Before you respond to my post and we switch venues, can I ask you and your readers for some advice? What do I get TD for Hanukkah? I'd ask on my blog, but he lurks there rather creepily. It being a bad economy and all, and I being an impoverished grad student, I can't go crazy. I was thinking of giving him a nice hardcover book or a released-in-paperback series of books.
He thought the George R.R. Martin series I gave him once was "interesting," but he's not much into fantasy or "things with dragons, and I don't see much science fiction on his shelves. Fiction-wise, his favorite authors are Edward Abbey, Po Bronson, Hunter S. Thompson, Herman Hesse, Haruki Murakami, Charles Bukowski, Chuck Palahniuk, and Patrick O'Brien. Of course, he reads so much that I don't know what authors/books he hasn't read yet, so that's the challenge with fiction, unless you know of some author really recent or really old/obscure, or some series that I should try that is not sci fi/fantasy. While he doesn't read much science fiction, he really loves science and micro-economics, and seems to enjoy reading histories of important things (the invention of the computer, microchip, the atomic bomb, etc.), and biographies of big important figures. I wonder if he would be interested, as I am, in biographies of Supreme Court justices and presidents. Hmm.
Any suggestions? Paul is trying to convince me that books "make the best gifts in general, because peoples’ tastes in books are so personal — there’s no better way to say “I care about you just the way you are” than to get a book that’s just right for someone. You could get him some really awesome book that you wouldn’t normally!" Aw. This is making me reconsider his usual sweater, which means to me "I care about you just the way you are and here's some extra fine Italian merino I got on super-sale from either J.Crew or Banana Republic that you can wear to work in your business casual environment. Hugs!"
So does this mean this has to be a truly awesome book and "just right" for TD? We give each other "I think you'd find this interesting" books now and again, and we have taken to buying books together and sharing them, so the gift itself won't be all that novel, unless the choice is good. Pressure! Ack! The last time we went on a sharing books shopping spree we got a lot of science history (so I know he likes it) and I threw some Tom Robbins and Nathaniel West at him, so I know there's still plenty out there for him to read. I'm thinking maybe some Richard Ford, Nikolai Gogol or Saul Bellow, but I'd love to hear what you and your readers think would make a nice book gift.