstores for twelve years, reviews books for The Boston Globe, and writes about books, culture, and politics for several other publications. Follow her on Twitter at @Booklist_Genie.

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