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You’ve always heard, “It’s better to give than to receive,” and though we’re not denying that, we say “why not both?” Our authors weigh-in on some late minute add-ons to your Christmas list as well as some stocking-stuffing suggestions.

Bethany Cheatwood

To Give: “Jurassic Park” by Michael Crichton.

This book turned mbig-jurassicparke back on to reading at a time when I felt “burned out,” and in my humble opinion, it’s one of the rare instances of a book and movie being equally great, despite their vast differences. It also was my introduction to Crichton – an author I grew to respect & whose work I absolutely love. There’s never a dull moment with him, and it’s always intelligently written and well researched. I’d love to turn a reader friend of mine onto such an author.

prideprejudiceTo Receive: The Annotated “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen

I can’t get enough Jane Austen – the drawing rooms, the dances, the perfect manners, the Victorian witticisms… I love escaping to that world.

Karen Griffin

To Give: “The Last Lecture” by Randy the_last_lecture_2(1)Pausch

I’m sure many of you have seen the YouTube video of this professor diagnosed with terminal cancer. The book is a short read and so uplifting.

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To Receive: “The Time Keeper” by Mitch Albom

The description in Amazon states, “The inventor of the world’s first clock is punished for trying to measure God’s greatest gift.” How interesting does that sound? Plus I used to read Albom’s columns frequently.

Chip Hunter

To Give: “The Eye of the World” by Robert Jordan

eyeoftheworldABook 1 of the EPIC Wheel of Time series, which has been running since 1990, and which will be concluded with the final volume, “A Memory of Light” (volume 14), in 2013.  This series helped define the modern epic fantasy, influencing millions of readers.  The original author (Robert Jordan) died in 2007, leaving the series unfinished.  His family commisioned the up-and-coming, talented new author, Brandon Sanderson, who masterfully picked up where Jordan left off and promises to conclude the insanely-complicated story.

To Receive: “Lights Out: Islam, Free Speech and the Twilight of the West” by Mark Steyn.

lightsoutSteyn’s “America Alone” remains one of my favorite books, and details the surprising and frightening Islamification of Europe.  His controversial opinions and his condemnation of multi-culturalism and progressivism have earned him a branding as an alarmist, a racist, and a fear-mongerer.  From my experience, Steyn tells it like he sees it, makes strong arguments using unrefutable statistics, and forces the reader to acknowledge unpleasant truths.  All with a witty and often-hilarious style.

Steve Gerner

To Give: kant“On Free Choice Of The Will” St Augustine, “Critique of Pure Reason” by Immanuel Kant, or “Of The Social Contract, Or Principles of Political Right” by Jean-Jacques Rousseau

I’m cheating and offering three awesome political treaties. Understanding the ideas of these old dead white men is crucial to revealing how the contemporary world works and why it looks the way it does. You may need tons of caffeine to get through the writing and occasionally want to hit yourself over the head with a frying pan, but it’s all part of the journey.

warandpeaceTo Receive: “War and Peace” by Leo Tolstoy

I’ve had dreams of reading this epic masterpiece, but for now it serves as a handy peaceful paper weight on my desk and a warrior’s weapon of choice to knock out a zombie’s brain.

Adam Willard

earth abidesTo Give: “Earth Abides” by George Stewart

In a time when generic post-apocalyptic zombie stories are all the rage, I think far too many have overlooked this great classic.  It takes a much more realistic and believable look at the aftermath of an apocalypse and its effects on the environment, biology, and the rebirth of society; entertaining and fascinating.  One of my all-time favorites!

To Receive: “The Voice Bible: Step Into the Story of Scripture” by Ecclesia Bible Society
voicebible
A new take on Bible translation, renowned Christian authors and poets team with Biblical scholars to provide a unique voice to each of the books of the Bible, attempting to recreate in the English language the feel and impact that’s always existed in the original languages.  I’ve been reading the New Testament version for some time now and it’s the most enjoyable and refreshing Bible translation I’ve ever read.  I’m excited to see what they’ve done with the Old Testament.

Lauren McElwain

PurposeDrivenLifeTo Give: “The Purpose-Driven Life” by Rick Warren,

Because it really had some practical, everyday spiritual meaning to me, and I would like to share that… Actually, I already did. I gave a copy to my dad for his birthday.

The_Casual_VacancyTo Receive: “The Casual Vacancy” by J. K. Rowling,

Because I am curious about it, but I don’t want to buy it for myself.

John Estes

hobbit2002To Give: “The Hobbit” by J. R. R. Tolkien

Come on, the movie is releasing soon, and I believe there are too many people out there who haven’t yet traveled an unexpected journey.

Love-Is-the-Final-Fight-0830755373(1)To Receive: “Love is the Final Fight” by John M. Perkins

This book is the memoir of the Jackson Mississippi-based civil rights leader, John M. Perkins and a book I’ve wanted to tackle for some time now. Perkins’ mission to overcome hate with sincere love for each other, a cause I hope to exemplify.

David Hunter

endersgameTo Give: “Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card

To someone who is relatively young and doesn’t really “like to thehobbit2012read”, this is a great one to get them interested.

To Receive: “The Hobbit” by J. R. R. Tolkien

Because I am one of those crazy few who love fantasy and have never read this book.

Trey McCain

cloudatlasTo Give: “Cloud Atlas” by David Mitchell

Because even though I haven’t read it yet (I’ve got an audiobook version), it sounds pretty neat.

Welsh DictionaryTo Receive: I would like any Welsh Dictionary that provided good etymologies. There seems to be lack of those around these parts, if not in general.

Anne Lampkin

catscradleTo Give: Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

It’s my favorite Vonnegut novel

god-bless-you-mr-rosewaterTo Receive: God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

I love Vonnegut! Also, I really enjoyed God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian, and Mr. Rosewater is supposed to be similar.

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