Gift Guide 2013: Volume 1

a stack of gifts and gift wrapped ereaders against a blue backgroundNext week, Thanksgiving and Hanukkah arrive – Hanukkah FIRST if you can believe that madness – so it's time for the annual editions of the Smart Bitches Gift Guide! I try to find gift ideas that are perfect for the readers you love, or the readers you are! If you have suggestions for the gift guide, please email me! I love to know what you're buying this year, as presents or for yourself. Whatever holiday you're celebrating, and if you're not celebrating at all, I hope you have a warm and peaceful holiday season.

I've been collecting gift items from catalogs and online newsletters, but before I get started, I have some book suggestions from Elyse, who sounds like a seriously thoughtful gift giver.

Elyse: Gifts! I have a whole lotta gift ideas!

I love giving Audible memberships to audio book lovers. Gift options at Audible include 3 months for $45, 6 months for $90, and a year for $150.

The Gift Center Logo for

Membership includes one download credit each month good for one book, plus 30% off on additional purchases.


Oontz Angle Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

I'm getting my hubby Bluetooth speakers for the bathroom & kitchen so he can listen to audio books without the earbuds in.

Pictured as example: the Oontz Angle Wireless Bluetooth Speaker, $39.99 at Amazon

(Sarah says: we use a speaker and my phone when listening to podcasts in the car, since we don't have an AUX port in our cars.)




Elyse: I buy a lot of non fiction for the dads/uncles in our family. Among my favoritist this year:

Book The Book of General IgnoranceThe Book of General Ignorance by John Mitchinson and John Lloyd - current price at AMZ: $16.36 (p), $10.99 (e)

Think Magellan was the first man to circumnavigate the globe, baseball was invented in America, Henry VIII had six wives, Mount Everest is the tallest mountain? Wrong, wrong, wrong, and wrong again.

Goodreads | Amazon | BN | Sony | Kobo | iBooks | All Romance eBooks



Book Command & Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety by Eric Schlosser (author of Fast Food Nation) – current price at AMZ: $21.68 (p), $14.99 (e)

Nuclear bombs must be handled with the proper care, yet that is not always the case. Mentioning harrowing mishaps in the history of the American atomic arsenal, Schlosser singles out one for detailed dramatization, the explosion in 1980 of a Titan II missile.

Goodreads | Amazon | BN | Sony | Kobo | iBooks | All Romance eBooks




Book Nothing to EnvyNothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick – current prices at AMZ: $17.83 (p), $9.99 (e)

Award-winning journalist Barbara Demick follows the lives of six North Korean citizens over fifteen years—a chaotic period that saw the death of Kim Il-sung, the rise to power of his son Kim Jong-il, and a devastating famine that killed one-fifth of the population. Demick brings to life what it means to be living under the most repressive totalitarian regime today.

Goodreads | Amazon | BN | Sony | Kobo | iBooks | All Romance eBooks





Book Yellow DirtYellow Dirt: A Poisoned Land and the Betrayal of the Navajos by Judy Pasternak – current prices at AMZ: $18.62 (p), $10.38 (e)

In the 1940s, when the U.S. government was embarking on developing atomic weapons, it discovered huge uranium deposits in Navajo territory covering parts of Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona. Mines constructed there yielded uranium that would be used in the Manhattan Project and eventually in the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Navajo themselves saw little of the huge profits from uranium but as workers and land dwellers would suffer radiation exposure four times that of the Japanese targeted by the A-bomb.

Goodreads | Amazon | BN | Sony | Kobo | iBooks | All Romance eBooks





Book Five Days at MemorialFive Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink – prices at AMZ: $20.69 (p), $11.84 (e)

Pulitzer Prize winner Sheri Fink’s landmark investigation of patient deaths at a New Orleans hospital ravaged by Hurricane Katrina – and her suspenseful portrayal of the quest for truth and justice
After Katrina struck and the floodwaters rose, the power failed, and the heat climbed, exhausted caregivers chose to designate certain patients last for rescue. Months later, several health professionals faced criminal allegations that they deliberately injected numerous patients with drugs to hasten their deaths.

