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Timeless truths to everybody lies: Books that make us wise

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Finally – your holiday shopping is done.

Well, except for … um, and for … and … OK, you’re not really done.

Everyone, you included, has that one person on the gift list who’s hard to buy for and another person who’s really fussy, and a grandma who has everything.

You know who they are, so see if some of these great books might be matches for your list, or books to reward you, holiday shopper, at the end of a long, stressful day.


Business-minded friends will love unwrapping “Defined by Design” by Kathryn H. Anthony. Why are we attracted to the things we buy? Does that extend to the buildings we inhabit, the clothes we wear or the places we eat? Design is everything.

Wrap it up with “Leading Organizations: Ten Timeless Truths” by Scott Keller and Mary Meaney, a book with classic answers for leaders in any industry.

If you’ve got a creative type on your gift list, then wrap up “Things Are What You Make of Them” by Adam J. Kurtz. It’s a book of thought-starters and work-pokers that could help open someone’s creative doors.

Wrap it up with “The Line” by Keri Smith, author of “Wreck this Journal,” and a pack of flashy new pens for the best gift ever.

For the person whose dream is big – really big – then wrap up “Becoming Facebook” by Michael Hoefflinger. It’s a book about the “10 Challenges” that the internet behemoth has overcome and how those challenges have changed the world and the world of business.

If your gift list includes a woman with her eye on high places, then “The Unspoken Code” by Marja Norris” is a great gift. It’s kind of a guideline for female CEOs, complete with worksheets and extra advice.

Wrap it up with “This is How We Rise” by Claudia Chan, a book about potential and leadership. I also like “Unscrewed” by Jaclyn Friedman, about getting what you deserve in life and business.


For the traveler on your list, “The Wayfarer’s Handbook” by Even S. Rice will be a really nice stocking stuffer. This little book is filled with nuggets of suggestions, ideas, tips and facts. Best of all: it’s pocket-sized and lightweight.

Theorists and those who like to dig into the other side of society will like unwrapping “The New World Order Book” by Nick Redfern. Who really runs things? What do various symbols mean on flags or logos? Who wins in a war on world domination? It’s in this book. Wrap it up with “The Illuminati: The Secret Society that Hijacked the World” by Jim Marrs, for more big secrets.

The historian on your list will be shocked when you hand him “Greater Gotham: A History of New York City from 1898 to 1919” by Mike Wallace. Shocked – because this definitive book is huge and heavy and will last a long time. Wrap it up with “Going into Town: A Love Letter to New York” by Roz Chast for a gift that will last even longer.

For the poll-follower on your list, “Everybody Lies” by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz might make a great gift. This is a book about how “facts” lie, the internet can be wrong and polls often don’t mean a thing.


Anyone interested in how our brains work will want to read “Is It All In Your Head? True Stories of Imaginary Illness” by Suzanne O’Sullivan M.D. How do psychosomatic disorders happen? Is there a way to stop them? What can be done about them and how can a sufferer’s loved ones help?

Wrap it up with “Why? What Makes Us Curious” by Mario Livio for a well-rounded look at your round noggin.

Is there a nature-lover on your list? If so, wrap up “The Nature Fix” by Florence Williams. This book explains why we need to go outside to be with trees and grass, the many ways it’s good for us and how it has hidden benefits.

For the doctor-in-training or touch healer on your list, “Mirror Touch” by Joel Salinas, M.D. is a great choice. Salinas is a neurologist who has mirror-touch synesthesia, which means he can almost feel the same illnesses his patients experience. This book is about his life and what it’s like to have heightened empathy. Fascinating, huh?


No doubt, there’s a person on your list who’s fought for freedom, and “Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom” by Condoleezza Rice is the gift they’ll love to unwrap. More than just a look at domestic issues, this book examines issues of freedom and democracy around the world, where Rice points out that many countries now count as democracies – and others are trying.

For the giftee who’s fascinated with the politics of the presidency, “The Impossible Presidency” by Jeremi Suri will be most welcome. This book looks at the power of the office, the accomplishments of past presidents, how it affects the office today and what kind of impact it will have on future politicians.

If there was ever a book you need to wrap up for your political giftee, it’s “The Handy American Government Answer Book” by Gina Misiroglu. Imagine pages and pages that make politics easy to understand, and that explain how things work.

Season’s readings!

Terri Schlichenmeyer of Wisconsin writes reviews of business books. Reading since she was 3, she owns 13,000 books and can be reached at bookwormsez@yahoo.com.

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