Bumpershine Holiday Gift Guide – Part 1: Books

Life - Keith Richards Jay-Z - Decoded

It’s the last full shopping weekend before Christmas and just in case you didn’t know what to get for me, I figured I’d make a handy list of holiday gifts for my many friends and admirers. Regular readers may have noticed that the majority of my consumer oriented posts fall into four basic categories: Music, Books, DVDs and Technology, so I figured that’s how I’d divide up my 1st Annual Bumpershine Holiday Gift Guide. I had planned to do this as one long post, but now that it’s almost 3AM and I’ve only got books done, I’m breaking it into parts. (Keep your fingers crossed for parts 2-4.)

Music Books
A couple of big music books dropped just in time for the holidays (Jay-Z and Keith Richards I’m looking and at you), but there were also a bunch of other music memoirs, essays, historical accounts and coffee table books that came out in 2010 that are worth mentioning and/or buying for that special someone in your life.

LifeKeith Richards
Just KidsPatti Smith (Winner of the National Book Award)
ComposedRosanne Cash
Rat GirlKristin Hersh
Star Guitars: 101 Guitars That Rocked the WorldDave Hunter
The Big PaybackDan Charnas
Soul MiningDaniel Lanois
Bob Marley and the Golden Age of ReggaeKim Gottlieb-Walker, Jeff Walker
Bob Dylan by Greil Marcus: Writings 1968-2010Greil Marcus
Mustaine: A Heavy Metal MemoirDave Mustaine
Between a Heart and a Rock Place A MemoirPat Benatar
Late, Late at NightRick Springfield
Evening’s EmpireBill Flanagan
Tattoos & TequilaVince Neil
Me, the Mob, and the Music: One Helluva Ride with Tommy James & The ShondellsTommy James
Please Take Me Off the Guest ListNick Zinner

Earth (The Book)

Humor Books and/or Books by Comedians:
As always, there were a bunch of comedians who flexed their literary muscles this year each with varying degrees of success (who would have thought Chelsea Handler could sell out five shows at Radio City). In the world of literary humor, The Daily Show also released another bestseller in Earth (The Book) and David Sedaris released a disappointing new book of “animal fables” and a decidedly kitschy vinyl only audiobook.

Squirrel Seeks ChipmunkDavid Sedaris
Live For Your Listening PleasureDavid Sedaris
Simple TimesAmy Sedaris
I’m Dreaming of a Black ChristmasLewis Black
40: A Doonesbury RetrospectiveGary Trudeau
Booky Wook 2Russell Brand
Sleepwalk With MeMike Birbiglia
Dear Mrs. FitzsimmonsGreg Fitzsimmons
How to Beat Up AnybodyJudah Friedlander
I’m Not HighJim Breuer
Earth (The Book)Jon Stewart
Sexy Book of Sexy SexKristen Schaal
The BedwetterSarah Silverman
I Know I Am, But What Are YouSamantha Bee
Half EmptyDavid Rakoff
Chelsea Chelsea Bang BangChelsea Handler
Al Jaffee’s Mad LifeAl Jaffee, Mary-Lou Weisman

Non-Fiction Books:
When music and humor gets you down, there’s nothing a good dose of highly stylized reality to pump you back up.

UnbrokenLauren Hillenbrand
Game ChangeJohn Heileman, Mark Halperin
The Big ShortMichael Lewis
Medium RawAnthony Bourdain
WarSebastian Junger
The Immortal Life of Henrietta LacksRebecca Skloot

Life - David Mitchell Freedom - Jonathan Franzen

Literary Fiction
Aside from Jonathan Franzen‘s 800 lb gorilla of a novel, there were a few other books which impressed the literati this year. Check out my list below:

FreedomJonathan Franzen
Sunset ParkPaul Auster
Great HouseNicole Krauss
Super Sad True Love StoryGary Shteyngart
The UnnamedJoshua Ferris
Luka and the Fire of LifeSalman Rushdie
Her Fearful SymmetryAudrey Niffenegger
The Widowers TaleJulia Glass
Imperial BedroomsBret Easton Ellis
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de ZoetDavid Mitchell
Beatrice and VirgilYann Martel
SolarIan McEwan
NemesisPhilip Roth

Steig Larsson - The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo Steig Larsson - The Girl Who Played with Fire Steig Larsson - The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

Last but not least, how could I not mention the book that everyone on the subway was reading at the same time, The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo by Steig Larsson. Runners up in this category include parts 2 and 3 of The Millenium Trilogy, The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest.

PS To see the whole year’s worth of big box book store events, click here.