2009 Holiday Gift Guide
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So you’ve drawn your Aunt Jenny’s name for this year’s gift exchange—but you have no idea what to get her. Or you’ve decided that, this year, you’re not going to give your dad another Christmas tie. You’ve got a whole list of people to shop for this holiday season, but you’ve completely run out of ideas. That’s where we come in.

We here at N&W.com believe that there’s no better gift than the gift of entertainment. Give a book, and you’re giving hours of reading time. Give a favorite DVD, and you’re giving action and adventure (or laughs and romance) that will be enjoyed over and over again. Give a CD, and you could brighten someone’s day—or help someone unwind on the way home from work. Give a game, and you’ll help to bring families together for hours of fun. And not only that, but it’s pretty cheap, too—so you can give hours of enjoyment for just a few bucks!

To help you find just the right gift for the people on your list this holiday season, we’ve come up with a whole bunch of suggestions. Check them out below—and happy shopping!

Margaret’s Picks:

For those mystery/suspense readers on your list, I recommend The Price of Malice by Archer Mayor. Or if they’re more into cozy mysteries, try Swan for the Money by Donna Andrews or The Dead Husband by R. J. Brown.

For anyone who likes thrillers, I highly recommend Evil at Heart by Chelsea Cain—there are few thrillers as chilling as this one. Also, The Bourne Deception by Eric Van Lustbader—because anything with Jason Bourne in it is absolutely wonderful.

Got some young Christian readers on your list? Well, how about a copy of Tidings of Great Boys by Shelley Adina? Her teen Christian novels are always full of fun with a good moral message.

The teens on your list who like young adult romances with a paranormal twist are sure to enjoy My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent. And if they’re into reading e-books from their mobile devices or computers, I recommend The Chronicles of Casey V by Lauren Larsen or Sophie’s Secret by Tara West.

Anyone you know who might like historical mystery/suspense? City of Silver by Annamaria Alferi is a good choice, along with In the Shadow of Gotham by Stefanie Pintoff—both have plot depth, along with tons of suspense to keep readers interested.

For all the horror lovers on your list, I recommend Urban Gothic by Brian Keene or The Shore by Robert Dunbar. Both have plenty of gore, but they also have great characterization, along with a nail-biting plot.

If you know any readers on your list who might get an e-book reader for Christmas, I recommend Ashes to Ashes (The Chloe Files #1) by Howard Hopkins or the romantic suspense, Kill Me Later by Peggy Parsons.

And, finall, for music lovers, I recommend Rob Thomas: Something to Be Tour—Live at Red Rocks on DVD. He puts on an amazing concert, with lots of his top rock hits.

Laura’s Picks:

Bring the whole family together for game night with some of this year’s best family games! I recommend picking up Chickyboom, Farkle, and Fundomino.

Or, for anyone on your list who could use a good laugh (and, really, who couldn’t?), pick up some of this year’s Comedy Central specials on DVD—like Jim Gaffigan: King Baby, Jim Breuer: Let’s Clear the Air, and Jo Koy: Don’t Make Him Angry.

I also recommend picking up the box set of seasons 1-6 of NCIS on DVD.

Kristin’s Picks:

For the literate film buffs on your holiday shopping list, pick up The Lost City of Z by David Grann and Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell. Big-screen adaptations of both are scheduled to hit theaters in 2010 (the former produced by Brad Pitt, the latter by Leo DiCaprio)—but I recommend giving them a read before seeing them in theaters.

For English majors (past, present, and future) with a great sense of humor, don’t miss the classic mash-up, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith. It, too, has a movie in the works (scheduled for 2011 and starring Natalie Portman as a zombie-fighting Elizabeth Bennet)—but lit geeks will want to get their hands on it now. For serious geeks, pick up the special hardcover collector’s edition.

For the feisty female crime fiction fans on your list, pick up A Bad Day for Sorry by Sophie Littlefield. Littlefield’s Stella Hardesty is my favorite fictional character of the year. She’s funny, she’s tough, and she’s not afraid to shoot if one of her clients is in danger.

For sci-fi fanatics, be sure to pick up a copy of J. J. Abrams’s new Star Trek. Even Star Trek newbies like me can appreciate the action and adventure—and the fun cast of characters. For the full geeky effect, be sure to pick up the Blu-ray edition.

Chick flick fans will love the quirky indie romcom (500) Days of Summer. It’s not what you’d expect from the same old romantic comedy—and that’s exactly what makes it so much fun.

For tech-savvy families on the go, pick up a collection of Disney/Pixar combo packs. These three- or four-disc sets include copies in three formats: Blu-ray, DVD, and digital—perfect for the Blu-ray player at home, the DVD player in the car, and the digital player on the run. I recommend starting with Up, Monsters, Inc., and the Disney classic, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Or, for hours of TV on DVD entertainment, pick up Fringe: The Complete First Season for your favorite science geek—or, for your favorite lit geek, try the literary crime series, Castle: The Complete First Season.

For fans of ‘80s pop, don’t miss Yes by the Pet Shop Boys. It’s smart and thoughtful. It’s a little bit retro and a little bit updated. And it’s a whole lot of upbeat fun.

Treat your favorite kids to Gamewright’s Ring-O Flamingo. This fast-paced, ring-flinging game is not only fun for kids, but parents will love it, too.

So what’s on our list this year?

So what are the entertainment junkies at N&W.com wishing for this holiday season? Margaret and I are both asking Santa for an e-book reader. Margaret’s leaning toward Amazon’s Kindle, while I’ve got my eye on Barnes & Noble’s Nook (or at least a card that says I’ll get one sometime in January…or whenever it is that they’re shipping these days).

Margaret’s also wishing for gift cards to bookstores (like Amazon) and a DVD of her favorite romantic comedy, While You Were Sleeping.

Laura, meanwhile, is wishing for games and movies this year—like Scribblenauts for her Nintendo DS, and two of her favorite TV shows on DVD: Season 5 of House and Season 6 of NCIS.

As for me, I’m hoping that Santa will bring a whole bunch of new Blu-rays to add to my collection—like (500) Days of Summer, Inglourious Basterds, Star Trek, and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. And, if Santa’s got some extra room on the sleigh, I wouldn’t mind some nice, comfy theater seats, either.

We hope these suggestions have helped you finish up your last-minute holiday shopping. Now that you’re finished, load up on cookies and eggnog and enjoy the holiday season. From all of us at NightsAndWeekends.com to all of you, we wish you the happiest of holidays—and an entertaining New Year!

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