Skrappy’s List of Recs for the Clueless Christmas Shopper


Old Time Holiday is a 1000 piece puzzle from Springbok. It is available at the Book Vault in Stratford, Ontario.

So, you have one of those people in your life. The book reader. Alas, we here at the Vault know your pain. Here is the list compiled by our resident Skrappy, with emphasis on things actually in stock(and in no particular order), as she wandered around the store aimlessly during some quiet moments. Hopefully she can make your confused and hectic shopping season a little easier and make you a little less likely to stab someone with a Christmas ornament.

Please note that she makes no guarantee on the actual content of these books. You have to make up your own mind about that.

For the person who feels they must learn something while reading fiction:
Hellgoing – Lynn Coady
Alice Munro… Anything
Luminaries – Eleanor Catton
Astray – Emma Donoghue
The Son – Philip Meyer
The Paris Wife – Paula McLain
Road Ends – Mary Lawson
The Purchase – Linda Spalding
Painted Girls – Cathy Marie Buchanan
First Phone Call from Heaven – Mitch Albom
Perfect – Rachel Joyce
Annabel – Kathleen Winter
Dovekeepers – Alice Hoffman
House I Loved – Tatiana de Rosnay

Pity this book because we can’t seem to market it for crap:
Son of a Certain Woman – Wayne Johnston

Stuff we don’t know if it’s good or not yet, but is selling well:
The Ordenda – Joseph Boyden
Hellgoing – Lynn Coady
Luminaries – Eleanor Catton

Crap you probably should have already read by now:
Breakfast of Champions – Kurt Vonnegut
Ernest Hemingway… anything will do. (readers of The Paris Wife, I’m lookin’ at you!)
Malcolm Gladwell… anything
Pillars of the Earth – Ken Follett
Pierre Berton’s War of 1812
Freakonomics – Levitt and Dubner
Beowulf – Seamus Heaney translation
Wolf Hall – Hilary Mantel
Still Life – Louise Penny
Stardust – Neil Gaiman
Water for Elephants – Sarah Gruen
Secret Garden – Francis Hodges Burnett
A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
Slammerkin – Emma Donoghue
Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
Blandings Castle – P.G. Wodehouse
Catch-22 – Joseph Heller
Dune – Frank Hebert
Game of Thrones – George R.R. Martin
The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
Angela’s Ashes – Frank McCourt
Book of Negroes – Lawrence Hill
Best Kept Secret, Sins of the Father, Only Time Will Tell – Jeffrey Archer
The Glass Castle – Jeannette Walls

For your Grandma/Mom/Sister-in-Law, or other lady you should probably avoid angering during the Holidays:
Patrick Taylor’s Irish Country series
The Longest Ride – Nicholas Sparks

For the Maeve Binchey fan still in mourning:
Yellow House – Patricia Falvey
Linen Queen – Patricia Falvey
Patrick Taylor’s Irish Country series

For the aging Twilight fan who’s in university now and knows better:
The Historian – Elizabeth Kostova
The Accused – Joyce Carol Oates
H.P. Lovecraft

For the fan of The Borgias:
Blood and Beauty – Sarah Dunant
Malice of Fortune – Michael Ennis
The Scarlet Contessa – Jeanne Kalogridis
Lucrezia – Bradford (bio)
Cardinal’s Hat – Hollingsford (history)
Sarah Poole’s series

For the aging Hipster (Quick! Get them before they’re cool!):
The 100-Year-Old Man who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared – Jonas Jonasson
Mr. Prenumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore – Robin Sloan
Oh My Gods – Phillip Freeman
David and Goliath – Malcolm Gladwell
An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth – Chris Hadfield
Keon and Me – Dave Bidini
My Brief History – Stephen Hawking

For the Jane Austen devotee:
Longbourn – Jo Baker
Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen – Syrie James
Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen – Syrie James
Jane Austen Marriage Manual – Kim Izzo
Definitely Not Mr. Darcy – Karen Doornebos
Mr. Darcy’s Guide to Courtship – Fitzwilliam Darcy
Carrie Bebris’ Mr. and Mrs. Darcy Mysteries
…And definitely run in terror from the lifeless piece of Austen Fan Fiction that P.D. James tried to pass off as Austen Lit. Seriously. Crap.

