The Gift Giving Solution

The Gift Giving Solution

A long list of books to look for this holiday season
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Every year around Christmas we all go through an experience that some dread and some look forward to as the highlight of the year. Namely, Christmas shopping. Due to the sheer size of my immediate family, gift giving can be quite the quandary for me. After all, finding individual presents of reasonable quality (giving everyone a candy cane doesn't count) for twelve different people and staying within the budget of a poor college student (I like to pretend that I have no money, it makes gifts from me seem more meaningful) is not an easy task. Thus, I have taken the time to formulate the perfect strategy for the cheapskate present giver. The plan, give everyone a good book. Books are awesome. Everyone should have them in gratuitous quantities. And almost as important, books can be bought at little cost to your wallet. The average book at most used bookstores costs about $5, sometimes less. If one is really inclined to splurge prices can be rocketed by buying the book new, but I personally prefer a used copy in most cases. This is also a way to encourage you, non-reader friends, to pry themselves away from the telly and read. Perhaps one day you may even make a geek out of them.

To further facilitate this amazing Christmas plan I have taken the time to compile a long list of my favorite authors and some of their best books. These all make suitable gifts, though I would not recommend some of them to some readers. The list is rather long. So bear with me. One thing to note, PMEE stands for "and pretty much everything else they wrote". I will start with mostly older authors, so if you want more modern (meaning in the last 50 or so years) skip to the bottom. If I miss some great authors I apologize beforehand. If I do not list books for an author then usually that means that their writing is good, but I cannot remember specific books to tell you. Without further ado, on to the books!

J.R.R Tolkien-The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Farmer Giles of Ham, PMEE

C.S. Lewis- The Space Trilogy, Mere Christianity, The Chronicles of Narnia, PMEE

George Macdonald- The Princess and The Goblin, At the Back of the North Wind, PMEE

G.K Chesterton- Just read him. He is awesome.

Sir Walter Scott- Ivanhoe, Minstrelry of the Scottish Border

Lewis Wallace- Ben Hur

Victor Hugo- Les Miserables

Howard Pyle- Robin Hood

Jane Porter- The Scottish Chiefs

Alexandre Dumas- The Three Musketeers

E. Nesbit- The Book of Dragons, The Enchanted Castle

Ralph Moody- Little Britches, PMEE

Mark Twain- The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, PMEE

Charles Dickens- A Christmas Carol

Eddie Rickenbacker- Fighting the Flying Circus, Rickenbacker (This guy was amazing by the way)

Jane Austen- Pride and Prejudice, Emma

Harper Lee- to Kill a Mockingbird

Robert Louis Stevenson- Treasure Island

John D. Fitzgerald- The Great Brain series

L.M Montgomery- Anne of Green Gables Series

Jules Verne- Around the World in 80 Days, 20,000 leagues Under the Sea

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry- The Little Prince

Lewis Carrol- Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Through The Looking Glass and What Alice Found There

Meindert DeJong- The Wheel on the School

Andrew Lang- The Blue, Red, Green, Yellow, and every other color you can imagine, books of fairy tales

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Richard and Florence Atwater- Mr Popper's Penguins

Eric Metaxas- Bonhoffer

Phil Vischer- Me, Myself, and Bob

Harold Keith- Rifles for Watie

Laura Ingalls Wilder- The Little House books

Rosemary Sutcliff- Black Sales Before Troy

Jeff and Michael Shaara- Gods and Generals, The Killer Angels, The Last Full Measure

Brandon Sanderson- The Stormlight Archive (I was close to tears at points in these books, go read them like now), the end of the Wheel of Time series

Robert Jordan- The Wheel of Time Series

Dianna Wynn Jones- Howls Moving Castle, Castle in the Sky, the Chrestomanci series, PMEE

David Eddings- The Belgariad

Ben Tripp- The Accidental Highwayman

Tad Williams- The Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn series

Orson Scott Card- Ender's Game Series

Terry Brooks- The Sword of Shannara, The First King of Shannara, The Magic kingdom of Landover series

