Ten Books for Your 2013 Christmas Gift List

I’m crazy excited to have two “Special Guest” recommendations, plus, those of you who allowed me to include your favorite read this year. I think you’ll find some great book gift ideas.  Happy Shopping!  *Note – Most of these are also available in your local bookstore.

#1 -For College Students – Special Guest Recommendation

Jesus > Religion – Jefferson Bethke $7.79 Amazon

If you have not heard of Jefferson Bethke, you should check out some of his YouTube videos. He has a voice for young people that I haven’t seen in quite a while. Thanks to Jeff  for providing me a quote to use for this blog on why young adults need to read his book:

“This book is great for young adults or anyone who has maybe had a season of disenchantment with things “religious”. It will offer a robust framework of how the institution is actually a beautiful thing that is needed but the bull’s-eye is being truly loved and fully known by your Creator.” Jefferson Bethke

#2 – Teen Girls – Contemporary Romance – Special Guest Recommendation

stat prob

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight – Jennifer E Smith $8.20 Amazon

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan’s life. Having missed her flight, she’s stuck at JFK airport and late to her father’s second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon-to-be stepmother Hadley’s never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport’s cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he’s British, and he’s sitting in her row.

A long night on the plane passes in the blink of an eye, and Hadley and Oliver lose track of each other in the airport chaos upon arrival. Can fate intervene to bring them together once more?

“Beautiful and heartwarming, it reads like a movie!” – Andrea Thompson

This author was recommended by Ashley Strickland who is an assistant producer at CNN.com. She has written feature articles on young adult literature. You can follow her on Twitter @CNNAshley.

#3 – Non-fiction & Sports Fans


That Season of Hope – Keith Larson – $15.16 Amazon

After the Make-A-Wish foundation offered to fulfill Hope Stout’s one last dying wish, she unselfishly wished that all 155 kids on the Make-A-Wish wait list would get their wishes fulfilled. Once a local radio program talked about her story and had her on the air, things took off from there. The Carolina Panthers became involved in what ended up being an amazing story of community.

“A powerful book, an amazing story.” Scott MacPherson

Recommended by: Dave

#4 – Best All-Around Pick for Your Gift List

book thief

The Book Thief – Markus Zusak – $7.21 Amazon

I like to call this book a crossover because even though this book is targeted to teens, adults are reading it too. Maybe it’s because it takes place in 1939 Nazi, Germany through the eyes of Death. Yes, I said Death.

“I carried them in my fingers, like suitcases. Or I’d throw them over my shoulder. It was only the children I carried in my arms.”  – Death – The Book Thief

 “I’m attracted to Death and repulsed at the same time by his interest and disinterest in human nature.” – Janelle

Recommended by:  Janelle

#5 – Adult Historical Fiction Fans


Rules of Civility – Amor Towles – $8.24 Amazon

“Eve and Katey meet the sphinxlike Tinker Grey on New Year’s Eve, 1937, at the Hotspot, a jazz bar in Greenwich Village. Tinker is Gatsby-esque–an inscrutable, ruggedly handsome man in cashmere, a mysterious lone figure with an enigmatic mystique. The three become fast friends, but as with many triangulating relationships, a hairline rivalry sets in. Then a cataclysmic tragedy shatters the cool grace of their bond, and their solidarity is ruptured.” – switterbug

I’m feeling The Great Gatsby vibe already!

Recommended by: Tammy

#6 – Middle School Boys

end game

Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card – $4.39 Amazon

Young, ultra-smart kids training to do battle with aliens in a cool zero gravity chamber with lasers… What 12-year-old boy is not going to like that?

“My boys love this one. They are flying through it.” – Joy, 6th grade teacher

Recommended by: Joy

#7 – Teen Girls – Adventure/Romance


Like Ice – Sherry Torgent – $6.30 Amazon (Special Limited time offer!)

Raz, a young coming-of-age Icean girl thinks her life is set. She’ll marry the boy next door and do her part to help grow her colony. But when she finds a metal box in her uncle’s workshop, the secret she unlocks sets a future in motion that could not only destroy her life, but change the course of the planet forever.

“I read this book in one day! I love this book because it is an original story, and not a copycat of something that’s already been done.” – Cassie

Recommended by: Cassie

#8 – Teen Boys

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The Maze Runner – James Dashner – $8.99 Amazon

I know I need to stop talking (obsessing) about this book. It’s just so rare that you find a book so perfect for teen boys. Over the last several years it’s been about girls, girls, girls in literature. Even though this one’s been around for a while, it’s become popular in the last couple of years. The movie version will be released in September.

#9 – Adult Mystery Fans


The Dante Club – Matthew Pearl – $7.19 Amazon

I told myself I wasn’t going to include this book. It’s not even a current release, but I loved it that much that I had to include it. Simply put, this is a mystery set in Boston, 1865. A group of American scholars find that as they work on the translation of Dante’s Inferno into English, murders are popping up in the city that are being inspired by each scene as they translate it – some rather gruesome. The best part about this book is that these are not your typical boring scholars. They are real people from the past; Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes, James Russell Lowell, J.T. Fields.  Need I say more? Simply fantastic.

#10 – Sci-Fi Fans


Wool – Hugh Howey – $11.57 Amazon

In a ruined and toxic landscape, a community exists in a giant silo underground, hundreds of stories deep. There, men and women live in a society full of regulations they believe are meant to protect them. Sheriff Holston, who has unwaveringly upheld the silo’s rules for years, unexpectedly breaks the greatest taboo of all: He asks to go outside.

This synopsis is why I originally bought the book. I’m asking for the next book in the series for Christmas!

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