The Gift Giving Solution

The Gift Giving Solution

A long list of books to look for this holiday season

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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Dua Liba's Album Is The Most Relatable Album of 2018, Don't @ Me

Just let the lyrics do the talking, or maybe the singing.

We all have that one album we just vibe to because it relates to our lives so much. Well for me right now, Dua Lipa's self-entitled album is doing just that. If you don't believe me that this album is the, just let the lyrics do the talking, or maybe the singing.


“This is getting serious // Tell me that it’s not the end of us.”

We all have those falling outs with close friends, and when it happens, it feels like the most devastating thing of our lives.

Lost In Your Light

“I’m addicted to your light.”

We all have that one friend that is always an optimist and offers support whenever, so when we talk to them, it’s like the sun breaking through the clouds on an overcast day.

Hotter Than Hell

“Can let me know I’m wanted // Can let me in your head // I’m not here to make you kneel // But it’s praise that I’ll get."

This song serves as a reminder that we all deserve to know where we stand with someone in a relationship, and that we will always demand we be treated correctly; it’s not controlling, just reminding the other person that we want respect over anything.

Be The One

“There is nothing that I wouldn’t do for you // Do for you, do for you // Oh, ‘cause you got inside my head.”

Sometimes we get blinded by other people, and we forget who we are because of how we feel when we’re with them. We start to put ourselves second, and this line is a wake up call.


“So I made my decision // Cause you made your bed, sleep in it // Play the victim and switch your position // I’m through, I’m done.”

After the wake up call in the last song, we’ve been reminded of what we’re worth and what we deserve, and are ready to move on.

Blow Your Mind (Mwah)

“I know we’ve got // Something that money can’t buy.”

There’s always those friendships in life that we’re forever thankful to have, and could never replace or imitate, and it’s always a blessing when we realize that.


“Isn’t it so clear to see // Nothing’s ever perfect in paradise // Don’t know what it’s worth ‘til you pay the price.”

It’s easy to get caught up in the fun and thrills of friendship, and forget the deep meaning of it, but when we lose it, we remember and miss about the deep connection and the support that was there under the glitter and rainbows.

No Goodbyes

“Maybe one day I can see you // We can smile and wave // And it’ll be okay.”

When we’re fighting with someone, we always only think about being okay again until we’re slapped with the reality that that may not happen for some time.

Thinking ‘Bout You

“I can’t stop thinking ‘bout you.”

There’s always that one person we can’t ever seem to get off our minds…

New Rules

“Practice makes perfect // I’m still tryna’ learn it by heart.”

We’re always trying to find ourselves and how to make ourselves a better version of us, but we forget that being better doesn’t happen all at once.


“Cause all my bones // Are begging me to beg for you.”

There’s always one person in our lives that we wish we could go back to, even when the universe tells us it’s not meant to be.


“It’s a bittersweet feeling // Longing and I’m leaving.”

Pining after someone is never, ever healthy, but man is it easy. The hardest part is always when reality hits, and we have to move on.


“It just got complicated, I don’t know what to do.”

There are times when we find ourselves in difficult situations and just get lost.

Room For 2

“See, everyone ain’t the same // We’re more than machines.”

Sometimes, we forget that others are people too, with feelings and reasons.

New Love

“Want somewhere to go.”

Sometimes, a simple car ride with the windows down and no destination is the medicine we need.

Bad Together

“We make a great team // With you, I’m better than I’ve ever been.”

We all have that one friend that always seems to encourage us to be our better selves.

Last Dance

“Way too soon to feel so strong // Way too young to hurt so long, I’m hurtin’ // Was it worth it?”

Living in this generation, it’s easy to get swept up and invested in one person. When things go wrong, it hurts, and we wonder where things went wrong.

If that rundown of Dua Lipa's skill with song writing didn't convince you how relatable and plain amazing this album is, I don't think there's any saving you. She's a legend, and that's all I have to say about that.

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This Argentinian Museum Is So Insta-Worthy

So much color!

Have you been looking for the perfect place to style your latest Instagram Influencer post? Do you happen to be in Buenos Aires, Argentina? Well, do I have good news for you! For all your neon-lit, color-coded, fun and fancy needs, you don't have to look any further than El Recoleta.

El Recoleta is a museum in Buenos Aires, Argentina, that is devoted to presenting Argentinian culture in a fun and fresh manner. Technically called el Centro Cultural Recoleta, El Recoleta is an interactive museum where you can draw, explore, and share while also checking out amazing modern art exhibits.

The current theme for the exhibitions is "Amor de Verano", which focuses on bright colors and summery vibes in order to entice locals and tourists alike into the colorful space. Neon lights line the halls, and two plazas hold a fountain and a performance space, respectively, making a visit to the museum feel more like a summery walk in the park than a stuffy cultural site.

That is not to say that you won't be discovering new pieces of culture--in fact, El Recoleta is full of modern art exhibits that will provoke thought (and probably look pretty good on your camera roll, too). Special events at the museum include free admission days and DJs at night.

If you want to learn more about El Recoleta and the amazing work they show, check out their website for more information! Have fun exploring!

Cover Image Credit: Afenprensa

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