Sunday, November 30, 2008

For Someone Who's Hard to Shop For

Everyone has someone who is impossible to shop for. I have three - my dad, my brother, and my boyfriend. I don't know why I have such a hard time shopping for them, but I do. Fortunately for me, they all seem to have the same sort of interests and tastes. Sure, they vary on some points, but humor especially is where they are similar. 

Unfortunately, my suggestions in this blog are based on past gifts I've given them so I'm out of luck this year!

When my brother was younger, he really didn't read a whole lot. It was important to my parents that they instill a love of books in all of us, so when he discovered that he liked Terry Pratchett, my mom was willing to do just about anything to find them for him. This was, mind you, before the man really hit it big over here and you could only occasionally find a random title here and there. When I was a sophomore in high school, Good Omens began making the rounds. (Omens was published in 1990, but a mass market edition was re-released in 1996.) This was a collaborative work by Pratchett and Neil Gaiman - the first novel-length work from Gaimin, btw - and is a humorous book about the coming apocalypse. It's been on my to read list for quite some time, but my other recommends it to anyone and everyone.  

Pratchett, for those who aren't familiar with him, is a prolific fantasy author from the UK. He writes for both kids and adults and is most famous for his Discworld series. This is what my brother was reading. This is what I eventually turned my boyfriend on to. Gaiman is a bit different. He has a handful of novels (again kids and adults) as well as a slew of short stories in both fantasy and horror collections, and also does graphic novels. He's been called "the most famous author you've never heard of" per an article I read just recently. Most of Gaiman's books have some small connections but are essentially stand-alones.

So, add those to your list: Good Omens, Discworld books (they are connected in world mainly, some twos and threes, but mostly stand alones), and Neil Gaiman. 

Also great, if there is anyone out there who doesn't yet own the collection, are the Douglas Adams Hitchhiker's Guide and Dirk Gently books. Notice all these guys are brits? Let's add an American to the mix, too, though, in the form of Christopher Moore. My other loves Lamb (I've yet to read it, bad me) but my fave would have to be Dirty Job thus far. Another new one is Matt Ruff's Bad Monkeys (new release last year and now out in pb as of August). 

All of these are perfect for guys (and gals) with a quirky sense of humor. If they can't take a joke, you probably shouldn't bother. Good luck shopping. I hope my recommendations are helping some of you. I still have my other and my brother left to shop for and am at a complete loss. My brother got a Twinkie cookbook and random items I picked up while in NYC for his birthday this year. My other got a gc for snowboarding paraphernalia for his. Now I have to think about Christmas, yikes. Dad's getting fancy olive oil. 


Vickie said...

Now I can afford BAD MONKEYS. And maybe find it. I kept getting questioning looks before when I asked to order it....
My mom is the difficult one to buy for.
My sister and my dad will continue to receive the mystery/thriller/suspense book a month from High Crimes.
Lady K will get everything under the sun if her Auntie Deb has anything to say about it.
DH gets books, Washington Redskin schtuff and various and sundry other items.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the suggestions! My shopping list is full of picky people, so these books are sure to help!