Books make good gifts, you know. To make it easier for you, here are some good book-gift suggestions:
For your country-music-loving uncle: Does he love the classics? No, not concertos and concertinas. Cash and the Carters! "Singing Cowboys and Musical Mountaineers" by Bill C. Malone (University of Georgia Press) is a skinny little book about the roots of country music. Alas, there's no CD with it, but the price is right anyhow: $15.95 paperback.
For your mom, who's still married to Dad: How did your parents meet and fall in love? Would you believe that love wasn't a big issue, once upon a time? "Hearts West" by Chris Enss (The Globe Pequot Press) is a book about mail-order brides in the Old West. This is a fascinating little book about a subject that's not often written about, and it's presented in an easy-to-read way. At $10.95, this paperback book is a steal.
For your adventurous brother: Adrenaline junkies of all ages are going to really enjoy "Flying the Alaska Wild" by Mort Mason (Voyageur Press). Mason was an Alaskan bush pilot, and these are his exciting memoirs. $19.95 hardcover.
Also for the adventurous sort: "Tales from the Edge: True Adventures in Alaska", edited by Larry Kaniut (St. Martin's Griffin) is going to keep you on the edge of your seat with excerpts from several different books by several authors. This book offers more variety than the above-mentioned book, but they're both good. This one is $14.95 in paperback.
For your uncle, who loves to joke around: Give him "The Comedy Thesaurus" by Judy Brown (Quirk Books) and he'll be in stitches. This book is full of one-liners, rib-ticklers, and golden oldies from many of today's comedians. The price will make you smile: $16.95 in paperback. The size also makes it a good stocking-stuffer.
Two gifts for your favorite bowler: You'll get a strike when you look for "Let's Go Bowling!" by Eric Dregni (Motor Books International). While the narrative is fun, the best part of this book is the pictures of teams, trophies, and bowler kitsch. $19.95 hardcover. For the executive bowling nut, grab "Tabletop Bowling" by Jon Richards (Thunder Bay Press). This box comes with miniature bowling pins, a tiny little ball, a bowling alley and instructions. It's a lot of fun to play with, and a good gift for anyone, at $19.95
Here's hoping your holidays are storybook perfect. Season's Readings!