Sunday, May 25, 2014

10 Great Books I Bet Your Child's Teacher Hasn't Read

I love to give books. Giving a book is like giving a bit of myself. The trick, of course, is to match the reader with the book and to find something they haven't read.  Since many teachers are also readers and they are all about to finally have some time to read, a book makes the perfect end-of-school gift. Here is a short list of not currently popular books by some great authors; you may even find something you'd enjoy yourself!

  • A Girl Named Zippy: Growing up Small in Moreland, Indiana by Haven Kimmel. This often hilarious, always surprising, surreal trip into the 70s and 80s is so much fun to read, you forget it's a memoir. The perfect book for someone with a sense of humor. 
  • Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns. This lovely novel paints a picture of life in the small-town south through the eyes of a pre-teen boy.
  • Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier. For the lover of historical fiction, this story will satisfy! Set near the end of the Civil War, it's the tale of two protagonists, each fighting their own private battles.
  • A Voyage Long and Strange: On the Trail of Vikings, Conquistadors, Lost Colonists and Other Adventurers in Early America by Tony Horwitz.  This is the history you probably did not learn in school, exhaustively researched but thrillingly presented by this award-winning journalist. Perfect for life-long learners and history enthusiasts.
  • Confederates in the Attic by Tony Horwitz. This was the first book I read by Horwitz and the reason I read the others. It is a compellingly told story of the south most of us will never see. It's a little unsettling but you just cannot stop reading it. 
  • Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne. If the recipient in question is under 50 years old, they probably never read this book which used to be required reading for all students. Verne is an adept storyteller and this adventurous book falls into the realm of light, fun reading. An especially good choice for those with a love of travel.
  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Saffron Foer. You may have seen the movie but nonetheless, this book is a must read. 911 was the catalyst for the protagonist's unraveling of long-held family secrets. This is an extremely well-told story and keeps you on the edge of your seat.
  • The I Hate to Cook Cookbook by Peg Bracken. Recently republished for its 50th anniversary, I actually own the original version, handed down by my mother. This is the perfect cookbook for busy moms and others who may even like to cook but need some tried and true quick meals.
  • The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender. Perfect for the sci-fi or fantasy lover, this is a good book for any novel lover. I won't give it away here but this book has some very surprising twists and turns, perfect for summer.
  • The Water is Wide: A Memoir by Pat Conroy. This prolific author has produced so many wonderful stories but this memoir is my favorite. It is the experience of his early years teaching poor children in South Carolina and, more importantly, what he learned about himself as person. Teachers may have read this book, given the subject matter, but I'm betting if they are under 45 years old, you're safe!
What books do you love to gift?

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