If you're looking for last minute holiday gifts, why not consider a book? Books make great gifts because you never have to worry if they'll make someone's butt look big or have an allergic reaction. In that spirit here are some book and author recommendations for those still looking or have postponed their Christmas shopping until the last possible minute.
Anything by Michael Connelly
Connelly had proven himself as one of the best writers today. His stories are intriguing, his characters are complex, and his prose is clear and crisp. Though most of his books surround LAPD Detective Harry Bosch, he's written a great book called The Lincoln Lawyer where he introduces a compelling criminal defense attorney named Mickey Haller who worries more about deal and negotiation rather than a client's guilt or innocence. For all Haller's faults, Connelly makes him someone we can sympathize with and who is forced to make the hardest decision of his life when faced with pure evil.
If you decide to buy a Harry Bosch novel, you don't have to worry about buying the first Bosch book, The Black Echo. I didn't read any of the Bosch novels in order and yet I was still able to enjoy the stories because Connelly gives you just enough background when necessary so you aren't missing out on anything. Just another reason he's one of the best writers working today.
The 48 Laws of Power, The 33 Strategies of War, and The Art of Seduction
Though marketed as ways to increase your power, crush your enemies, and seduce the man or woman of your dreams, Robert Greene's books are really insights into human behavior. Each book contains rules to obtaining, say, power and short vignettes of famous men and women and how their choices led to let them to obtain their ultimate desires or caused them to be complete failures.
You can read them as lessons history, glances at human psychology, or books about business. However you choose to read them, they are wonderfully told stories with remarkable insight from Greene. Even if people on your list don't thirst for power or anything else Greene suggests, these books are help identify those who might try to take advantage of you.
Please note that you might have to ask a store clerk where these books are located. I've seen them in business, psychology, self-improvement, and history sections of stores.
If you know of an aspiring writer or anyone who enjoys improving their prose, buy them Write Tight. I've read a lot of books on writing and this is the one that has helped me the most. The book only concerns itself helping writers say the most in the fewest number of words. Period. Anyone can be verbose.Â Only those who truly master the art of writing can write tight.
Just about anything by Orson Scott Card
If you're looking for something in the science fiction/fantasy realm, I recommend just about anything by Orson Scott Card. Known best for his Ender Series, Card does wonderful job of creating believable characters in far away worlds.
One of my favorite things about Card is that he focuses more on the story and how the characters interact with each other than describing space ships or exotic places. Sure, we get a good tastes of these worlds but Card concentrates more on telling stories. Ender's Game and the books that follow are classics. But you also might want to consider Treason, Empire, and his Alvin Maker series.
Room for Two
What would be the point of writing a holiday book list if I didn't shamelessly include my own memoir, Room for Two.
Room for Two isn't just for those who have experienced loss but for anyone who wants to see the strength of the human character. We have an inner strength that is more powerful than we realize and can overcome anything that's placed in our path if we work hard at overcoming life's obstacles.
But you can decide for yourself if this book is right for you or someone on your Christmas list by reading the first chapter here.
And I'm always looking for new authors and books to read. If you have any suggestions on what I should find under the tree Christmas morning, leave a comment below.