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A Gift You Can Open Many Times

Believe it or not, it's that time of year again. Time to begin thinking of what gifts you're going to buy for your friends and family members. (In fact, if you haven't begun thinking about it already, you're behind schedule, so you'd better get busy!)

Sometimes gifts are mere ephemeral things. Things like cookies and candy that are enjoyed once and then they're gone. Other gifts have more lasting value. Things that can be enjoyed for some time to come. I can think of no better such gift than a book. As Garrison Keillor of The Prairie Home Companion radio program said, "A book is a gift you can open again and again." Long after the Christmas tree has dried out, guests are gone, and you've returned the decorations and lights to the attic.

Although recommending just one book is impossible for me because I have and love so many of them, I've come up with a list of books that, if I didn't already have them, I would appreciate getting for Christmas. Maybe you know someone who would enjoy them, too. I've categorized them for your convenience. (By the way, I have a connection with only two of the authors whose books I've listed, and I might benefit from the purchase of books by only one of those two. Me!)


  • Writing With Quiet Hands by Paula Munier

  • Called to Create by Jordan Raynor

  • A Writers Guide to Persistence by Jordan Rosenfeld


  • Coolidge by Amity Schlaes

  • John Adams by David McCullough (anything by McCullough!)

  • Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

  • Jonathan Edwards by George Marsden

  • An American Life by Ronald Reagan

General History

  • Saints and Strangers by George Willison (about the Pilgrims)

  • The Genuine Article by Edmund Morgan (about early American life)

  • 1776 by David McCullough (I told you anything by McCullough!)

  • Founding Brothers by Joseph Ellis (about our early political leaders)

  • Masters of the Air by Donald Miller (about the Mighty Eighth Air Force in World War II

Books by Petersons

I could list many other titles that I've enjoyed and benefitted from over the years, from childhood into the golden years (e.g., I'll Trade You an Elk, Gentle Ben, Call Me Charlie, the children's and young adult books of Jesse Stuart, etc.), but the foregoing list will give you some ideas. If you want the recipients of your gifts to benefit week after week rather than just at the moment they open the gift, consider giving them a book!

As Lenore Hershey, late editor of McCall's and Ladies Home Journal, said, "Do give books--religious or otherwise--for Christmas. They're never fattening, seldom sinful, and permanently personal."

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