The 2013 Holiday Gift Guide
The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide
This is a comprehensive holiday "one stop shop" site, with great gift ideas for everyone and every budget. Gift suggestions for "Gamers", Pets, health and beauty, home and garden, gourmet baskets, Babies, Teens, Tweens, Kids, Electronic junkies, books, CD's, DVD's, and outdoors enthusiasts! Do your shopping online now, and relax!
Not sure if the Amazon Kindle Fire is for you? Check out this clip.....
Watch this, and get in the Holiday Spirit!
Refresh is a personal or shared charging station for three or more devices. Compact in size and compatible with most of the new devices hitting the market today, it can charge two iPod or iPhones simultaneously while also charging a Blackberry and a Bluetooth headset for instance. In fact, using the two iPod connectors and two of your own iPod cords, you could even charge four iPod or iPhones at the same time. Perfect for the whole family! Besides the two built-in iPod connectors, Refresh is shipped with the essential connectors needed for most new devices: Mini & Micro USB. These connectors are quickly becoming the standard for most mobile phones.
iPod nano now has a built-in video camera that lets you spontaneously shoot video wherever you are. And that's just the beginning. It has a dramatic, polished anodized aluminum finish and a larger screen. The new Genius Mixes feature acts as your personal DJ, automatically searching your iTunes library, then making mixes you'll love. Take iPod nano anywhere and the new Pedometer counts your steps. Also making its debut: a built-in FM radio with two amazing features--iTunes Tagging and Live Pause. So the world's most popular music player now has more to play with.
Don't forget your furry best friend this Holiday!
Cat and Dog gifts.
The Worlds Only Self-Flushing, Self-Washing Cat Box. With CatGenie 120, you’ll never touch litter again. It automatically flushes all cat waste out of the home then washes itself completely clean. The new 120 SaniSolution Cartridge is biodegradable and recyclable (unlike cat litter which is neither). Holds 120 washes and when set on Cat Activation provides 240 washes (and one Cartridge is smaller and uses less plastic than the lid of one plastic litter jug). IMPORTANT NOTE: The 120 Cartridge only works in the CatGenie 120 Model. The 120 Cartridge (clear) will NOT work in the original CatGenie, which only uses the 60 Cartridge (green) The 60 Cartridge will NOT work in the CatGenie 120.
Catnip Chew Mice is an innovative cat chewing toy that offers cats the opportunity to crunch, chew and clean while they play. Helps remove tartar and improve dental health. Floss like action when chewing helps clean teeth.
Superior construction, luxurious fabric, a healthy alternative - making a difference never felt so good! Our new Organic Bumper Bed reflects our belief in making a difference for people and pets. We take organic cotton and sew a long-lasting outer cover that your pet will love. We then stuff it full of super-soft, premium IntelliLoftTM stuffing, made from 100% recycled plastic bottles, that holds up to years of pawing, pacing, and plopping. With a clean, fresh feel there is no better bed out there for your pooch, for you, and for the environment. Try it out with your allergic, sensitive or orthopedic pups. Machine washable with a zippered opening for easy maintenance.
Dynasty feeding station is a beautiful addition to any pet owners home with its elegant antique black matte finish. Features a large drawer for storage of food, treats, or toys. The feeding station measures 12.5" wide by 11.5" high by 23.5" long and has two 3 quart heavyweight stainless steel bowls which are separated from the contents of the drawer by a panel preventing accidental spills from getting into the drawer. Durable construction will provide years of service and beauty.
Just what Santa ordered for our favorite kitty or small dog.
Great Games for the entire family
Make the "gamer" happy, and the whole family this holiday season with these gifts.
The Fun Family Game Where Players Put Things in Order. Sort it Out! is the new party game from Australia that's sweeping across the world. A great ice breaker for groups of new friends and a battle of wits for old friends and family. Who knows the Biggest, Fastest, Loudest, Smallest, Longest Everything? Sort it Out! is a fast-paced game where knowing just a little about something can help you win everything! Contents include Game Board 6 Moving Pieces 6 Tile Holders 30 Colored Tiles Over 300 Topic Cards Sand Timer Instructions.
