Sunday, December 9, 2012

2012 Holiday gift guide: Books

I’m an avid reader and always looking to discover a new writer or book that I’ll enjoy.

I’ve never been one to stick to a specific genre or style, which makes buying for me easier, but tougher because you never know if it will be of interest to me. This shopping list is for readers like me.

Here are 10 books that have been released in the last 12 months that should appeal to broad audiences.

“Matched” (trilogy) — Ally Condie’s first book “Matched” was released in 2011 and two follow-ups, “Crossed” and “Reached,” both were published this year. The books draw strong connections to “1984” and “The Giver” as the reader is introduced a “perfect” society where every decision is made for people, from whom they will marry to what job they will have. But then there’s a glitch.

“The Mark of Athena” (Heroes of Olympus, Book 3) — Rick Riordan continues the story of Percy Jackson, which began in a previous book series. Here, Percy takes a back seat to allow other characters shine through. Riordan wrote the book for young adults, but it can be fun for all ages if you let your imagination wonder. In this series, the ancient Greek and Roman gods still exist, but their worlds are hidden from modern society behind a “mist.”

“Game On: Find Your Purpose” — Emmitt Smith, the NFL’s all-time leading rusher, “Dancing with the Stars” champion and successful real estate investor, outlines the principles that helped him become a winner on and off the field. Great for football fans or people that love autobiographies.

‘Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power” — Pulitzer Prize winner Jon Meachem chronicles the life and times of Jefferson during his rise to the presidency. It perfectly details the man and his passions.

“Frozen Heat” — The fourth book written by Richard Castle in the “Nikki Heat” series. Castle is the world famous author played by Nathan Fillion in the hit ABC television show “Castle.” In a media crossover, the network hired ghostwriters to bring the series to life in novels. All four have been mainstays on the New York Times best sellers list.

“Gone Girl” — Penned by Gillian Flynn, this thriller could be snatched from recent headlines. It’s the story of a wife gone missing and her husband is the main suspect. But after more clues begin to reveal themselves, just how many enemies did the wife really have?

“Deadlocked” — Charlaine Harris hits another home run with the 12th book in her “Southern Vampire” mysteries series, which has been turned into the HBO series “True Blood.” Here, Sookie must look into the death of a young girl who was killed at a vampire party.

“The Book Thief” — Markus Zusak is the author, but Death is the star of this book. The Grim Reaper narrates a story about a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter and quite a lot of thievery.

“The Casual Vacancy” — J.K. Rowling’s first foray into adult literature and the first book of any kind since the end of the “Harry Potter” series. The story is set in Pagford, a small town in England, and watches how small-town politics affect life as the town tries to fill a vacancy on the town council after a member dies.

“The Fault in Our Stars” — John Green writes about Hazel, a 13-year-old girl diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer. She was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrinks the tumors ... for now.

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