Friday, December 6, 2013

Books as gifts

For Christmas one year my brother gave me a copy of John Piper's Don't Waste Your Life, a gift I greatly appreciated but I have to be honest, I couldn't help wonder if there was some sort of not-so-subtle message he was attempting to convey?

I kid.

Sort of.

I mean, I'm quite certain he did not think me wasting my life. Of course he didn't.

Anyway, I mention it because I love to give books as gifts. I actually don't give books as often as I'd like because, well, let's face it, some recipients are not the bibliophile I am and, if they are, I sometimes have a difficult time deciding what book to give. Maybe I'm not alone? Here's a few suggestions to jump start our book giving this year or perhaps to add to our own wish list.

For moms (and all women, really): Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home by Gloria Furman will encourage any woman no matter her stage of life or motherhood. Grace abounds even as we pursue the most ordinary of tasks.

For those wanting to get organized this new year: The Organized Heart: A Woman's Guide to Conquering Chaos by our own Staci Eastin. Actually, as I survey the chaos that surrounds me, I'm thinking I need to revisit this one myself. Does the gospel impact my lack of organization? You bet it does.

For the history buff: Hands down one of my favorite reads this year was Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard. Utterly fascinating. Equally interesting: The Presidents Club: Inside the World's Most Exclusive Fraternity by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy.

For the avid reader of literature: Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me by Karen Swallow Prior. Karen writes about a life of books with an English professor's passion. This memoir made me love the well-loved books of my childhood all the more.

Other book suggestions:

A devotional. I'm not very good at keeping up with a yearlong devotional but I really like those comprised of 30 or even 60 days' readings. Comforts from Romans: Celebrating the Gospel One Day at a Time and Comforts from the Cross: Celebrating the Gospel One Day at a Time, both by Elyse Fitzpatrick, are great.

Memoir. I highly recommend The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert by Rosaria Butterfield. What an amazing testimony to the saving grace of a sovereign God! Rosaria's story will blow your mind. Holy Is the Day: Living in the Gift of the Present by Carolyn Weber is another spiritual memoir I liked very much. And, for an old title but one I also thoroughly enjoyed, All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot.

Fiction. It's tough to give a novel as a gift since preferences vary widely but in my opinion any fan of quality fiction would enjoy Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry. So, so good. I cried at the end. Or, with the movie having recently released, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is a good option (the writing! it's the writing!). 

The classics. Last year my son and his girlfriend gave me a copy of Pride and Prejudice, a book I've read hundreds of times and already own at least two copies. This particular edition from Anthropologie is hardback with deckle edges and an adorable book jacket. I love it. Similar editions of well loved classics are fantastic book gifts. 

A Bible. The Gospel Transformation Bible is on my wish list!

Can't decide? A gift certificate to Amazon or another bookstore is a thoughtful option!

What books do you like to give as gifts? Have you received a bookish gift that was particularly thoughtful? Let us know in the comments!

1 comment:

  1. Since my family and I have great different from the taste of books which including theological different. (Some of them are Rob Bell's fan / liberal church and I am very Reform and conservative and Calvinist.) As for me, it will be best if they give me an Amazon Gift card so that I can order the books that I really do want. They will not even go to my Amazon Wish List which I wish that they would do.

    Now as my Reform church family is another story. I will love whatever books that they give me for either Christmas or Birthday that is 5 days after Christmas.