"For the daring and adventurous, there are too many lost cities to seek and explore. The search can take you to the Himalayas, the Brazilian rain forest, the ever-shifting sands of the desert, ancient volcanoes and to Neptune's Realm. Of course, one cannot go everywhere with limited resources so the players must choose which expeditions to begin and which to leave to others. Those with high confidence may have the opportunity to up the stakes: increasing the rewards for success, but risking more should the expedition fail. The player who finds the right balance will have successful expeditions. Too many expeditions will put a strain on limited resources and yield failure. Too few may guarantee success, but not victory! Players: 2 Ages: 10 and up Playing Time: 20-40 minutes FUN"
Four diseases have broken out in the world and it is up to a team of specialists in various fields to find cures for these diseases before mankind is wiped out. Players must work together, playing to their characters' strengths and planning their strategy of eradication before the diseases overwhelm the world with ever-increasing outbreaks. A truly cooperative game where you all win or you all lose.
Join John, Paul, George and Ringo on-stage at legendary shows, behind closed doors in the recording studio, and in dreamscapes that bring their psychedelic imagery to life. The acclaimed Rock Band elements of interactive play and full-band capacity are here, but with brand-new additions. This will be the first music game to offer harmonies, challenging you to recreate The Beatles' vocal blend. There are custom-built models of the instruments that the helped to make iconic; audio straight from the masters; and graphics that take you on a magical tour through the key moments in Beatles history. Produced with the full cooperation of The Beatles and Apple Corps, the game is packed with fab extras. Master the songs to hear rare audio and view unseen photos from the archives.
A little Christmas music while you shop.....
Music and Movies
They planned a Vegas bachelor party that they would never forget. Now they really need to remember what exactly went down! A baby? A tiger? Why is one of them missing a tooth? And most of all, where is the groom?! What the guys did while partying can't compare to what they must do sober in an outrageous caper that has them piecing together all their bad decisions from the night before-- one hazy clue at a time. Director Todd Phillips (Old School) and an all-aces comedy cast tie one on... big time!
Voldemort is tightening his grip on both the Muggle and wizarding worlds and Hogwarts is no longer the safe haven it once was. Harry suspects that dangers may even lie within the castle, but Dumbledore is more intent upon preparing him for the final battle that he knows is fast approaching. Together they work to find the key to unlock Voldemort’s defenses and, to this end, Dumbledore recruits his old friend and colleague, Professor Horace Slughorn, whom he believes holds crucial information. Even as the decisive showdown looms, romance blossoms for Harry, Ron, Hermione and their classmates. Love is in the air, but danger lies ahead and Hogwarts may never be the same.
The Blu-ray disc of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince will feature Warner Bros. Maximum Movie Mode, an interactive viewing experience that examines the entire film with such features as Focus Points, Picture-in-Picture, photo galleries and more. Maximum Movie Mode includes commentary from director David Yates, producers David Heyman and David Barron, and stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson and Tom Felton.
The disc also includes Warner Bros. BD-LiveTM, which allows users with web-enabled Blu-ray players to access exciting additional content and connect and share with other BD-Live users via the My Commentary and Live Community Screening features. Another feature of the BD-Live interactivity is Facebook Connect, which allows users to interact with their friends from Facebook, update their Facebook status while in BD-Live and invite their Facebook friends to a Live Community Screening.
2009 holiday release, the first Christmas album from the legendaryFolk/Rock singer/songwriter. Christmas In The Heart is Dylan's 47th album and follows the worldwide success of his album Together Through Life. In a commitment to ending hunger, all of Bob Dylan's U.S. current and future royalties from sales of Christmas In The Heart will be donated in perpetuity to Feeding America, guaranteeing that more than four million meals will be provided to over 1.4 million people in need in this country during this year's holiday season. 15 tracks including 'Here Comes Santa Claus', 'Winter Wonderland', 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas' and many others.
