Books Glorious Books

Books are one of the best gifts to give and receive for both children and adults.  I can’t imagine my middle and teen years without the adventures of Pippi Longstocking and the mythological tales of the Greek gods, goddesses and heroes.  My adult life wouldn’t be totally complete without Toni Morrison, Paul Coelho, Dr. Maya Angelou and many others.  Isabelle Allende and Ken Follett have taken me to new worlds and I’m looking forward to reading Anne Rice’s post Vampire Chronicle books. 

The benefits of reading

Research has shown that reading to children is one of the most important activities that can be done for their emotional, learning and developmental progress.  This is true almost from the womb.  It can also be a huge determining factor of  future success and contributes significantly to language development and other skills. 

For adults, reading exercises and helps create new circuits in the brain which stimulate thought.  Doing the same repetitive tasks over and over does not stimulate new growth in the brain while performing new activities does.  Following print back and forth across a page has physical benefits in that it exercises the eyes, which could be especially important for seniors.  Reading expands our knowledge and understanding on many fronts.  It entertains us and helps us evolve and develop over a lifetime.   

Reading is fundamental and FREE! 

That’s right, reading doesn’t have to cost a penny.  According to the American Library Association, there are 16,543 public libraries and branches in the US and membership doesn’t cost a thing.  So this Christmas making sure everyone in your family and beyond has a library card is one of the best free gifts you can give.  You can even guarantee that your family and friends can read up on just about any subject they’re interested in at the library.  In addition, libraries offer free computer access and in some cases free movie rentals.  Go Libraries!

The Gift of Books

If you plan to give the gift of books this Christmas, lists of best selling and recommended books for children and adults can be found on many major retailer and bookseller websites.  Amazon has compiled several lists of these books for 2008.


For Baby-Age 3

1.  Peek-A Who? by Nina Laden

2.  Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd

3.  Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

4.  Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett and Ron Barrett

5.  The Going to Bed Book (Boynton) by Sandra Boynton

6.  The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

7.  Open the Barn Door by Christopher Santoro 

8.  Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin and Eric Carle

9.  Love you Forever by Robert N. Munsch and Sheila McGraw

10. Pat the Bunny (Touch and Feel Book) by Dorothy Kunhardt


Top 10 Picture Books – Ages 4-8

1.  A visitor for Bear by Bonny Becker

Fancy Nancy: Bonjour, Butterfly by Jane O’Connor

3.  Icarus at the Edge of Time by Brian Greene

4.  Fancy Nancy at the Museum by Jane O’Connor

5.  Bats at the Library by Brian Lies

6.  Big Words for Little People by Jamie Lee Curtis

7.  Charley Harper ABCs by Charley Harper

8.  Fancy Nancy and the Boy from Paris by Jane O’Connor

9.  Boogie Knights by Lisa Wheeler

10.  Dirt on My Shirt by Jeff Foxworthy


Top 10 Editors’ Picks Middle Readers – Ages 9-12

1.  The Underneath by Kathi Appelt

2.  The Tales of Beedle the Bard , Standard Edition by J.K. Rowling

3.  Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson

4.   My One Hundred Adventures by Polly Horvath

5.  The Penderwicks on Gadam Street by Jeanne Birdsall

6.  Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Roderick Rules by Jeff Kinney

7.  The Battle of Labyrinth (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 4) by Rick Riordan

8.  A Thousand Never Evers by Shana Burg

9.  The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey by Trenton Le Stewart

10.  Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out by Various


 Top 10 Young Adult

1. The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume II: The Kingdom of Waves (The  Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation) by M.T. Anderson

2.  Paper Towns by John Green

3.  The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

4.  Graceling by Kristin Cashore

5.  Pretty Monsters: Stories by Kelly Link

6.  The Patron Saint of Butterflies by Cecelia Galante

7.  The Knife of Never Letting Go: Chaos Walking: Book One by Patrick Ness

8.  Bog Child by Siobhan Dowd

9.  The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

10.  Little Brother by Cory Doctorow


Top 10 Editors’ Picks Adult 2008

1.  The Northern Clemency by Philip Henscher

2.  Hurry Down Sunshine by Michael Greenberg

3.  Nixonland by Rick Perlstein

4.  The Forever War by Dexter Filkins

5.  The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski

6.  The Likeness by Tana French

7.  Serena by Ron Rash

8.  So Brave, Young and Handsome by Leif Enger

9.  The Lazarus Project by Aleksandar Hemon

10.  The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic Scare and How It Changed America by David Haidu


Top 10 Customer Favorites 2008

1.  Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer

2.  The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

3.  Brisingr by Christopher Paolini

4.  The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski

5.  The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling

6.  The Appeal by John Grisham

7.  You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris

8.  In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan

9.  The Revolution by Ron Paul

10.  The Host by Stephanie Meyer


A Few Fun Extras on My List for Children and Adults

1.  5 Book Boxset: Mr. Peabody’s Apples, Yakov and the Seven Thieves, The Adventures of Abdi, Lotsa De Casha and The English Roses by Madonna

2.  Olivia Helps with Christmas by Ian Falconer

3.  Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore, illustrated by Jan Brett

4.  Madeline’s Christmas by Ludwig Bemelman

5. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss


Other Best Seller and Top Pick Resources




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