It’s not too late to find just the right gift for that hard-to-buy-for friend or family member. Books are always a good choice and they can be had in print or downloaded online to their e-reader. Avid readers, most likely, already have the latest best-seller, but you might surprise them with some, not-so-well-known, authors who fly under the radar.
Here are some suggestions from fantastic authors, most of which I know personally, who have put out some quality tomes, available online…
Dave Astor – Fascinating Facts About Famous Fiction Authors and the Greatest Novels of All Time: The Book Lover’s Guide to Literary Trivia – Dave has gathered tons of fun facts and trivia about authors, both famous and not so famous. It’s the kind of book you can pick up and browse at your leisure. Older family members or friends might enjoy this as some of the topics go back to forgotten classic literature they may have enjoyed long ago.
Dave also has an autobiographical book called Comic (and Column) Confessional, about his life and career rubbing elbows with famous authors and cartoonists, like Charles Schulz, of Peanuts fame, and Beetle Bailey creator, Mort Walker.
Adele Azar-Rucquoi – The Nun and the Bum: A Journey, a Communion, a Birth – I knew her as Sister Adele, my favorite high school teacher, admittedly back in the dark ages. Adele taught us to love literature and added music to the mix. I’ll never forget her singing and dancing across the room to the strains of The Mikado, with her black habit flowing around her. Her story is amazing and I’m pleased to still be in contact with this talented woman.
Kathy Eliscu – Not Even Dark Chocolate Can Fix This Mess – Need a laugh and a bit of escape from the chaos of the season and beyond? Kathy’s book, blog and column, My Generation provide just that. This New Englander and retired RN writes with a warm heart and wicked humor.
Greg Dawson – Busted in Bloomington: A Tragedy in the Summer of ’68 – Greg and I have never met but I’ve enjoyed his columns, over the years, in the Orlando Sentinel and, when I heard he was publishing this book about he and his wife’s early years in Bloomington, Indiana, I had to order it. Several years ago I was introduced to Bloomington, as part of a National Society of Newspaper Columnists conference. Greg’s story is compelling and also offered an additional insight into this college town I loved.
Jerry Zezima – Grandfather Knows Best: A Geezer’s Guide to Life, Immaturity, and Learning How to Change Diapers All Over Again – OK, Jerry is one of those guys who cannot be serious. A typical conversation with him results in groan-worthy puns that won’t stop. He’s a master at rebounding with a witty, maybe not so pithy, remark and you’ll experience this in all of his books…the most recent about his foray into grandfatherhood. Check out his blog for updates to his zany life and links to his other books.
Gary Bond and Patty Daoust – The Great American Family Vacation: The Bond Family Travel Journal – I’m totally biased about this one as it is written by my sister and brother-in-law, who have journaled their family vacations since the kids were little. Now in their 20’s, the “boys” are still tagging along for adventurous trips involving demanding hikes in National Parks across the country. Of course, my favorite chapter is the last, describing their visit to our mountain house in North Carolina. If you want an engaging view of life on the road with kids, this online documentary is for you.
Derrick Z. Jackson – Project Puffin: The Improbable Quest to Bring a Beloved Seabird Back to Egg Rock – I got to meet Derrick at yet another NSNC conference, this one in Manchester, NH, last summer. A long-time columnist for The Boston Globe, his wife, Dr. Michelle Holmes, talked him into a camping trip which, eventually, led to his becoming instrumental in writing about the seabird Puffin and the restoration of its nesting colonies off the Maine coast. It’s a lovely story of a funky-looking bird and the people who played a hand in the journey. Derrick wrote this with author, Stephen W. Kress, and is a great gift for the conservationist in your life
Cathy Turney – Get 10,000+ Twitter Followers – Easily, Quickly, Ethically: Step-By-Step: You Can Do It! – For my blogger friends who are trying to increase their Twitter following, Cathy Turney has the answers. She’s been a super successful humor writer, along with her fabulous career in real estate, and pulls from both to create an informative book for those who need to amp up their Twitter following. Check out Cathy’s many other publications on Amazon.
Connie Schultz – . . . And His Lovely Wife: A Memoir from the Woman Beside the Man – Connie doesn’t fall under the “not so well known” authors but have to include her as she is one of my favorite writers. Married to Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, Ms. Schultz likes to remind others that’s she’s not just “his lovely wife.” A fiercely independent woman, Connie writes about the events leading up to her husband’s decision to run and her decision to leave her job as Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. It’s a great read and check out her columns on Creator.com.
Morning in the Mountains, A Cookbook from the Asheville Bed & Breakfast Association – I’ve written about this before so if you missed it, make sure you check out this cookbook full of delectable dishes created by Asheville’s B&B proprietors. Anyone who’s handy with a spatula will love this collection.
Happy Holidays to all, hope it’s a great New Year!