December 11, 2011

A Quirky Bookworm's Gift Guide (and a giveaway!)

Last Sunday I published the first part of my gift guide. I'm back for part two this week!

Got a co-worker who loves audio books? Let me recommend the Agent Pendergast series by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.

I was sent two of these for review by Shelf Awareness, and quite enjoyed them even though they're not my normal type of mystery.* Scott Brick gives voice to Still Life With Crows, the fourth entry in the series.

The book opens on a blistering hot summer in small town Kansas. Sheriff Hazen is on his way to investigate what he thinks is a dead cow. Turns out that it’s actually a dead woman. What’s worse is that the woman is missing several body parts and surrounded by a circle of arrows and dead crows. Hazen is out of his element, and is happy to accept assistance from the mysterious Special Agent Pendergast of the FBI.

Brick does an excellent job contrasting the different voices in this book—from the hick Sheriff to the urbane New Orleans bred Pendergast to the goth teenager Corrie Swanson. He also manages to make the very strange killer seem sufficiently creepy, without going over the top into melodrama. The central secret of the book is fairly easily guessed, but the main characters bumble around in confusion for a while—and Brick makes their terror completely believable.

Or are you stymied as to what to buy for your teenage niece or nephew?

Out of Print Clothing has all kinds of amazing t-shirts featuring book covers ranging from 1984 to Wuthering Heights. I want about 14 of these, especially the To Kill a Mockingbird one! I bet even hard-to-buy for teenagers would think some of these are cool...especially if they're into angst-y literature.**

Trying to find a great book for your mystery-loving brother-in-law?

You can't go wrong with Ian Rankin. His Detective John Rebus is the quintessential anti-authoritarian semi-alcoholic detective. Read my review of Rankin's Knots and Crosses here. And, to win a copy of A Good Hanging, a collection of short stories starring Rebus, all you have to do is comment on this post! Because what's better than buying someone the perfect book? Winning it for them!

To enter to win: leave a comment telling me who's left on your Christmas list this year. One entry per person. Please leave a valid email address in the comment form. All comments must be left by 11:59 PM PST on Friday 12/16. Winner will be announced in next week's Gift Guide! You'll have 24 hours to get me your valid US mailing address so I can be sure to send you your book in time for Christmas.

*A version of this review was originally written for Shelf Awareness, although it was not published there.
** I haven't actually ever purchased anything from this company, so don't hate me if it turns out their shirts are mis-sized or something. I just think their products look awesome!