Legendary, award-winning and suspenseful, Alfred Hitchcock Presents set the gold standard for all TV mystery series to come and has remained an indelible part of popular culture. And now, the complete fourth season – all 36 episodes – is available on DVD for fans to enjoy again and again. Join guest stars Steve McQueen (Bullitt), Bette Davis (All About Eve), Claude Rains (Casablanca), Cloris Leachman (Young Frankenstein), Roger Moore (The Spy Who Loved Me), Walter Matthau (The Odd Couple), Brian Keith (Family Affair), Elizabeth Montgomery (Bewitched), Art Carney (Harry and Tonto), Mary Astor (The Maltese Falcon), Barbara Bel Geddes (Dallas), Denholm Elliott (Raiders of the Lost Ark), Dick York (Bewitched), Leslie Nielsen (Airplane!) and more as they act in stories of intrigue and murder … all under the watchful eye of the Master of Suspense himself. Nominated for 15 Primetime Emmy Awards, and winner of 3 Primetime Emmy Awards plus the Golden Globe for Television Achievement, there’s no question why this show remains one of the most beloved classic series ever made.
Disc one features the original album masters of some of Michael's biggest hits such as "Billie Jean," "Smooth Criminal," "Human Nature," and "Thriller" arranged in the same sequence as they appear in the film. The disc ends with two versions of "This Is It," the original and an orchestral version. "This Is It" is featured in the film's closing sequence and includes backing vocals by Michael's brothers, the Jacksons.
Disc two offers fans a rare listen to the early demo versions of classics "She's Out Of My Life," "Wanna Be Startin'," "Somethin'," and "Beat It." This disc also features a recently discovered spoken word poem from Michael Jackson entitled "Planet Earth."
Michael Jackson's This Is It also includes a 36-page, commemorative booklet featuring exclusive photos of Michael from his last rehearsal.
Packaged in an exotic hand-made dark mahogany bamboo case, this Flowering Gift Set is filled with nine bouquets of tea leaves that blossom into a myriad of flavors from sweet and subtle to rich and bold. The stylish glass teapot included is ideal to observe the flowering tea petals. A simple luxury that heightens the tea experience and makes for a singular conversation piece, these Leaves of Art are a true tea lover's bliss. We invite you to experience the simple elegance of a true tea transformation--elevating loose leaf tea to the next level: art.
Requiring no tea bag or strainer, flowering teas are environmentally kind as well as easy to serve; just a glass/teapot (included). The gift set includes nine varieties--Starlight Rose, Flower Jewel, Dragon Lily, Lavender Dream, Emerald Sun, Jade Fortune, Jasmine Pearls, Midnight Peony, and Black Beauty--enough to steep 27 pots of tea.
Enjoy peaceful tranquility in Chai Serenity Gift Set
Rich Chai Latte Blend with the finest exotic spices from around the world.
Presented in subdued elagant packaging
3-Canister Gift Set
0 Trans Fats
Bug is a Caterpillar that is afraid of change. Bug is thoughtful, extremely cautious and has secret dreams of flying. Bug comes with 3 feelings to discover and play with - Happy, Brave and Left-Out.
Happy? Smile. Sad? Frown. Kimochis help children identify and express feelings and help parents understand the thoughts their children try to communicate. Kimochi is Japanese for feeling. Each interactive Kimochi has a pouch to store its feelings, felt cushions in bright colors with a facial expression on one side and the name of the emotion on the other side. Children learn by placing the cushion that best matches their feelings into their Kimochi and sharing the experience. The process calms, comforts and instills confidence.
These cuddly toys are modern, curious and fun! Each one has its own set of emotions and unique, endearing personality. Each character also comes with a story book and a beautiful peek-a-boo box.
