Librarian advises on top books for holiday gifts

November 20, 2012

In its 21st year, McDaniel’s annual “Books Sandwiched In” once again helped to take the guesswork out of choosing the perfect book for that special adult or child on your holiday shopping list.

During the hour-long session on Nov. 15, Jane Sharpe, McDaniel Associate Librariarian Emerita, provided her top picks of fiction and non-fiction titles for children and adults, including cookbooks, biographies and picture books. Most were published in 2012 – and every one of the 38 books were read by Sharpe before earning her gift approval (except for one bonus book).

According to Sharpe, who served as the college librarian for Hoover Library for 40 years before retiring in 2011, “I try to have something for everybody. I approach it as though I’m taking the list of people I would buy for, and select books that I would pick for them.”

Jane Sharpe’s Holiday Book Gift List (in alphabetical order):

1001 Dream Cars You Must Drive Before You Die by iUniverse (non-fiction)

A Christmas Garland: A Novel by Anne Perry (historical fiction)

A Good Man: Rediscovering my Father, Sargent Shriver by Mark K. Shriver (non-fiction)

A Patchwork Christmas Collection by Judith Miller, Nancy Moser and Stephanie Grace Whitson (fiction)

Barefoot Contessa Foolproof by Ina Garten (cookbook)

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter (fiction)

[Eyewitness] Civil War by John Stanchak (children’s book)

Death by Petticoat: American History Myths Debunked by Mary Theobald with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (non-fiction)

Family Cars Trigger Memories by Kenneth H. Shook (non-fiction)

Goodnight Mouse: A Peek-a-Book Adventure by Anna Jones, illus. (board book)

Guys Read: The Sports Pages by Jon Sciesza, ed. (children’s book)

How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas? by Jane Yolen (children’s book)

I’d Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had by Tony Danza (biography)

Julie Andrews’ Treasury for All Seasons: Poems and Songs to Celebrate the Year selected by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton; Illus. Marjorie Priceman (children’s book)

Land of the Pilgrim’s Pride by Callista Gingrich (children’s book)

Let’s Play in the Snow by Sam McBratney (board book)

[Yankee’s] Lost and Vintage Recipes by Yankee Publishing (cookbook/magazine)

Mr. and Mrs. Bunny – Detectives Extraordinaire! by Polly Horvath (children’s book)

Mr. and Mrs. Madison’s War: America’s First Couple and the Second War of Independence by Hugh Howard (non-fiction)

Mossy by Jan Brett (children’s book)

Murder in Three Volumes by Lorna Barrett (mystery)

Now Eat This! Italian: Favorite Dishes from the Real Mammas of Italy, all under 350 calories by Rocco DiSpirito (cookbook)

Oh, no! by Candice Fleming (children’s book)

Pocket Genius: Dinosaurs – Facts at Your Fingertips by DK Publishing (children’s book)

Pocket Genius: Space – Facts at Your Fingertips by DK Publishing (children’s book)

Queen Elizabeth in the Garden: A Story of Love, Rivalry, and Spectacular Gardens by Trea Martyn (non-fiction)

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman (young adult)

Suppose You Meet a Dinosaur: A First Book of Manners by Judy Sierra (children’s book)

The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread: Cliches by Nigel Fountain (reference)

The Great Unexpected by Sharon Creech (children’s book)

The Malice of Fortune by Michael Ennis (historical fiction)

The Man who Saved the Union: Ulysses Grant in War and Peace by H.W. Brands (non-fiction)

The Mirrored World: A Novel by Debra Dean (historical fiction)

The Ruins of Lace by Iris Anthony (historical fiction)

The Secret of the Fortune Wookie: An Orgami Yoda Book by Tom Angleberger (children’s book)

The Time-Traveling Fashionista at the Palace of Marie Antoinette by Bianca Turetsky (young adult)

When It Happens to You: A Novel in Stories by Molly Ringwald (fiction)

Winter of the World by Ken Follett (fiction)

Bonus Book:

The Perfect Hope: (Book three of the Inn BoonsBoro trilogy) by Nora Roberts (romance)