For the family Prozac taker:
Mr. Chartwell – Rebecca Hunt
The Psychopath Test – Jon Ronson
Daring Greatly – Brene Brown
Understanding Our Mind – Thich Nhat Hahn
Gift of Adversity – Norman Rosenthal

For the Funny One:
Carl Hiaasen
Christopher Moore
David Sedaris
Terry Fallis
Not Quite the Classics – Colin Mochrie
Anchorboy – Jay Onrait
A Nation Worth Ranting About – Rick Mercer
Red Green’s Beginner’s Guide to Women – Red Green
Time Now for the Vinyl Cafe Story Exchange – Stuart McLean
Canadian Pie – Will Ferguson
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened – Jenny Lawson
How to be Canadian – Will Ferguson
America But Better – Cannon and Calvert

For the Dudes:
Robert Ludlum… anything
Sisters Brothers – Patrick DeWitt
True Grit – Charles Portis
Flashman series – George MacDonald Fraser
Jeffrey Archer
Clive Cussler

For the Lady-Girl-Type-People:
Midwife of Venice – Roberta Rich
The Harem Midwife – Roberta Rich
The Thirteenth Tale – Setterfield
The Last Time I Saw Paris – Sheene
The Mistress of Nothing – Kate Pullinger

For the Mystery Buffs:
Camilla Lackberg
Jo Nesbo
Alan Bradley
King and Maxwell – David Baldacci
Dust – Patricia Cornwell
How the Light Gets In – Louise Penny
The Golden Egg – Donna Leon

For the Atheist Christmas kill-joy:
The Moral Landscape – Sam Harris
Hitch-22 – Christopher Hitchens
An Appetite for Wonder – Richard Dawkins
Magic of Reality – Richard Dawkins

For the Art Snob:
Leonardo and the Last Supper – Ross King
Emily Carr Collected – Ian Thom
The Paper Garden – Molly Peacock
Titian: His Life – Sheila Hale

For the English Major:
Rude Story of English – Tom Howell
Filthy English – Peter Silverton
The Story of English – Robert McCrum

For the Jock:
Orr: My Story – Bobby Orr
The Great Game – Stephen J. Harper
The Game – Ken Dryden
Keon and Me – Dave Bidini
Chuvalo, A Fighter’s Life – George Chuvalo
Wherever I Wind Up – R.A. Dickey

For the History buff:
The World Until Yesterday – Jared Diamond
Collapse – Jared Diamond
Home – Bill Bryson
The Swerve – Stephen Greenblatt
David Starkey… Anything
Neil Oliver… Anything
Simon Winchester… Anything
Peter Ackroyd… Anything
The Year 1000 – Robery Lacey and Danny Danziger

For the World War II buff:
War that Ended Peace – Margaret MacMillan
Warlords – Tim Cook
Army of Evil – Adrian Wealer
Berlin at War – Roger Moorhouse
Battle of Britain – James Holland
Endgame 1945 – David Stafford

For the Canadian history buff:
Don’t Tell the Newfoundlanders! – Greg Malone
Warlords – Tim Cook
Short History of Canada – Desmond Morton
Fifty Canadians Who Changed the World – Ken McGoogan
How We Lead – Joe Clark

For the Hippie:
Living Beautifully – Pema Chodron
First Phone Call from Heaven – Mitch Albom
More Than Good Intentions – Dean Karlan and Jacob Appel
Your True Home – Thich Nhat Hanh

For the Macabre Goth Kid:
Curtains: Adventures of an Undertaker in Training – Tom Jokinen
H.P. Lovecraft

For the Science and Math Geek:
My Brief History – Stephen Hawking
An Appetite for Wonder – Richard Dawkins
Hallucinations – Oliver Sacks
Great Animal Orchestra – Bernie Krauss
Brilliant Blunders – Mario Livio
The Language God Talks – Herman Wouk
Here’s Looking at Euclid – Alex Bellos
Viking in the Wheat Field – Susan Dworkin
Black Hole War – Leonard Susskind

For the Boozehound:
Canadian Wineries – Tony Aspler and Jean-Francois Bergeron
Canadian Whisky: The Portable Expert – Davin de Kergommeaux
Great Whiskies – DK

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