Where to start? In fact, I'd be grateful for any book a friend or family member thinks I'd enjoy. That's the truth. But if The Broke and the Bookish affords me the opportunity to proffer a few bold hints, here goes...
The Conference of the Birds by Peter Sis. I've already ordered and paid for this illustrated text based on a twelfth century Persian poem, but I've been waiting on alibris to deliver it for a couple of weeks now. Can't wait to enjoy this promising new work from one of my favorite illustrators. (I linked to an Atlantic Monthly article about the book. It includes slides of some of Sis's illustrations and a review too.)
2. The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides. The latest novel from my fellow Brunonian has garnered strong reviews, and I'd enjoy reading it.
3. The Complete New Yorker on CD rom. Can you imagine? Eighty years of impeccable stories, poems, in depth journalistic pieces, and cartoons, all at your fingertips? Ultimate gift!
4. The Apothecary by Maile Meloy. Somehow, my copy never arrived from her publisher, but I'd love to read Meloy's new middle reader fantasy.
5. My own copy of Howl's Moving Castle and the other two in Diana Gwynne Jones's fantasy trilogy. Loved Howl's, but I'd appreciate my own copy to lend out to friends - pay it forward, I say.
When The Killing's Done. I simply enjoy anything that guy writes.
7. The Best American Short Stories 2011. This collection always offers treasures and pleasures aplenty, and I tend to purchase my own copies if I don't receive them as gifts. Bonus this year: Geraldine Brooks, one of my favorite American writers, is this year's guest editor. And among this year's authors: Jennifer Egan, Nathan Englander, Elizabeth McCracken, and Joyce Carol Oates.
8. Wildwood by Colin Meloy (Maile Meloy's brother, of The Decemberists). This children's fantasy reads well from its first sentences on, and I'd love to enjoy it in its entirety.
9. 2011 National Book Award non-fiction winner The Swerve by Stephen Greenblatt. I adored his speculative biography of Shakespeare, Will In The World, and would be grateful to read his latest.
10. Whatever Santa and his elves wish deliver, I'll read with relish.
What's on your list this year? Visit The Broke and the Bookish if you're looking for a few more good books to add...