Notice my big, pretty button over there in my sidebar? There's a movement going on to encourage folks to buy books as gifts this holiday season. I don't need prompting to do this, of course. And to be honest with you, I don't buy books as gifts to "help the industry." Sorry guys. I buy books because I believe they are wonderful gifts. If you receive a book from me, it's a big deal. You know I think very highly of you to bestow such a treasure on you.
Here's an even bigger reason I think we should consider giving books as gifts: we need to remember that reading itself is a gift. In this country too many of us take that for granted. And sadly for many, reading is a difficult task. We need to start valuing the act of reading again. It gives us the power and freedom to choose our destinies. It gives us entertainment. We can travel to worlds we wouldn't otherwise experience. We can even touch base with our imaginations. Most of us buried those long ago. Reading enlightens us, educates us. It can even bring us together. One of the greatest joys in my life is reading with my niece and nephew. Another is sharing my reading experiences with all of you!
There are so many people in countries less fortunate than ours who would give anything to be able to learn to read. Let's remember how priceless the ability to read is and nurture that gift!
Over at Books for the Holidays they have some book suggestions for people on your gift lists. I, thought what I would do is give you my list of books that are still in contention for my Top 10 reads of 2008. I, of course, will still have to narrow this list down, but these books I thought were wonderful and would therefore recommend them for mystery fans. Each is linked to the review I did for the book. Here you go:
- The Great Santini (Pat Conroy)
- The Crime Writer (Gregg Hurwitz)
- The Mistress of the Art of Death (Ariana Franklin)
- The Serpent's Tale (Ariana Franklin)
- One Drop of Blood (Thomas Holland)
- K.I.A. (Thomas Holland)
- Shutter Island (Dennis Lehane)
- Dead Connection (Alafair Burke) - Tyson seconds this one ;)
- Angel's Tip (Alafair Burke)
- The Fourth Watcher (Timothy Hallinan)
- The Cold Dish (Craig Johnson)
- Envy the Night (Michael Koryta)
- The Book Thief (Markus Zusak)
- Chasing Darkness (Robert Crais)
- Power in the Blood (Michael Lister)
- A Carrion Death (Michael Stanley)
- Tilt-A-Whirl (Chris Grabenstein)
- Mad Mouse (Chris Grabenstein)
- Whack-A-Mole (Chris Grabenstein)
- Brother (James Fredericks)
I'm also reading a book right now called Shadow of the Wind. It is written by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I think this will also be a contender for my top 10. It'll be hard to whittle my list down to 10; it's been such a great reading year.
But, this is just from my reading experience. What can YOU guys add to this list based on what YOU'VE read? Together lets create a great list of options for anyone looking for ideas for the mystery lover!