As all true Book Lovers know, there is a fine line between love and addiction. Gift-giving is perfect for leaping right over that divide and shamelessly pushing books on people. Why should your friends and family members have tidy houses utterly lacking in books for you to pillage and/or mercilessly judge?
No reason at all.
Getting an education was a bit like a communicable sexual disease. It made you unsuitable for a lot of jobs and then you had the urge to pass it on.
Susan Sto-Helit understands me. Just substitute “reading” for “education.”
We often ask Guest Authors and Guest Posters what the difference is between a book lover and a run-of-the-mill reader. The answer is really quite simple: The true book lover cannot fathom a world without books, and as such, is constantly pushing them on others.
However, It can be a bit difficult to have a book on hand for every occasion. Unlike the end-of-the-year holiday of extreme capitalist aggression, most events sneak up on us without the benefit of weeks of heavy advertising. Over the years I’ve determined that it is essential to keep your bookshelves stocked with Books For Other People.*
So, without further ado, I present: Books For Every Occasion in 2013.
- The Baby Shower – I’d Really Like to Eat a Child by Sylviane Donnio. They are never too young for indoctrination. Might as well start in the womb! Disney does. Added advantage, the title alone ensures no meddling mamas will demand that you start breeding. At least not during the party.
- Galentine’s Day (it’s real! Just ask Leslie Knope.)- Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. Beautiful, lyrically written, engrossing. No creepy love triangle, and the whole special/racial/genocidal barriers to a relationship are treated as the deal-breakers they actually are. Romantic and tragic in a way that makes Romeo & Juliet look like the dumbass kids they are. A perfect read when society is shoving cheap candy-coated romance down our throats.
- Twilight DVD Release Party – Team Human by Justine Larbalestier & Sarah Rees Brennan. Because the problem isn’t the series (despite the horrific writing), or the fandom (despite the terror they spark in my heart), but in the creepy-ass “romance” people are idolizing. This book is the answer for anyone who ever said they were on Team Bella, wondered why a 100-year-old decided to go to high school of all godawful places, and could not handle the sparkles. Friends Don’t Let Friends Bedazzle Their Vampires.
- Congratulations on the Ph.D! – The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination by John Joseph Adams (ed.) I got an eARC from NetGalley, and will be posting a full review next month. For now, just know that it is chock full of sound advice for the young academic at the beginning of their career. Everything from the essential nature of a good assistant, to the danger in underestimating the so-called “soft sciences.” Pre-Order now for your friend or colleague putting the finishing touches on their dissertation!
- First Day of School (joint gift for parental unit and child) – Dealing With Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede. It’s a good starter chapter book, and provides a solid feminist message for children entering the rigors of institutionalized education and subsequent highly-gendered socialization. The very first homework assignment is always to start reading for 10 minutes every night. This is your ONE SHOT to get the kid hooked! And convince the parents to start bankrolling this addiction.
- Wedding – Futures Imperfect by Connie Willis. Relationships are complicated, especially those first couple years. So please, keep it as entertaining as possible for those of us on the outside.
Did I miss any important occasions you need suggestions for? Ask me in the comments! Do my fellow Book Lovers push books on people at every opportunity? Do you stockpile gift books so you’re ready at a moment’s notice? Or do I need an intervention?
*Bonus point for anyone who realized that Books For Other People do not have to be hidden from judgmental parental units or significant others. Rather, Books For Other People make you look thoughtful and considerate year round. And provide a perfect hiding-in-plain-sight approach to smuggling in personal purchases.