The "gift-of-Reading" gift guide
Welcome to my Holiday Gift Guide!
Yes, it's that time again--the holidays are just around the corner again. No matter what you gave last year, why not consider giving something really helpful this year? Instead of giving your teenagers mindless video games which have been proven to have dangerous effects or even movie DVDs which involve passive watching to turn the brain to jello, why not give the gift of reading? Yes, give them a good book to read. They may not get as excited about it at first, but they'll thank you in the future.
You can also give the gift of reading to those adults on your list. Instead of giving uncle Joe a tie or pair of socks of which he probably has enough already, why not give him an exciting adult novel or interesting non-fiction book to read?
You can even give the gift of reading to children. Instead of a toy of doll which will be broken in a few weeks give them children's books which they can read again and again and cherish forever.
Have you ever given or thought about giving books as holiday gifts?
Is reading a lost or dying art? - Don't let this happen!-->
With all our fancy devices (iPods, Xboxes, blackberries, Nintendo's, DVD's etc.) How many us take the time these days to curl up with a good book? how many books have your read lately? How many do you think your friends or family have read? Maybe it's time to revive the art before it's too late.
David Ulin, former book review editor of the Los Angeles Times, discusses the act of reading and its place in our information overloaded age in his book "The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time," which is expanded from an earlier article.
Booklist has this to say about the subject and David's work: "As the media focus on the business of e-books, ardent readers ponder the effects electronic devices are having on what and how we read and the viability of literary culture. [David] Ulin confesses to his own changed reading habits as he partakes of 'the instant gratifications of the information stream.' . He writes with surpassing eloquence and insight about what books have meant to him since childhood, his son’s reading of The Great Gatsby and his own rereading of Fitzgerald’s masterpiece, and how books 'serve as a collective soul, a memory bank, bigger than mere commerce.'"
More on the gift of reading:
Although you could give the above-mentioned book, or one like it, or even the one pictured here (at the right) ,-- although an excellent suggestion for parents and caregivers -- these are here mainly to support my thesis and plea: Give the gift of reading this year! So, I'll put it like this: not considering the one mentioned above, or the one pictured to right with the same title as my hub, my serious gift book Suggestions begin with the next one (below). They are just that-suggestions to get you thinking. To order, you'll have to follow the links to where they are described in more detail.
About the book pictured here to the right ("The Gift Of Reading"):
[From School Library Journal:] "If you need some fresh ideas to promote reading, this book is for you. The authors combine their vast experience as teachers to describe how they introduced their students to the best books available. ...."
My first choice: The Biblical novel, "Of Such Is The Kingdom,Parts I&II"- I'd sincerely recommed it even if haden't written it.
MY first choice for anyone from pre-teen through adult would be the unique historical, Biblical novel "Of Such Is The Kingdom." It makes an excellent Christmas gift, especially since Chapter 3 is a flashback to the coming of the Magi and the slaughter of the innocents.
It has everything: Intrigue, suspense, mystery, romance, family living, conversation, poetry, stream-of -consciousness, searching and fulfillment, it has it all!
From the synopsis:
Step back into New Testament times--to Ancient Jerusalem at the time of Christ and of the historical Roman Empire, and ask: What could a cynical, non-conformist dry-goods salesman, a disgruntled blacksmith, and a musing mendicant all have in common? The answer: Down deep, they all seek something better. But will they find the true fulfillment they are seeking?
Note: The Biblical novel, "Of Such Is The Kingdom," has recently been revised, expanded and re-published in two volumes (Parts I&II together and Part III separately) . For gift giving, I recommend giving the first volume (Parts I&II) as it does come to a conclusion of sorts at the end of Part II, and that's the logical place to start. Plus as I mentioned, due the extended flashback in Chapter 3 to the slaughter of the innocents, it makes a perfect post-Christmas read, and thus a perfect Christmas gift.
For more on why you should give this novel, and to order it, please go here:
- Give this book this Christmas:
See why the Biblical Novel, "OF SUCH IS THE KINGDOM" would be the very best Christmas gift you could possibly give to those readers or even potential readerson your list.
My 2nd choice: The one I wish I had written (The Shack) :
Someone gave a copy of "The Shack" for Christmas and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is a well written fantasy which raises some theological questions. It stars out like a mystery about the death of the main character's daughter and then goes into a metaphorical fantasy as he is called to a vacant shack where he meets personifications of the members of the trinity. But, this novel is controversial, so you will surely want to check out the link below before deciding to buy it. Yet, despite what some may call a questionable presentation of the trinity it does manage to present nuggets of truth throughout and certainly causes the reader to think about God and truth. So. because of that it also would make a fine gift and in-spite of the controversy surrounding it, I offer it as my second choice for a gift book. However, you may want to look into it yourself to see why it is controversial and form your own opinion before purchasing. Thus, follow the link below.
For more on this novel and why it is controversial, plus polls and links to purchase it, check out the hub listed below:
- The "The Shack" controversy
Some people say "The Shack" has hidden heresies--that it presents a wrong or distorted view of God and some theological issues.
My choice for children: Narnia:
C.S. Lewis, author of the trilogy pictured above, is a great writer both for adults and children. The Narnia Chronicles are a fantasy series especially written for children, though they can be enjoyed by adults as well, and they are highly recommended especially because of Lewis' use of symbols to represent Spiritual truths. For example, in the first one, "The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe," the death and resurrection of Christ is depicted by the death and resurrection of the lion. Thus, the series can serve as a teaching tool to help present spiritual truths to your children.
For more on Narnia and the symbolism involved, check out these hubs by fellow hubbers. You can purchase the Narnia set from the second hub listed:
- The Identity of Aslan: Symbolism in the Chronicles o...
This article is an explanation of the Christian imagery in The Chronicles of Narnia. It explores how Aslan is not Jesus Christ, but an Incarnation in a different world.
- Jesus, The Witch and the Wardrobe
There are many Biblical references in this wonderful movie, the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe (adapted to the screen from C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia book series). C.S. Lewis uses a unique blend of Christianity and mythology to create an a