Contrast stitching and tactile, 3D details give them a finished look. Quality construction makes them durable. Soft polar fleece, approx 12x8x4. Additional mixed feelings sets are available for advancing skills.
Piece by piece for a funny zoo, they'll pile the cow and the monkey too. Animal blocks just don't come any cuter than this. We love the imagination and fun these clever blocks inspire. Children giggle, arrange and rearrange these darling blocks to create one-of-a-kind funny animal creations. With classic Haba quality and obvious good taste, Haba blocks are kids blocks that stand-out from the rest. Guaranteed to be family heirloom toys, Haba blocks have vibrant, lasting color, precision-cut designs, and charm that never goes out of style. 25 handy pieces made of 100% beech wood for first construction.
Sports and Outdoors
Great gifts for the active or "outdoor" friend or family member.
Comfortable and soft, these provide warmth without adding extra layers.
This all-in-one Kit has everything you need for quick, precision cleaning. You'll have less ways to make mistakes, and end up with better-looking, higher-quality meat. All metal components are 100% 440 stainless steel for corrosion-free, long-lasting use. The complete kit: 8 -inch Skinning Knife; 6-inch Coping Knife; 16-inch Folding Saw; Gut Hook; Replacement Blades; Latex Gloves; Everything transports and stores in a handy molded plastic carry case, measures 13 1/2 x 6 1/2-inch. A better cleaning experience can be yours! WARNING: You must be 18 or older to purchase Cutlery. Cutlery cannot be shipped to Marin, Napa, Ventura and Yolo counties, CA; CO; CT; D.C.; MA; Canada or Puerto Rico. Cutlery cannot be shipped Parcel Post. Please check your State, County and City laws for restrictions before ordering Cutlery.
Gifts for teenagers
Ideas for that difficult teen!
This sterling silver designer inspired key pendant features a simple clover design on top. The pendant hangs gracefully from an 18" rolo chain. It?s a charming piece for casual use.
In this Encore Edition, experience the smash hit Disney Channel Original Movie, High School Musical, that started a worldwide phenomenon. Packed with bonus features and exclusive extras, this hip, entertaining, gotta-get-up-and-dance musical is set to fun tunes and very cool dance moves. The house will rock in this fun family film that celebrates the joy and power of music.
It s time to sing and dance because there s so much more to celebrate in High School Musical 2 Extended Edition. Experience the movie in a whole new way with a music sequence and rehearsal footage, plus sing lead vocals with High School Karaoke. Featuring an all-star cast, exclusive bonus features, hot songs and awesome dancing the whole family will love.
It s time to celebrate as Disney s phenomenal High School Musical hits new heights in High School Musical 3: Senior Year! Fresh from the big screen, this motion-picture extravaganza delivers nonstop entertainment from start to finish! Find out what happens to all your favorite characters in this musical sensation. It s a fantastic time for the entire family.
iPod touch is a great iPod, a great pocket computer, and a great portable game player. Listen to a mix of songs automatically put together by the new Genius Mixes feature. Watch a movie. Surf the web. View rich HTML email. Find your location and get directions with Google Maps. Discover games and apps you're sure to love with new Genius recommendations for apps. And since iPod touch now comes with the latest 3.1 software already installed, you can start using fun, convenient features right out of the box.
Gourmet food gifts
Great treats for every palate.
Everyone will be impressed by the variety in this exclusive gift and we'll ship it for free! A beautifully handcrafted basket is piled high with Godiva milk chocolate covered raisins, Wine Country sesame crackers, Napa Valley Mustard Company olives, brie cheese spread, Ghirardelli milk chocolate with peanut butter, Lucky Country Australian strawberry soft licorice, De Vita single origin extra dark chocolate with 80% cocoa from the Dominican Republic & much more. This delightful mix of sweet and savory combines to make an appealing presentation and a wonderful gift.
