All Book Christmas

Barbara Vey -- November 28th, 2011

I have decided to make this year an All Book Christmas.  Instead of buying gifts that nobody really wants (green sweater, electric wine opener, heated socks), I plan to give all books for Christmas.


The upside is that I’ll get to spend hours in book stores searching for that one special book for each person.  I may even have to sit in the cafe, while sipping a hazelnut cappuccino, and browse through some of them.  There may be people I have to talk to for suggestions and that’s always a great conversation starter.


Since I have such a wide variety of people on my list (male, female, young, not so young, wild, innocent, passionate, sensible), I’ll need to hit all areas of the store.  The research may take days…even weeks.  I know it’s a tough shopping ordeal, but I’m up for it.  After all, I’ve been training all my life.


So, now I need your help.  Offer suggestions to me for all my categories.  What would you buy and for who?


Bottom Line:  “The smallest bookstore still contains more ideas of worth than have been presented in the entire history of television.”  ~Andrew Ross


Cyber Monday

I asked who was giving Cyber Monday deals today and here’s a few who responded:


Lachesis Publishing are offering 25% off at  by using promo code RevolvingBook123111 on everything at the site


Dorchester Publishing:  60% off e-books, 50% audio, 40% off trades.


The Sanction Chronicles are offering buy one book, get one free from participating authors.


SelenaBlake is offering her third book, Seduced by a Cajun Werewolf, free via ARe and Smashwords.
From Open Road Media today only, every single ebook  is up to 60% off across all major retailers, with some bestselling ebooks priced at only 99 cents! On the website you’ll find some neat recommendations for giving ebooks as gifts, as well as find five short, helpful how-to videos on how to “gift” ebooks through Amazon, Apple iBookstore, B&N, Kobo, and the Sony Reader Store.



77 thoughts on “All Book Christmas

  1. Christine T.

    Well I love the thought of spending a lot of time in a bookstore but what about the e-reader people on your list? Calendars? Journals? Gift certificates? Or are you still going for a physical book and a ‘remember these?’

    1. Barbara Vey Post author

      I was just thinking about physical books, but I like the calendars and journals. Not many e-reader people on my list this year, but maybe by next year. Thanks for the suggestions.

    2. Selena Blake

      Christine, if you have Kindle owners on your list you can actually gift books to them right from If you’re not sure what they’d like, you can send them eGift cards from amazon as well. I think BarnesandNoble offers these as well. You can of course buy physical gift cards and give them in an interesting way. But I’d double check to see if they can use physical gift cards for epurchases.

      Many ebook distributors and websites offer gift certificates, so that’s something to consider if you know the person likes a certain publisher or distributor (like ARe or Smashwords or Diesel books, etc.)

      1. Janelle

        Just a reminder, if supporting independent bookstores is still dear to your heart, don’t buy a Kindle. With any other e-reader (including the Nook) you can purchase e-books from your favorite local independent (if they are selling them). With the Kindle you can only purchase e-books from Amazon. Just saying… Happy Holidays to all and happy reading.

  2. Sharon Sala

    Oh Barbara, I would LOVE to be prowling bookstores WITH you. What a great idea. My son loves anything to do with history so non-fiction books would hit the spot for readers with similar tastes. I bought KILLING LINCOLN by Bill O’Reilly for my mother earlier in the year and she LOVED it. It’s about the last week of Abraham Lincoln’s life. My daughter collects cookbooks, so every year I’m shopping for at least one of those. My mother loves biographies… I love to read mysteries, etc, but the single best book I’ve read in the last two years is THE LAST CHILD, by John Hart. Actually, anything by John Hart is amazing. His stuff is mystery but his imagery is the best I’ve ever read. And don’t forget the kids… there are all kinds of great books for them, from picture books for the toddlers to the Young Adult series for the teeners and preteeners. I would recommend my own new series, but that’s shameless promotion so I won’t go there. LOL Happy shopping my friend.

        1. Selena Blake

          Doesn’t that sound fun? And with so many bookstores offering a coffee shop, we could sit and have coffee afterwards. That would be really fun for an author to do before a book signing or something.

