Christmas Wish List Part 4


Looking for some last minute Christmas gifts for the book lovers in your life? I’ve compiled a list of the best books I’ve read this year. (See below for last year’s lists for more recommendations.)


Life as We Know it (Susan Beth Pfeffer) – Sarabeth and I read the whole series this year, and despite the political agenda (which eases up with each book), we thoroughly enjoyed them. They’re teen books, but who wouldn’t be interested in reading a dystopian tale about an asteroid knocking the moon closer to earth, throwing everything out of whack, and devastating every survivor on the planet? I’m not sure how there isn’t a movie out about this yet.

The Yearling (Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings) – Disclaimer: Do not read this book while driving, or in public, for that matter. Best to be read by yourself, locked in a room miles from anyone, so that no one can hear you wailing and weeping when you read the final pages.

Life of Pi (Yann Martel) – If you saw the movie and wasn’t that impressed, pick the book up. You’ll be much more impressed.

The Man in the Box (Andrew Toy) – Having never really been impressed with many suspense/adventure books, I’m not sure I can recommend this one enough. It’s about an average family man who discovers an exciting world inside a cardboard box. The more he goes back to it, the more addicted to it he becomes. After all, wouldn’t any man rather be fighting off monsters and running from titanic panthers rather than enduring yet another argument with his wife or kids? This book is often referred to as a darker Narnia.

Biography/History Readers

Elizabeth the Queen (Sally Bedell Smith) – For anyone interested in learning more about the monarchy, this is the book to go to. (Also recommended: The King’s Speech by Mark Logue.)

Close to Shore (Michael Capuzzo) – The coolest shark book you’ll ever read. Even better than Benchley’s Jaws. 

Rawhide Down (Del Quinten Wilbur) – If you love minute-by-minute retellings of little-known incidents in history, this book will tell you all you need to know about the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan.

Amazing Grace in the Life of William Wilberforce (John Piper)- God, and Christianity has never been a proponent of slavery. Not during Pharaoh’s rule, not during colonial times, and certainly not during the 18th century in Great Britain. Charles Colson raised Wilberforce up as one of his greatest heroes.

Charles Dickens: A Life (Claire Tomalin) – I’m in the middle of this book, and I already know I’ll be returning to it for a second visit very shortly. This is an especially great gift for struggling authors.

My Ideal Bookshelf (Jane Mount and Thessaly La Force) – Can’t decide on a particular book? Then buy 100 bookshelves! This book has book recommendations from well-known actors, poets, artists, authors and more. 

Check out last year’s book recommendations:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3


About Andrew Toy
I'm in the beginning stages of starting my own publishing company that's unlike anything you've ever heard of in the industry. The direction of AdoptingJames is taking a 90-degree turn and will be more writing/publishing-focused. Stay tuned for huge updates and exciting news!

10 Responses to Christmas Wish List Part 4

  1. great list of books… the Yearling is always a good cry. The movie is just as bad. I am reduced to a puddle everytime I read it. Thanks for the list, great suggestions on it.

  2. Hm. I’m going to make it a goal to get one of my books on this list next year. All of those seemed to be really good.

  3. vocaremen says:

    Thanks for the lists (parts 1-4). I noted about half a dozen that I may read on your recommendations. I had not thought of Calico Joe but now I want to get it. The Testament is my favorite book by John Grisham. A few other favorites I would recommend for almost anyone are: John Adams by David McCullough, The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch and the classic The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne.

    • John Adams, I believe, is on my Christmas list this year, and I enjoyed The Mysterious Island. But what’s The Last Lecture about?

      • vocaremen says:

        Randy Pausch was a professor who gave a lecture basically on “living” to the fullest. It covered family, dreams and much more. The “catch” was that about a month before the lecture his doctor told him he had about 6 months to live (he had pancreatic cancer). A You Tube video of the lecture was hugely popular – the same with the book based on the lecture.

  4. randyortiz2 says:

    Thanks for posting… I’ve been knee deep in a series of spy novels, but looking for something fresh. Life of.Pi sounds like a great idea. So does the Dickens.

    Im not sure if anyone likes the spy novel thing, but I love Vince Flynn’s American Assassin books. Vince passed away in June and left us with a great series., Baldacci has about “the Camel Club” that is good for any reader….quirky characters..very endearing.

    Then there is Diana Gabardine. No woman I know can put them down once they pick them up. My wife loves them

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