Monday, November 24, 2008

Weekly Geeks #25: Holiday Gift-Giving Guide

This week's WG challenge: a books-based Weekly Geeks Gift Giving Guide!
1. Think about the books that you and people in your life love. It’s best to use more obscure books, because we’ve all heard plenty about the more popular ones.

2. Come up with categories, based on relationship, personality, or whatever else you like. I think this is easier to do once you have your books in mind; you can then just assign categories to those books.

3. Post your own gift giving guide! Add short blurbs about the books, just enough so that your readers can determine if it’d be a good gift for people on their list. Don’t forget to come back and sign Mr Linky.

4. Visit other Weekly Geeks, and if you like their guides, maybe add links to the bottom of your own.
I know it's late, but I was really excited about this WG theme and wanted to share my ideas. Here goes...

For that friend who made sure you were registered to vote and then pestered you endlessly about how great Obama is:
Anything by Christopher Buckley. The man is a genius at Washington satire. His most famous novel is undoubtedly Thank You For Smoking, which was made into a pretty awesome movie starring Aaron Eckhart (pre-Batman). He has plenty of other great books, too.

In Boomsday, Washington spin doctor and nighttime blogger Cassandra Devine comes up with an unusual way to help defray health care costs. Supreme Courtship, Buckley's newest novel, has a reality show judge being appointed to the Supreme Court. Little Green Men examines what happens when a Beltway insider finds himself abducted by aliens. And for the feminist, Florence of Arabia, in which the youngest wife of an Arabian prince decides to use TV to help women all over the Middle East gain their freedom and independence. Optional: print out a few pages of The HuffPo and use them as gift wrap.

For the reluctant reader:
The 39 Clues #1: The Maze of Bones, #2: One False Note (available for pre-order; it comes out next week), and Card Pack #1

This is a pretty smart idea. The 39 Clues is a mystery series about Dan and Amy Cahill, siblings who have been chosen to find the Cahill fortune. But they're not alone! Several different descendants are also on the trail, and readers can play along. Each book (there will be 10 in the series) comes with 6 collectible trading cards (350 are available in all) which can be registered on The 39 Clues website to help unlock puzzles, games, and more clues. There are special prizes for each country, so no one has an advantage. There are also Card Packs, which have 16 random cards (there are 56 total in this first series), including at least one rare or ultra-rare in each pack. Sounds confusing? Your Pokemon- or Naruto-obsessed son/little brother will understand, and have a field day with it.

For the Jimmy Buffet fan/environmentalist:

I've sung the praises of Carl Hiaasen before, and I'm going to do it again. The man is funny, and his love for Florida is evident in his novels. His YA novels (Hoot, Flush, and the soon-to-be-released Scat) are perfect for middle schoolers, and there's sure to be something in his other novels for the adults in your life. If you live in the UK and enjoy musical theater, why not buy a copy of Lucky You and include tickets to the show as a bookmark? Actually, a great way to package any of these would be to get a metal bucket and stuff it with one of the books, a copy of Songs You Know By Heart, and a few Coronas. Your beach bum friends will thank you.

For the comic book lover:
Everyone loves Fables, but there's another Vertigo comic that's equally amazing: Y: The Last Man. In the near future, a plague kills off every animal on earth with a Y chromosome. Yorrick Brown, English major and amateur magician, is the only male on the planet to survive, along with helper-monkey-in-training Ampersand. The books follow his adventures to find his missing fiance and to discover how he survived the plague.

Other graphic novels: Watchmen (read it before you see the movie!), or, for those who are already fans, Watching the Watchmen. Fans of Neil Gaiman's Sandman series will get a kick out of The Little Endless Storybook, The Dead Boy Detectives, or Death: At Death's Door.

Some other random ideas:
My family is making gifts this year. I've bought a few books for gifts, but the majority of my shopping will be spent finding supplies for these:
Cake in a Mug - put all the dry ingredients in a plastic baggie, include the instructions, and gift it with a thrift store mug. Instant yum!

If you're crafty, Lion Brand Yarn has some really cute amigurumi patterns up on its site. I made this penguin for a friend of mine in no time. There are tons of other free amigurumi patterns available, plus projects for kids and ideas for pets.

I'm also a big fan of mixtapes - er, mixCDs now, I guess. My Secret Santa gifts this year will include my awesome holiday mix, which features Christmas songs by Atlanta area bands. A good place to find music is search for the type of music you want, and it lets you listen to full-length songs. It also has some some free mp3 downloads, which is nice. Sign up for an account, and it learns your musical taste and starts recommending stuff to you. Pretty sweet.


Nymeth said...

I really have to give Y: The Last Man a try!

I'm glad I'm not the only one addicted to making holiday mixes. My Secret Santa package will include one too :)

Ali said...

My kids (ages 8 and 11) really enjoyed the Maze of Bones book #1.

And, I found some more things we have in common for WG #26! I'm gonna make you wait in suspense, though. It'll probably take me a couple days to get this week's Geeks done.