Impress friends, family or valued clients with this classic and elegant gift basket filled to overflowing with a grand selection of gourmet goodies - perfect for 2-4 guests to share. The medium basket is pictured above featuring the finest in Merlot Cheddar Flavored Cheese Spread, rich Italian Chocolate Espresso Cake, savory Italian Salami, Almond Roca Butter Crunch Cookies, decadent Belgian Chocolate truffles, Stone Ground Mustard, Sesame Crackers, Casse Croute Cheddar Crackers, and a Lady Walton White Chocolate Amaretto Cookie. Each gift is carefully hand crafted with attention to detail, tied with an elegant gold bow and includes a personalized gift message from you to convey your best wishes. Manufactured by Art of Appreciation Gift Baskets.
Say Thank You! by sending tasty and HANDY gift that will truly get your message across to your lucky gift recipient. Our "Thank You" theme gift box makes the perfect desk caddy to keep pencils, pens and scissors in, add Almond Roca Butter Crunch Cookies, Almond Biscotti, premium Ghirardelli Coffee, Butter Toffee Popcorn, decadent Chocolate Truffles and fine Ghirardelli chocolates - you now have a gift worth a million thanks... without breaking your budget! Each basket is carefully hand crafted with attention to detail and includes a personalized gift message from you. Manufactured by Art of Appreciation Gift Baskets.
We've created this set of handsome gift boxes to impress friends, family or your most important business clients... without breaking the budget! Beautiful gold gift boxes with blue swirls and accents reflect elegance and good taste. Weve packed in enough savories and sweets to please any crowd making it a great gift for an office or family to share! Open each box to reveal premium Savory Beef Salami, Italian Herb Cheese Spread, 2 Pkgs. Wheat Crackers, Nikkis Gourmet Snack Mix, Ms. Mays Cashew Crunch Mix, Butter Toffee Popcorn, fine Ghirardelli Chocolate Squares in Milk Chocolate and Caramel, individually wrapped Butterscotch Candy and Raspberry Bonbon Candy. Each gift is carefully hand crafted, tied with gold ribbon and includes a personalized gift message from you to convey your best wishes.
Gifts for Kids
Little Tikes Pop Tunes Big Rocker GuitarPlays songs to get kids moving with music that parents can appreciate. Pop Tunes infant and preschool toys play the popular songs parents grew up listening to on the radio! This toy helps develop music appreciation. The Big Rocker Guitar is simple and easy to use. Kids just strum a note to play a song. The guitar can be played freestyle or plays 5 kid-friendly versions of famous songs. Songs include: "Message in a Bottle" by the Police, "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" by Queen, "Wild Thing" by The Troggs, "Love Shack" by The B-52's, and "All Star" by Smashmouth. Requires 3-AA batteries (included). Recommended for ages 3 and up.
Pop tunes infant and preschool toys play the popular songs parents grew up listening to on the radio. Music Mode lets the child pick which song they want to hear and the light bar flashes colors to correspond with the music. In Sound Mode different sounds made by the child will cause the light bar to flash different colors.
Invite your little ones to tag along without jeopardizing their safety with the Razor Jr. Kiddie Kick scooter. Outfitted with a three-wheel design for added stability and an impact-resistant plastic body, the scooter makes riding fun for kids 6 and under.
The Razor Kiddie Kick scooter is a blast for kids 6 and under.
The wide, slip-resistant polypropylene deck, meanwhile, is extremely stable, as is the extra-wide rear wheelbase. And thanks to the handy folding mechanism, the Kiddie Kick folds up quickly for easy storage and transport. Other features include soft foam handgrips, 98mm wheels, and your choice of blue and pink colors. The Kiddie Kick measures 22 by 25.5 by 11 inches (W x H x D) and weighs 6.5 pounds.
Patented, High Performance Baking Soda & Vinegar Powered Rockets.
There’s nothing else like them! Blast off!
The revolutionary Meteor Rocket with its patented baking soda fueling system has thrilled thousands upon thousands of kids across the world. Winner of many awards, this unique rocket is an adventure unlike any other.
