Buying Books For Bibliophobes:

By Shana Hadi

October 5, 2018 6 min read

For many book lovers, the greatest holiday gift is a new addition to a personal library. If you're a self-described bibliophile, share the joy by reintroducing the (supposed) non-reader in your life to the wonders that books can offer. Check out these selections that are nearly impossible to put down! You can always buy another copy as a gift to yourself...

*Classic Romance: "Pride and Prejudice," by Jane Austen

There's little better than a romantic tale to set a new reader's heart aflutter. A classic, Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" depicts the breathtaking romance between main characters Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, who find their way to each other after a series of misunderstandings and changes of heart.

As William Deresiewicz from The New Yorker explains, what captures devoted fans is the novel's discrediting of the "absolute validity" of emotions and initial impressions. Elizabeth's contempt for Mr. Darcy starts from their first meeting, when he insults her, but her feelings drastically change when he later reveals his good nature.

The novel is also packed with witty lines, elegant prose and a cast of memorable characters with their own quirks and love affairs. There's also social commentary on the institution of marriage and a discussion of what produces a happy union (a perfect conversation starter for holiday dinners).

The novel is ideal for lovers and book lovers interested in this question: On what foundation does a "stout love" grow?

A print edition is available for $9 on Amazon.

*Self-Improvement: "Mindset: The New Psychology of Success," by Carol Dweck

Reading this book can put you in the right mindset to improve your life, just in time for a New Year's resolution. The acclaimed Carol Dweck, Ph.D., of Stanford University shares her discoveries from years of psychology research, challenging the common notion that your abilities are "fixed" parts of your identity. Dweck explains that adopting a "growth" mindset, which includes believing your abilities can be developed and focusing on hard work instead of natural talent, can help you succeed.

Dweck shows the many applications of "growth" mindset with her conversational approach to this book. Each chapter is divided by category, like relationships and education, and she includes mini-questionnaires to help you on your journey. Besides her research findings, she also draws on real-life examples from CEOs and other public figures, case studies and even personal anecdotes to show how anyone can transform their life.

This book is an essential read for those who want to increase their motivation so they can achieve their goals.

A print edition is available for $9 on Amazon.

*Thriller: "The Most Dangerous Game," by Richard Connell

The tension of this wild jungle adventure story will make your heart race, and its themes will linger in your mind. The protagonist, Sanger Rainsford, had plans to hunt jaguars in the Amazon rainforest -- that is, before he fell off a yacht and washed up on a mysterious island. However, when he meets Zaroff, the tables are turned: Rainsford becomes Zaroff's hunted prey whose only escape is to win this "dangerous game" by surviving for three days.

Inspired by big-game safaris popular in the 1920s, Connell explores the morality of the hunt and the distinction between humans and animals, which becomes increasingly blurred. The general claims "life is for the strong," but strength comes in many different forms.

This work is a perfect match for those who want a wild ride from start to finish.

A print edition is available for $4 on Amazon.

*Science Fiction: "The Martian," by Andy Weir

This one's another gripping story of survival, only set in the new frontier of space. After NASA astronaut Mark Watney is accidentally stranded on Mars, he must improvise to stay alive and contact Earth for help before he runs out of food and other precious resources -- like hope.

Watney's wisecracking personality and ingenuity are his greatest assets. Readers will laugh at his self-deprecating jokes and admire his resourcefulness. With only his botany and mechanical engineering knowledge, Watney successfully solves life-threatening challenges with his own flair. He even creates water from rocket fuel (hydrazine) and pure oxygen, while making snarky comments about the likelihood of explosion.

Thanks to Weir's in-depth research, all Watney's solutions are scientifically plausible. Weir ramps up the tension as the survival plan grows increasingly risky. Will Watney make it home alive?

The novel is a must for hard sci-fi lovers but also for anyone who enjoys problem-solving, appreciates sharp wit and cares about space exploration.

A print edition is available for $9 on Amazon.

*Coming-of-Age: "Anne of Green Gables," by Lucy Maud Montgomery

This charming novel about the trials and pains of growing up will inevitably warm your heart. Anne, an 11-year-old orphan, is mistakenly sent to live with the middle-aged Cuthbert siblings. But her fanciful ways brighten up their lives, and they soon consider her one of their own.

Montgomery crafts a lovely tale of Anne's adventures, striking a balance among Anne's literary dreams, friendships, academic rivalries and even domestic mishaps. Whether Anne has accidentally dyed her hair green or saved her best friend's sister with quick thinking, her kindness and youthful spirit shine through the prose.

Read this novel for the nostalgia or give it to someone currently in this phase of life. Anne's journey is universal in its appeal. It rekindles a childlike sense of wonder.

A print edition is available for $8 on Amazon.

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