  3. Diane Capriola

    If you have a preteen girl on your list, here are three of the best new books I’ve read this year:

    The Apothecary by Maile Meloy
    Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu
    Bigger Than a Breadbox by Laurel Snyder

    Favorite new to paperback I’ve read this year for same age: The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

    For preteen boys: Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt- easily the best book I’ve read this year!

  4. Laurie London


    I recently read WARHORSE by Michael Morpurgo and LOVED it. It’s the story of a horse in WWI, told from the horse’s point of view. Exciting, poignant and beautifully written, it’s truly an all-ages story, perfect for anyone on your list. Boys will find it exciting. Girls will love the horses and the heart-wrenching (but not too sad) emotion. History buffs will love that it’s based on a true, little-known story. And writer-types who love all of that (me) will marvel at the creative way the story was told.

    Plus, the Steven Spielberg movie adaptation comes out this Christmas. I can’t wait!


  5. Kat Kan

    There are also lots of graphic novels for just about any reading level and genre preference. My teenage son prefers graphic novels over anything; he does read prose books, but he’ll voluntarily pick up comics every single day and read for at least an hour (which adds up to a LOT of reading). For younger kids, books from TOON Books are fabulous, as are the kid-friendly titles from Oni Press and Top Shelf Productions. Look for books from First Second Books (which publishes graphic novels for kids up to adults), from Dark Horse Comics (especially great for horror, fantasy, and science fiction), from Image (especially if you know any Walking Dead fans), I could go on for a LONG time with this.

      1. Stephanie Scott

        Your son might enjoy the novel John Dies in the End by David Wong. It was published in 2007 but it’s being made into a movie and it’s always cool to read the book first. This is a truly original twisty book that has a great sense of humor about monsters and undead type things.

  6. Lauren

    Also, for the boys in your life, Barbara, I really recommend Billy Bathgate. One of the most entertaining books I’ve read in awhile, with great language. For the college-aged young women in your life, I recommend Fear of Flying—it’s a classic with a great new introduction.

  7. Alison's Book Marks

    I would say 90% of the gifts I will give this year will be books. Even though it’s expected that I will give books, my family and friends have found that I’m a pretty good matchmaker when it comes to finding the right books…especially for the kids!

    For the adults, I know I will be purchasing at least 2 copies of THE NIGHT CIRCUS. My favorite book of the year!

    For the eReader lovers, I would suggest stopping by your local Indie bookshop to see what autographed books they have lying around. I picked up a signed copy of my BIL’s favorite Vince Flynn novel a few months ago – I can’t wait to give it to him! The book he loves is now a keepsake that no eBook can replace.

    1. Stephanie Scott

      I would love to get The Night Circus myself!

      I’ve done a mostly book Christmas in the past; every year I try to work in more book gifts, but it can be a challenge for people who don’t read. It could turn into the unwanted sweater when it’s a book that sits on the shelf. Luckily i have a lot of readers in my family, though.

  8. Radcliffe

    What a wonderful idea! I would so love to do an all-book Christmas, but there are just some of those stubborn non-readers on my list! : (

    But for any hopeless romantics/optimists and/or flower-lovers on your list I would recommend The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. A unique story about a girl in the foster care system who ages out of it without ever being adopted. The Language of Flowers (used in Victorian times) was taught to her by one of her foster mothers and it pretty much saves her from a horrible life. It was heart wrenching at times, but unlike anything I’ve ever read before.

  9. Georgie Zurek

    Hi, thank you for such great ideas, I have written several down. I am actually looking forward to Christmas shopping with Barbara’s book store idea. But, I need some suggestions for books for a grade school boy- third grade. I would be most appreciative.