Gifts for Tweens
Developers at Nintendo have dreamed of creating a simultaneous multiplayer Super Mario Bros. game for decades. The Wii console finally makes that dream come true for everyone with New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Supporting 2-4 players in side-scrolling co-op and competitive platforming action, and featuring a mix of fan favorites and new characters, new powerups and various input options via the Wii Remote, it is destined to become an instant classic in one of the most beloved game franchises of all-time.
Tween girls can now become a "Pop Princess" just like Hanna Montana, with Jakks Pacific's new G2 Game Generation: Hannah Montana Guitar Video Game! This Plug It In and Play guitar video game combines the hottest trend in gaming with girls' favorite surreptitious songstress.
With no console or additional software needed, simply plug the cool,guitar-shaped controller into any standard TV and prepare to rock outonscreen with Hannah and her hottest hits. Match the notes and the beats in sequence to play along with Hannah...with this game, you're not just with the band...you are the band. Requires 3 "AAA" batteries and 4 "AA" batteries, not included.
Home and Garden
Great gifts to spruce up your life at home!
Joshua Roth Stainless Steel Hori-Hori digging tool #1516 This is a special version of Joshua Roth's #1515 Hori-Hori digging tool. Its' stainless steel blade is very sharp and concave shaped for scooping soil and other materials. Because of its sharpness, it is excellent as a general purpose sporting knife. An indispensable tool for digging in the garden. It cuts and scrapes weed, roots and vegtables. Master gardeners love it. Comes with a heavy black vinyl plastic sheath and belt loop. You need to try it for yourself to appreciate what a great garden tool it is!! 6 1/2" blade, 11 3/4" overall length. Made in Japan Some uses: Weeding, cutting roots, transplanting, removing bonsai plants from pots, sod cutting, dividing perennials, metal detecting, collecting and more. This tool can be considered the Swiss Army Knife for many outdoor uses from gardening, collecting, digging, sawing, chopping, measuring to untold other uses including but not limited to hunting and fishing. Everyone who owns one (inclduing me) say this is the best tool they have.
Concrete, marble, steel, brick: little else made by human hands seems as stable, as immutable, as a building. Yet the life of any structure is neither fixed nor timeless. Outliving their original contexts and purposes, buildings are forced to adapt to each succeeding age. To survive, they must become shape-shifters.
In an inspired refashioning of architectural history, Edward Hollis recounts more than a dozen stories of such metamorphosis, highlighting the way in which even the most familiar structures all change over time into “something rich and strange.” The Parthenon, that epitome of a ruined temple, was for centuries a working church and then a mosque; the cathedral of Notre Dame was “restored” to a design that none of its original makers would have recognized. Remains of the Berlin Wall, meanwhile, which was once gleefully smashed and bulldozed, are now treated as precious relics.
Altered layer by layer with each generation, buildings become eloquent chroniclers of the civilizations they’ve witnessed. Their stories, as beguiling and captivating as folktales, span the gulf of history.
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Kingsolver's ambitious new novel, her first in nine years (after the The Poisonwood Bible), focuses on Harrison William Shepherd, the product of a divorced American father and a Mexican mother. After getting kicked out of his American military academy, Harrison spends his formative years in Mexico in the 1930s in the household of Diego Rivera; his wife, Frida Kahlo; and their houseguest, Leon Trotsky, who is hiding from Soviet assassins. After Trotsky is assassinated, Harrison returns to the U.S., settling down in Asheville, N.C., where he becomes an author of historical potboilers (e.g., Vassals of Majesty) and is later investigated as a possible subversive. Narrated in the form of letters, diary entries and newspaper clippings, the novel takes a while to get going, but once it does, it achieves a rare dramatic power that reaches its emotional peak when Harrison wittily and eloquently defends himself before the House Un-American Activities Committee (on the panel is a young Dick Nixon). Employed by the American imagination, is how one character describes Harrison, a term that could apply equally to Kingsolver as she masterfully resurrects a dark period in American history with the assured hand of a true literary artist.
