I love finding the perfect book for someone. Here are some recommendations for books to give to your family and friends. Merry Christmas!
For History Buffs:
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas – How can you go wrong with a subtitle like that? The story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer is captivating. He was a Lutheran pastor who gave up a comfortable, safe life to fight Nazism during World War II. He ultimately gave his life for the cause and was hung at Flossenburg Concentration Camp for conspiring to assassinate Hitler.
America: The Last Best Hope (Volumes I and II) by William J. Bennett – Dr. Bennett is a great storyteller. What gets lost in most scholastic history books are the interesting tidbits that make names, dates and places come alive. Years later many of us only remember things like Washington’s “wood” teeth. In America: The Last Best Hope, all the interesting parts are actually true. Leave it to public schools to remove the humanity out of history!
American Heroes in Special Operations by Oliver North – The photos and stories in this book are incredible. The book highlights the Navy Seals, Green Berets and Rangers. I especially like that every serviceman and woman’s name is listed in the index.
Elvis 1956 by Alfred Wertheimer – Perhaps to some I am using a loose interpretation of “history buff” but I had to include this book. I saw some of these photos at an exhibit in Boca Raton and subsequently bought the book. It’s amazing to see what life was like for Elvis in 1956. He was a star on stage, but not yet a star on the streets of Memphis.
For Politically-Minded College Students:
The Essential American: 25 Documents and Speeches Every American Should Own (Compilation) – Good news! There’s a chance they haven’t read any of this yet! Ok, not good news for the republic, but good news for the gift-giver. If the college student in your life really wants to be a rebel on campus, tell him or her quote the Declaration of Independence, Daniel Webster or Calvin Coolidge to their college professors.
The Bible of Unspeakable Truths by Greg Gutfeld – This is the political book I wish I could write. Gutfeld is hilarious, but more importantly, right on the issues.
Feminists Say the Darndest Things by Dr. Mike Adams – Judging by his legion of fans on Facebook, Professor Adams is pretty popular among college students. His politically incorrect columns are only surpassed by his cache of firearms.
Obama Zombies: How the Liberal Machine Brain-Washed My Generation by Jason Mattera –Before taking the helm at Human Events, Mattera toiled away, compiling example after example of how young people were snookered by the Obama campaign’s phony message of hope and change.
Reforming Our Universities by David Horowitz – Horowitz, a former leftist student radical, has been at the forefront of defending free speech on college campuses. In this book he lays out a plan for taking back America’s universities. If this book were a novel, the students would be the heroes.
For Armchair Pundits:
Crimes Against Liberty: An Indictment of President Barack Obama by David Limbaugh – Ann Coulter said, “David Limbaugh is the person I'd most like to have with me in a foxhole.” I especially recommend this book for Obama voters with buyer’s remorse.
If Democrats Had Any Brains They’d Be Republicans by Ann Coulter – This the perfect Ann Coulter book. And I’m not just saying that because my name appears in the acknowledgements. Even if someone is a faithful reader of her columns and books, this book is enjoyable because it highlights the best Coulterisms. If you’re buying for someone who is a new fan of Coulter, I also recommend buying all of her other bestsellers.
Inside the Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital by John McCaslin – This book provides insight to what it’s like to live in the political swamp of Washington D.C.
Red State Uprising by Erick Erickson and Lew Uhler – The 2010 mid-term elections are over, but as conservatives our work has just begun. This book will help conservatives remind politicians why conservatives elected them.
There are some other bestsellers I should mention, but they’re doing so well you may want to make sure your gift recipient doesn’t already have them: America By Heart by Sarah Palin, Broke by Glenn Beck, Valley Forge by Newt Gingrich and Decision Points by George W. Bush. Plan ahead for next year and get books personally signed by their authors at CPAC in Washington D.C!
For Fashionistas and Reality TV Fans:
My Fair Lazy by Jen Lancaster — This book chronicles Jen’s attempt to transition from reality TV junky to cultured woman. Jen is one of my favorite authors. Her books are funny and personal. Conservatives will like her subtle hints about her own political beliefs.
The Carrie Diaries by Candace Bushnell — This book is loosely based on what you know about Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City. Surprisingly, it has a pro-abstinence message.
For Sports Fans:
Andy Roddick Beat Me with a Frying Pan by Todd Gallagher — This book is perfect for people who sit around thinking about who was the greatest this or that or whether this team from yesteryear could beat the current team. Some of the questions the author actually tested include: Could an average guy start in the WNBA? Would an obese man be the best goalie ever? Could an average swimmer beat an Olympic swimmer who could only dog-paddle?
Called to Coach: Reflections on Life, Faith and Football by Bobby Bowden – I’m a die-hard Seminoles fan, but any football lover will enjoy this book. Coach Bowden’s southern charm and common sense advice is inspiring. As Kenny Chesney said, “We all know Bobby has been incredibly successful on the football field, but I believe his real success lies in how many lives he has touched as a mentor, teacher, and friend!”
The Dangerous Book for Boys and The Daring Book for Girls — I’ve given this book several times and it always ends up in the hands of the parents. It’s a good primer for teaching kids how to do cool things like make the perfect paper airplane and tell a good ghost story.
At Blanchard’s Table: A Trip to the Beach Cookbook — I love this book because it takes me away from D.C. Pair with the Blanchard’s memoir, A Trip to the Beach, which chronicles a Vermont couple who left the “concrete jungle” to open a restaurant in Barbados and live life on “island time.”
Kitchen Confidential and Medium Raw by Anthony Bourdain — If someone you know is a fan of the Travel Channel’s “No Reservations,” they’ll love these books. Just make sure they don’t already have them. I’m a fan of the TV series, but only read Kitchen Confidential recently. I recommend buying both just because I prefer the older Bourdain to the younger Bourdain.
Cooking for Mr. Latte by Amanda Hesser — This is a memoir with recipes. The author is a food writer for the New York Times but, surprisingly, it’s not pretentious at all.
Steak with Friends by Rick Tramonto – I first heard about Tramonto when he appeared on Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters.” He didn’t win, but I was struck by how much heat he took from the blogosphere for being an unapologetic Christian while on the show. For example, one Amazon reviewer chastises him for dedicating the book to the “Heavenly Father” and including Bible verses. Some of the recipes are more complicated than others, but the photos will make any home cook praise the Lord.
Also be on the look out for church, Women’s League or any collaborative cookbooks. They have great family recipes and purchasing them help support local organizations.
Next Week: Fun (and silly) gifts for your favorite conservatives.