Robin Mckinley- The Blue Sword, The Hero and The Crown, Spindles End

Anne McCaffrey- Black Horses for the King

Eoin Colfer- The Artemis Fowl Series

Brandon Mull- Fablehaven series, The Beyonders Series, The Five Kingdoms series (none of these series have the highest of reading levels but they are all well worth reading)

John Flanagan- The Ranger's Apprentice series, the Brotherband Chronicles

Vivian Vande Velde- The Rumpelstiltskin Problem

Cornelia Funke- Inkspell

Jonathon Stroud- The Bartimaeus Trilogy

Angie Sage- Septimus Heap series

Movie art books/making of books- these books are usually more expensive than your typical used book, but they are awesome if you have a movie buff on your Christmas list.

As I stated earlier, there are probably thousands of various good books and authors that I am missing here. A lot of the authors listed here have more good books that I neglected to list, but as far as good books go this is a decent start. Now go overwhelm your friends and family with books for Christmas!



Cover Image Credit: Joseph Landon

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35 Major Life Facts According To Nick Miller

"All booze is good booze, unless it's weak booze."
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Fact: If you watch "New Girl," you love Nick Miller.

You can't help it. He's an adorable, lovable mess of a man and you look forward to seeing him and his shenanigans each week. While living the infamous and incomparable life of Nick Miller, and obviously Julius Pepperwood— he has learned many valuable laws of the land. And, although Nick refuses to learn anything from anyone besides his mysterious, old Asian friend Tran, he does have a few lessons he'd like to teach us.

Here are 35 facts of life according to 'Nick Milla Nick Milla':

1. Drinking keeps you healthy.

"I'm not gonna get sick. No germ can live in a body that is 65% beer."

2. Dinosaurs never existed.

"I don't believe dinosaurs existed. I've seen the science. I don't believe it."


3. A paper bag is a bank.

"A bank is just a paper bag but with fancier walls."


4. Having sex is similar to delivering mail.

"I'm like a mailman, except instead of mail it's hot sex that I deliver."

5. Moonwalking is a foolproof way to get out of any awkward situation.

Jess (about Nick): "Now he won't even talk to me. I saw him this morning and he just panic moonwalked away from me. He does that sometimes."

6. Using a movie reference is also a great way.

Cece: "Come on, get up!"

Nick: "No, I don't dance. I'm from that town in "Footloose."

7. There's no reason to wash towels.

Nick: "I don’t wash the towel. The towel washes me. Who washes a towel?"

Schmidt: "You never wash your towel?"

Nick: "What am I gonna do? Wash the shower next? Wash a bar of soap?"

8. Exes are meant to be avoided at all costs (especially if/unless they're Caroline)

"I don't deal with exes, they're part of the past. You burn them swiftly and you give their ashes to Poseidon."

9. IKEA furniture is not as intimidating as it looks.

"I'm building you the dresser. I love this stuff. It's like high-stakes LEGOs."

10. You don't need forks if you have hands.

Jess: "That's gross. Get a fork, man."

Nick: "I got two perfectly good forks at the end of my arms!"

11. Sex has a very specific definition.


"It's not sex until you put the straw in the coconut."

12. Doors are frustrating.

"I will push if I want to push! Come on! I hate doors!"

13. All booze is good booze.

"Can I get an alcohol?"

14. ...unless it's weak booze.

"Schmidt, that is melon flavored liquor! That is 4-proof! That is safe to drink while you're pregnant!"

15. Writers are like pregnant women.

Jess: "You know what that sound is? It's the sound of an empty uterus."

Nick: "I can top that easily. I'm having a hard time with my zombie novel."

Jess: "Are you really comparing a zombie novel to my ability to create life?"

Nick: "I'm a writer, Jess. We create life."

16. All bets must be honored.

"There is something serious I have to tell you about the future. The name of my first-born child needs to be Reginald VelJohnson. I lost a bet to Schmidt."

17. Adele's voice is like a combination of Fergie and Jesus.

"Adele is amazing."

