Christmas is right around the corner. Time to brave the crowded parking lots, the cheery holiday Muzak, the frazzled salespeople, and the even more frazzled shoppers as you search for the perfect gifts for your loved ones. And if you’re the type of person who likes to put off the holiday madness until the last minute, you’re probably starting to feel the crunch. But don’t panic! Here is a list of last-minute gift ideas for that book lover on your shopping list. Most of the items here are $50 and under and can be easily found in major bookstore chains or in chain discount stores like Target and Walmart.
American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot by Craig Ferguson
In The Late Late Show host’s newest book, the Scottish comedian writes about his journey from Glasgow to Hollywood in search of the American dream. No topic seems to be off-limits to Ferguson, whether it’s his struggles with drugs and alcohol, his aborted suicide attempt, or his failed attempts at punk rock, construction work, bouncing, and modern dance (?). Luckily, it has a happy ending.
Pursuit of Honor by Vince Flynn
If the bookworm in your family just can’t get enough of Jack Bauer and his “any means necessary” approach to stopping bad guys on 24, they might also like the adventures of elite counterterrorism operative Mitch Rapp. When a series of explosions devastate Washington, D.C., Rapp must track down the terrorists responsible, all while schooling politicians on the realities of national security.
Starbucks Gift Basket
Nothing helps a reader stay up into the wee hours saying, “Just one more chapter!” better than a dose of caffeine. So, why not give them a Starbucks gift basket? It doesn’t matter if they’re a coffee drinker or a tea drinker; Starbucks has you covered. For under $25, you can give someone a basket with their favorite coffee blend, or a sampler of different teas, and a holiday-themed Starbucks mug. And if you’re not sure which coffee or tea is their favorite, a gift card never hurts.
Audible.com Gift Membership
Audible.com’s Gift Memberships are a good gift idea for people who prefer to listen to their books while on the go. Starting at $45 for three months, the memberships provide access to Audible’s large library of audiobooks, as well as a free subscription to The Wall Street Journal or The New York Times. It also gives access to exclusive member discounts and promotions. Audible is compatible with all iPods, along with hundreds of other MP3 players, PDAs, and smart mobile devices. Want to know if a certain device is on the list? Look it up in Audible’s Device Center.
Yes, it’s cheesy. But that’s the point! If you’re looking to give your literary loved one a good laugh this holiday season, or you’re looking for something to bring to that wacky company Secret Santa gift exchange, consider the kitschy Snuggie. The subject of many aparody , this fleece “blanket with sleeves” comes in three colors and even includes a free book light. The Snuggie can be found at stores such as Target, Walgreens, and Toys “R” Us.
The Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health
In the Moosewood Collective’s latest cookbook, they’ve assembled over 200 vegetarian and vegan recipes that are local, environmentally sustainable, healthy and, above all, delicious. The book includes gluten-free and raw food options, and each recipe comes with a detailed nutritional analysis, as well as menu and serving suggestions. Give this book to the socially conscious cook in your family and then offer to “taste test” the results!
Under the Dome by Stephen King
If the sheer size of this book doesn’t scare the horror fan you give it to, the all-new tale from the King of Horror inside it probably will! When the small town of Chester’s Mill is trapped inside an invisible force field, it’s up to a motley crew of protagonists to figure out the mystery behind the dome, while also fighting the local politician and drug lord who uses the town’s sudden isolation to his advantage.
Mastering the Art of French Cooking Box Set
The perfect gift for fans of Julia Child, this box set includes the 1961 classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking and its sequel, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume Two. Both seasoned cooks and beginners will find something to love among the more than 700 recipes in these two volumes. Pair the box set with Meryl Streep’s recent portrayal of Julia Child in Julie & Julia and really get your loved one into the cooking mood!
The go-to gift for doubtful holiday shoppers everywhere. Sure, it’s not the most original idea but, in a pinch, nothing beats a gift card. Some stores, like Borders, even offer e-gift cards if you’re looking for a gift to send across country.