I keep my book blog/reading log on WordPress, and a writing exercise blog on Xanga.
I don't like Xanga, but I signed up as part of a writing group several years ago -- our group leader was a Xangan and it was the only way to participate. I haven't posted anything to my Xanga site in ages and don't maintain it. But, while I was hanging out over there I found a few bloggers I enjoy reading and Xanga does offer the awesome feature of emailing me their entire posts, with images, in a daily digest.
Today's included this post by author Jeff Markowitz about books as gifts and asking people what books they gave or received for the holidays.
I love books as gifts, both getting AND giving. And I'm trying to encourage my 8 yo's slowly developing love of stories, so I buy her lots of books year-round.
For Christmas 2009 (since that's what we celebrate here at ScoopCentral) I gave lots of books:
Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz
My baby brother (he turned 30 last year, but being able to call him that as long as we both live is one of the few perks of being the oldest kid) is in lurve. He's in lurve with a woman who has him reading new things and is a huge Koontz fan. I am not a huge Koontz fan (and yes, I have read more than one of his books) but I LOVE his "Odd Thomas" series. I told the Penguin (baby bro's super-secret codename stemming from a childhood obsession with the aforementioned flightless fowl) that if he was gonna read Koontz he had to read these and got him the first one for Christmas. Turns out he'd already read it (damn! hate when that happens) but didn't own a copy, so all was good.
Jigsaw Dinosaurs by Anne Sharp
This was a shameless re-gift. The girl is 8 and girly and kicked this off her shelves about a year ago. I am, however, aunt/great aunt to two little boys, one 6yo and one 1yo. Boys tend to hold onto the dino thing longer than girls, so this one was cleaned up, made sure all the puzzles had all their pieces, and passed on to my 6yo nephew. I hope he liked it as much as J did (I had to work this joyous season and didn't get to see any of dh's side of the family open their prezzies).
Fail Nation by failblog.org
Bought this for the hubs. His favorite app on his ipod touch is the one from failblog, so this just seemed to fit. And he's impossible to shop for and I was desperate. And it was on sale.
What can I say, visual humor has a limited lifespan for me, so I don't find it all that funny, but hey, it wasn't a gift for me...
The Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond
I've been reading Ree Drummond's blog off an on for years, and I was SO excited when I found out her book tour was coming to Austin. I put it on my calendar 2 months in advance.
Then, a week and a half before the big night my dad told me he was having surgery and wanted me to be there. Since he normally waits til after it's over and done to tell me he's doing things like this I figured I should take the day off, drive to Houston, and be there.
The surgery was the day before Ree was in Austin.
I could go to the book signing, or I could work late and make up the time for the day I took off and get a nice, whole paycheck 3 weeks before Christmas. The paycheck won. But Lisa got to to go and took lots of pics! She even let me fondle her signed copy of the book over the holidays.
I bought this one for my mom because Ree reminds me a lot of my mom and it's rare I run across a cookbook my mom will like that she hasn't already bought for herself. Ma's kitchen has three bookshelves--nuff said.
A Scanner Darkly (Graphic Novel) by Philip K. Dick w/ Harvey Pekar
Basically just screen shots from the 2006 movie, but it's cool anyway. And my Dad2 is a sci-fi geek who read PKD before they changed his titles and turned his stories into movies.
The Hungry Scientist Handbook by Patrick Buckley and Lily Binns
Okay... So I was browsing ThinkGeek.com and saw this and ordered it for Dad2 without checking the description. He taught physics and chemistry for 20 years, I thought it would be appropriate. Then he opened it and started flipping through it. This is one weird book. But he seemed to like it.
Just, well, I don't actually EVAR want to know about it if he decides to make the edible undies in the book!
Finally, the books I bought the GirlChild. Frankly, there are too many of them for me to attempt to go find cover images on the web and think up witty bonmots. You get a list and Amazon links and you're going to like it!
(sorry, forgot my audience for a minute there...)
Bad Kitty Gets a Bath by Nick Bruel - It's too easy for J, but she loved the original Bad Kitty so much I couldn't pass up this older kid book...
Chucaro: Wild Pony of the Pampa by Francis Kalnay - She's a horse girl. Nuff said.
The girls also likes cats... All of the below are by Erin Hunter
Forest of Secrets (Warriors, book 3)
Warriors: Ravenpaw's Path #1: Shattered Peace
Warriors: Tigerstar and Sasha #3: Return to the Clans
The last two are graphic novels. I started buying them for her last year in hopes that they would eventually lead to her reading the full-length, no-pictures Warriors books. For a change, it worked! She just finished the first Warriors book last week and was SO proud of herself. It is her first longer novel that she read all on her own. She started book 2 this week, too.
Now, the big question:
What books did YOU give as gifts this year?