18. Beyoncé is extremely trustworthy.

"I'd trust Beyoncé with my life. We be all night."

19. Fish, on the other hand, are not.


“Absolutely not. You know I don’t trust fish! They breathe water. That's crazy!"

20. Bar mitzvahs are terrifying.

Schmidt: "It's a bar mitzvah!"

Nick: "I am NOT watching a kid get circumcised!"

21. ...so are blueberries.

Jess: "So far, Nick Miller's list of fears is sharks, tap water, real relationships..."

Nick: "And blueberries."

22. Take your time with difficult decisions. Don't be rash.


Jess: "You care about your burritos more than my children, Nick?"

Nick: "You're putting me in a tough spot!"

23. Getting into shape is not easy.

"I mean, I’m not doing squats or anything. I’m trying to eat less donuts."

24. We aren't meant to talk about our feelings.

"If we needed to talk about feelings, they would be called talkings."


25. We're all a little bit too hard on ourselves.

"The enemy is the inner me."

26. Freezing your underwear is a good way to cool off.


"Trust me, I'm wearing frozen underpants right now and I feel amazing. I'm gonna grab some old underpants and put a pair into the freezer for each of you."

27. Public nudity is normal.

"Everbody has been flashed countless times."

28. Alcohol is a cure-all.


"You treat an outside wound with rubbing alcohol. You treat an inside wound with drinking alcohol."

29. Horses are aliens.

"I believe horses are from outer-space."


30. Turtles should actually be called 'shell-beavers.'

Jess: "He calls turtles 'shell-beavers."

Nick: "Well, that's what they should be called."

31. Trench coats are hot.


"This coat has clean lines and pockets that don't quit, and it has room for your hips. And, when I wear it, I feel hot to trot!"


32. Sparkles are too.

"Now, my final bit of advice, and don't get sensitive on this, but you've got to change that top it's terrible and you've got to throw sparkles on. Sparkles are in. SPARKLES ARE IN."

33. Introspection can lead to a deeper knowing of oneself.

"I'm not convinced I know how to read. I've just memorized a lot of words."


34. It's important to live in the moment.

"I know this isn't gonna end well but the middle part is gonna be awesome."


35. Drinking makes you cooler.

Jess: "Drinking to be cool, Nick? That's not a real thing."

Nick: "That's the only thing in the world I know to be true."

Cover Image Credit: Hollywood Reporter

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Toulouse Grande, Ari's Dog, Stole The Spotlight In The 'thank u, next' Music Video

Any dog other than Toulouse Grande? Thank you, next!

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For those of you who don't know (or who are jumping on the Ariana Grande train just now), Toulouse is one of Ariana's many dogs. He's appeared in a few other music videos, like 'Right There' and 'No Tears Left To Cry'. However, his cameo was most prominent in her latest music video for 'thank u, next', which, by the way, broke YouTube records.

1. He's first seen rolling up with Ari, dressed as Elle Woods from Legally Blonde

Hannah Lux Davis

Toulouse called shotgun.

2. Toulouse stars as Bruiser Woods, Elle's sidekick

Hannah Lux Davis

Name a more iconic duo.

3. He's featured in some close-ups

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Every other dog on the planet is QUAKING in their boots.

4. Toulouse has no fear of the spotlight with his mommy by his side

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Nerves? Thank you, next.

5. He even wears his own custom swimsuit 

Hannah Lux Davis

He's living his best life.

6. How could you forget his studded collar?

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This collar probably costs more than my car.

7. He is completely unfazed by the cameras 

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He was BORN for showbiz.

8. At one point he literally watches himself on TV

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An absolute ICON.

9. He was even seen being pampered in behind the scenes footage

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Sadly, this scene didn't make it to the actual music video.

10. He got all the affection in between takes

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Only the best smooches for Toulouse.

11. Toulouse was an absolute spotlight-stealer

Hannah Lux Davis

He is killing it.

12. Keep living your best life, Toulouse!

Hannah Lux Davis

We'll keep living vicariously through you.

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