Someone dared me to write this post.
Well not exactly but it feels like it. My last one gave book suggestions for grandparents, brothers, dads. Gift book suggestions can be endless. That's why I focused on entertainment biographies. I planned on moving on to Churchill's biography next but someone on Patch asked “What about the spousal unit?” I want it on record that while I said they were suggestions for grandpas , that I didn't want to generalize. Grandma could read about Bruce Springsteen too. Obviously you have to have some idea of the recipients interests.
“What about the spousal unit?” Yes, what about? Are you crazy? I'm not going to tell you what to buy for your wife! Unless you dare me........ I have 4 required qualifications. #1 I'm a bookseller, #2 I'm a girl, #3 I'm a spousal unitette and #4 I am fearless.
My first suggestion, ironically, is for Valentine's Day! I would be remiss if I didn't mention the runaway bestseller in 2012, Fifty Shades Of Grey. Fifty Shades is why my sister in law along with every other Random House employee is getting a $5,000 bonus this year. Not Bad.
If your spouse hasn't read it yet it may be because they were too embarrassed to ask for it. So, if you know your spouse well enough to know they want to read it (or the whole trilogy) go for it.
Back to Christmas. My first suggestion is to consider their interests outside of reading to lead you to a great book for them. For example, Downton Abby is a popular series on PBS right now. The third season is starting in January. We have lots of excellent books related to the actual show and it's subject. There are non fiction books about the actual family who inspired the series and plenty of fiction about British society during the World Wars. Biographies of American heiresses who were shipped to England with their money to marry and shore up aging estates.
Next suggestion if you know your spouse likes fiction and may have mentioned “Oprah books” in the past. People in the know know Oprah's mega hit talk show went off the air but she started her own network shortly after. She started her book club again with the memoir Wild, which by the way is a great book. Her second pick was just announced and released early this week. The Twelve Tribes of Hattie.
I also recommend a few books I loved. Where'd You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple. This is a funny read written by a former writer for Arrested development etc. Set in Seattle, it involves a girl trying to find her mom using emails going back and forth over the previous months. It is touching and funny and well written. I was very happy when Brian reported to me that a customer who bought the audio version sat in her car at the end of her 5 hour road trip listening because it was so good.
Gone Girl is a guaranteed win too. You might want to check her bookshelf to make sure she doesn't already have it because it's been a bestseller for months. It's a twisted thriller but twisted because of the mind games being played, not anything gory.
The Age Of Miracles is thought provoking and unnerving. What would life be like if the earth's gravity started to slow? This is not an apocalyptic story. Well, I guess it is but the story revolves around day to day normal life which is unique.
I could recommend fiction all day but I have cookies to bake. I don't recommend you ever buy a toaster or vacuum cleaner for your spouse unless she swore on your family Bible that that's what she wants. I would, however, and now will recommend cookbooks for gifts. Except for one. Again, you have to know your own wife. Cooking Light has a brand new book, Oops: 209 Solutions For Everyday Mistakes. This would make a great wedding shower gift.
I mentioned Downton Abbey earlier. If she really, really loves DA, there is a cookbook for her! Tyler Florence, The Barefoot Contessa and many others have new books out.
If your spouse is a thinker, a reflector, is somewhat deep I highly suggest a journal. A journal and some stationary. If she spends every second watching The Real Housewives and the Kardashians, maybe not. Mad Libs may be the way to go for her. Not much emotional attachment required to complete a mad lib.
I said I was fearless. I take that back because I fear this post could go on forever. There are so many books I want to recommend. Buying a book for your wife is very, very romantic. It takes some thought about what her interests are. Figure that out and go for it. Hopefully for you you won't end up buying a Mad Lib.