The holiday season will soon be upon us. I don’t look forward to the holiday season like I did when I was a child because now I have to bear the expense and not just be a recipient. It was so much easier when I was a child!
But aside from the expense, the thing I hate/fear most is the question my children and wife ask me every holiday season: “What would you like for the holidays?” At my age, I already have everything I need and really want, and if something comes along that I want, I don’t think “that would make a great holiday gift for the kids to get me” and set the idea aside; instead, I buy it myself. Telling my wife and children what holiday gifts I would like is difficult and frustrating. I have tried suggesting that they donate to a charity in my name, but that has had only limited success. They do make the donation, but still insist I come up with something that can be wrapped and opened and is just for me.
This year I have decided to ask you for help in making my list. I would like book recommendations. When you make your recommendation, please give a short synopsis of the book, including its genre and whether it is fiction or nonfiction, and indicate whether it is available as an ebook, a hardcover, and/or a paperback. Please do not recommend any Amazon-exclusive books.
Getting recommendations from colleagues is a great way to be introduced to books I (and you) might not otherwise know about or read. Hopefully, your responses will serve as a basis for gift lists for others in addition to me. To get things rolling, here are two suggestions:
- When General Grant Expelled the Jews by Jonathan Sarna (nonfiction; history; ebook, hardcover). In 1862, in the midst of the American Civil War, General Grant ordered the expulsion of 150,000 Jews from the territory under his command. Grant’s order was rescinded by President Lincoln a few weeks later, but the incident remains both little known and little discussed in American history.
- The Emperor’s Edge by Lindsay Buroker (fiction; steampunk fantasy; ebook) is the story of Imperial law enforcer Amaranthe Lokdon and Sicarius, the empire’s most notorious assassin, and how they join together to prevent a plot to kill the emperor. Their reward is to become wanted themselves, although the emperor seems to have become smitten with Amaranthe.
I’m already putting together a list of nonfiction hardcover books that I’m interested in reading. On my list are these titles:
- The Story of Ain’t by David Skinner
- Heaven on Earth by Sadakat Kadri
- The Second World War by Anthony Beevor
- Henry Ford’s War on Jews by Victoria Saker Woeste
- The Message and the Book by John Bowker
- The Atheist’s Bible by George Minois
- The Comprehensive History of the Jews of Iran by Habib Levi
- On Politics: A History of Political Thought by Alan Ryan
I am also interested in a subscription to Lapham’s Quarterly, which looks like a very interesting “magazine” edited by Lewis Lapham, longtime editor of Harper’s.
What books do you suggest?