Friday, December 16, 2011

Books Make Great Gifts

'Twas the week before Christmas and the last thing you feel like doing is shopping for gifts. So here is my list of suggestions that in most cases with free shipping and expedited delivery you can order from the comfort of your home while sipping a glass of wine, baking cookies and watching your favorite holiday movie classic. (note: these gifts also work if your holiday season is Hanukkah or Kwanzaa)

You'll notice that they are all books. Yes, books make great gifts. You can give the good old fashioned kind printed on paper or gift an e-version to the person in your life who reads electronically. Note that the option for e-gifting on Amazon works for iPad readers as well that have a Kindle app. You'll also notice that this is not as self-serving as it might seem. Yes, I suggest The Secrets They Kept for the fiction lover in your life,  but I also have others to share. I really do believe books make great gifts. These are a few of my favorites, all of which I am proud to say have a spot on my bookshelf. 

Shoe Are You
for the shoe lover 
This delightful book, complete with illustration, is the first of its kind, offering  advice for your life, your wardrobe and career -- all based on your footwear. If you are a stiletto girl, ballet flat girl, cowboy boot girl or even a barefoot girl, you will find out what your shoes say about you. Written by shoe expert and TV personality Meghan Cleary.

Using the Power of Pleasure To Have Your Way in the World
for the woman who is looking for more pleasure, every day, every where
Relationship expert Regena Thomashauer teaches the "womanly arts" of identifying your desires, having fun no matter where you are, owning sensual pleasure, befriending your inner bitch, and flirting. It's no secret that this book changed my life.

No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power
for the woman who wants to know not just how to make change, but why it is needed
More on women and power, this time from feminist icon Gloria Feldt. What I love about this is not just the very useful tools she shares but the historical perspective and anecdotes that point to the elephant in the room that too many pretend doesn't exist anymore, that as far as we have come, inequality for women still exists.

Secrets of Six-Figure Women
for the woman who is looking to create a new world order around her finances
Yes, I seem a bit obsessed with secrets. I also have a bit of an obsession for the wisdom of financial expert  Barbara Stanny. This is is just one of her many books in which she helps women develop a better relationship with their money. This one gives you the skinny on what the high earning women she interviewed know that you don't.

The Secret Pleasures of Menopause
for the woman who is near or at "that age" and is looking for the rainbow
There is that secret thing again, not to mention pleasure. Mmm. Is there a theme here? I digress.  I realize that for some of you the idea that menopause might bring anything more than hot flashes seems like a very cruel joke. But joke it is not. Dr. Christiane Northrup will show you that this can indeed be the best time of your life. Also by the enlightened and brilliant Dr. Northrup, Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom, and The Wisdom of Menopause.

Testing for Kindergarten
for the mother of young children in your life
First, let's set the record straight. This is not just a book that will help you get your child into private school. Karen Quinn has written a primer that every parent should read on how to make learning fun for your kids. And when learning is fun, those school applications, from kindergarten to college will be a lot easier to take.

The Secrets They Kept
for the fiction lover looking to discover new writing voices
Can you blame me for inserting one more self-serving plug here before I wrap this up? This engaging story about the long kept secrets of a Greek-American family has been called "a true page turner", "an excellent debut novel", "a telling lesson in honesty, or how the lack of it can disrupt our entire lives", " a roller coaster ride of intrigue" and a  story in which "Women-strong women- take center stage....distinguishing it from your run of mill novel." 

In closing and in full disclosure I have the distinct honor and yes, pleasure of knowing each of these authors on a first name basis. Each has contributed to my personal journey over the last several years. Their wisdom has added to my wisdom. And that is the greatest gift of all. 

What's your favorite book to give as a gift?

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