  10. Eleanor (Ellie) Miller

    The recent sad loss of Anne McCaffrey reminds me that her Harper Hall Trilogy (‘Dragonsong/Dragonsinger/Dragon Drums’) IMHO is ideal for teens. For the adult ‘book junkie’ on your list with a slightly warped sense of humor (a la Douglas Adams) Jasper Fforde’s first novel in his Thursday Next series, ‘The Eyre Affair’ should be a winner. Regency lovers with a taste for derring-do and a delightfully spunky heroine would probably enjoy (under-publicized) ‘Point of Honour’ by Madeleine Robins. Far and away, the best non-genre novel I’ve read this year is ‘Rules of Civility’ by Amor Towles, an exquisitely-written debut novel set in 1938 Manhattan. Teens with a taste for urban fantasy should relish Seanan McGuire’s first October ‘Toby’ Daye novel ‘Rosemary and Rue’ and send them looking for the follow-ups. Alternatively (or in addition) Nancy A. Collins ‘Right Hand Magic’ (first in her Golgotham series) or an introduction to Patricia Briggs Mercy Thompson in (first in series) ‘Moon Called’ should be a winner. NB: in the opinion of this 76 year old reader, they work equally well for adult genre fans.

  11. Allia Zobel Nolan (KittyLiterate)

    Greetings….Couldn’t resist adding my recommendation for cat lovers everywhere: CAT CONFESSIONS: A “KITTY-COME-CLEAN” TELL-ALL BOOK from Harvest House Publishers will tickle any cat fanciers’ whiskers. It features “hiss-terical” (sorry) photos of real-life cats, and their confessions about what they do when their humans aren’t around, the little faux-paws they commit when (they think) no one’s looking.

  12. Debbie Kaufman

    I stopped in a Barnes and Noble yesterday to do some of my Christmas shopping for the grands, and came away with several suggestions.
    For pre-teen and early teen boys and girls, I like Rick Riordan’s The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles #1).
    My 8 yr. old grandaughter, an advanced reader, is enjoying The Mysterious Benedict Society Chronicles by Trenton Lee Stewart, This one might normally be good for 10-12 boys and girls.
    For teen girls, especially younger teens, I love Gillian Summers’ Faerie Folk Trilogy that begins with The Tree Shepherd’s Daughter (I read the whole series, too!).
    For older teen girls, Jana Oliver’s The Demon Hunter’s Daughter is fantastic! And for a more contemporary for edgier teens, Jennifer Echols’ Going too Far.
    I am also buying for a 2yr.old and he just discovered Sandra Boynton’s classics, so I got him a boxed set that includes The Going to Bed Book. And for any 2-4 yr. old, you can’t go wrong with David Shannon’s NO DAVID!

  13. Susan

    Barbara, such a great idea. And I love the book tree. I’ll be giving books too, this year. The challenge will be those who are not strong readers. Last week though, I bought the kidlets learning toys from B&N. OMG! That was so much fun :D

  14. Missy Taylor

    Great plan Barbara! For anyone who loves a good romantic comedy I suggest one of my favorite books: The Corset Diaries by Katie MacAlister! It is hilarious! :)

  15. Dawn Kunda

    Hi Barbara!
    What a great site you have and a great endeavor for Christmas gifts! Whether the family and friends on your list realize it or not, there’s a perfect book-or two- for them. If you know the hobbies or interests of your receivers, that can lead you to the correct corner of a bookstore.
    My favorites land in the romance category-as they cover many subgenres- right for many fiction readers. I also find that for those who don’t take a lot of time to read typically will enjoy a non-fiction title, or even a collection of magazines.
    FWI-Jennie Laun was kind enough to direct me to your site. I will have to give her a big thanks!

  16. TulipGirl

    I love gifting (and receiving!) books for Christmas.

    Male: We have boys, so we do a lot of book buying for males. This year we’re giving our kids books by ND Wilson and Alister McGrath — but that’s because they’ve already read Knox’s Irregulars. For anyone who likes sci-fi, I’d recommend Hubby’s book. . . *grin* Knox’s Irregulars (paperback or e-)

    Female: For moms, I’d get “Don’t Make Me Come Up There!” or “Hold on to your Kids”

    Young: For the Very Young, a board book like Goodnight Moon or anything by Eric Carle. . .

    Not so young: We currently live in Kenya, so I’d probably give Karen Blixen’s “Out of Africa”

    Innocent: The Jesus Storybook Bible

    Passionate: Meaning of Marriage, Tim Keller

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