Spanning many centuries, all continents, and the realms of outer space and the imagination, this collection of 138 unique graphics combines beautiful full-color illustrations with quirky statistics and smart social commentary. The result is a distinctive illustrated guide to the world. Categories of cartographic curiosities include: • Literary Creations, featuring a map of Thomas More's Utopia and the world of George Orwell's 1984
• Cartographic Misconceptions, such as a lavish seventeenthcentury map depicting California as an island
• Political Parody, containing the "Jesusland map" and other humorous takes on voter profiles
• Whatchamacallit, including a map of the area codes for regions where the rapper Ludacris sings about having "hoes"
• Obscure Proposals, capturing Thomas Jefferson's vision for dividing the Northwest Territory into ten states with names such as Polypotamia and Assenisipia
• Fantastic Maps, with a depiction of what the globe might look like if the sea and land were inverted
The Strange Maps blog has been named by GeekDad Blog on Wired.com "one of the more unusual and unique sites seen on the Web that doesn't sell anything or promote an agenda" and it's currently ranked #423 on Technorati's Top 500 Blogs.
Brimming with trivia, deadpan humor, and idiosyncratic lore, Strange Maps is a fascinating tour of all things weird and wonderful in the world of cartography.
From Publishers Weekly
For the first 10 years of her life, Lily Casey Smith, the narrator of this true-life novel by her granddaughter, Walls, lived in a dirt dugout in west Texas. Walls, whose megaselling memoir, The Glass Castle, recalled her own upbringing, writes in what she recalls as Lily's plainspoken voice, whose recital provides plenty of drama and suspense as she ricochets from one challenge to another. Having been educated in fits and starts because of her parents' penury, Lily becomes a teacher at age 15 in a remote frontier town she reaches after a solo 28-day ride. Marriage to a bigamist almost saps her spirit, but later she weds a rancher with whom she shares two children and a strain of plucky resilience. (They sell bootleg liquor during Prohibition, hiding the bottles under a baby's crib.) Lily is a spirited heroine, fiercely outspoken against hypocrisy and prejudice, a rodeo rider and fearless breaker of horses, and a ruthless poker player. Assailed by flash floods, tornados and droughts, Lily never gets far from hardscrabble drudgery in several states-New Mexico, Arizona, Illinois-but hers is one of those heartwarming stories about indomitable women that will always find an audience.
Jeannette Walls's father always called her "Mountain Goat" and there's perhaps no more apt nickname for a girl who navigated a sheer and towering cliff of childhood both daily and stoically. In The Glass Castle, Walls chronicles her upbringing at the hands of eccentric, nomadic parents--Rose Mary, her frustrated-artist mother, and Rex, her brilliant, alcoholic father. To call the elder Walls's childrearing style laissez faire would be putting it mildly. As Rose Mary and Rex, motivated by whims and paranoia, uprooted their kids time and again, the youngsters (Walls, her brother and two sisters) were left largely to their own devices. But while Rex and Rose Mary firmly believed children learned best from their own mistakes, they themselves never seemed to do so, repeating the same disastrous patterns that eventually landed them on the streets. Walls describes in fascinating detail what it was to be a child in this family, from the embarrassing (wearing shoes held together with safety pins; using markers to color her skin in an effort to camouflage holes in her pants) to the horrific (being told, after a creepy uncle pleasured himself in close proximity, that sexual assault is a crime of perception; and being pimped by her father at a bar). Though Walls has well earned the right to complain, at no point does she play the victim. In fact, Walls' removed, nonjudgmental stance is initially startling, since many of the circumstances she describes could be categorized as abusive (and unquestioningly neglectful). But on the contrary, Walls respects her parents' knack for making hardships feel like adventures, and her love for them--despite their overwhelming self-absorption--resonates from cover to cover. --Brangien Davis