Goodreads | Amazon | BN | Sony | Kobo | iBooks | All Romance eBooks



Sarah: These are not the most uplifting titles, but I can already think of a few people who would find those books tremendously interesting.


Ready for more? OF COURSE YOU ARE.

Books? Books make totally excellent gifts, but you knew that. 

Book Calvin and Hobbes - the Complete Collection Calvin and Hobbes, The Complete Collection (paperback) in a four volume case – priced at $58.99.

A bit expensive, but I'd read the hell out of this twice, right?

Description: Calvin and Hobbes is unquestionably one of the most popular comic strips of all time. The imaginative world of a boy and his real-only-to-him tiger was first syndicated in 1985 and appeared in more than 2,400 newspapers when Bill Watterson retired on January 1, 1996.

Note: some reviews indicate that some single-page comics that appeared in earlier published collections aren't in this collection, but that nearly every published comic strip is in this set.  




From the ever-amazing and totally-evil-to-my-wallet Signals catalog: 

Literary bangles - bracelets w first paragraphs of Pride and Prejudice Jane Eyre and Wuthering HeightsLiterary Bangles Anyone?

The opening paragraphs of Pride & Prejudice (currently backordered until 12/04), Jane Eyre, and Wuthering Heights are printed on brass bangles then lacquered for durability. 

Each one is $22.00 – try to restrain yourself! No, forget it, go ahead. 

There's one review on the site that indicates that they're comfortable, but that the color is a bit dull. 

This is a perfect gift for your Austen-loving friends, those who adore Jane Eyre, and those who love jewelry and literature (which, come to think of it, is most of the people I know).








book shaped vases that are also bookendsBookend Vases

They're vases! They're shaped like books! They're bookends!

I can't handle the cuteness.

Bookends made of glazed terra cotta that are hollow for flowers real and faux, or for other things that need containers and should be housed hear your books. 

These are $39.95, and they're adorable. 






Bookshelves that look like books that read future reads and favorite readsFavorite Reads and Future Reads Bookshelves

Each shelf looks like a book spine-out from the wall. One reads “Future Reads” and the other says “Favorite Reads.” 

Each shelf if $29.95 and comes with screws and bracket for wall mounting. They can hold up to 20lbs of books (I can SO do that easy!) according to the description, and they're 10″ wide by 6.5″ deep.

Plenty of room for books. Heh heh heh. 



I'll be back with more gift guides each Wednesday until the holidays, so please let me know if you see anything that would make a terrific gift. I have a stack of email messages with suggestions, too, so fear not. If you emailed me, I've got it already. 

Plus, next week, we do our annual 8 days of Hanukkah giveaways, one per day. Get ready to light candles, enter contests, and eat friend foods. Not necessarily in that order, though.


General Bitching...

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  1. 1
    sarrible says:

    I’ve read the Barbara Demick book, and it is fascinating. Excellent for folks who enjoy international politics and/or want to understand how you can brainwash an entire culture (although it’s not, like, a handbook for doing that).

  2. 2
    Jennifer in GA says:

    I ALWAYS look forward to your gift giving guides! I invariably by something for myself. ;)

  3. 3
    DonnaMarie says:

    Oh, I agree, the Signals catalog is a dangerous and evil thing.

  4. 4
    Layla says:

    The Sheri Fink book is going on MY wishlist. Sigh.

  5. 5

    Did you know women aren’t supposed to do housework while the Chanukah oil or candles burn? That means more reading time! I want a Geltfiend sweater to keep me warm while I make inroads into my TBR stack:

  6. 6
    Anony Miss says:

    I got myself the ultimate travel accessory – the SeV women’s trench coat. I’m obsessed with it. It’s got 18 pockets, including an iPad pocket. I don’t have an iPad, but it is AWESOME for my Kindle, and ever so much more.

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