Book Ideas for Gifts or Reading

Looking for a good Christmas gift this year? How about a good book?

Here’s a list of some that I’ve found informational, and some I’ve enjoyed for pleasure over the years.

Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss

This book focuses on communication centered around negotiation, and it’s got a lot of good strategies to use. I bought it on my tablet and it’s in my queue to go back and make an outline from all the highlighted passages I made along the way. It’s got a great flow to it, combining memoir with other people’s stories. I plan to use this to tweak out better communication strategies with my students and in everyday life.

Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger

This is my current read. It’s very interesting to see what sparks products and ideas to take off, and this will be helpful for making ads and doing marketing for my books and art. But not only that, I can see where it’s beneficial to make out trends in society and look for patterns. One of the most interesting examples the book has mentioned thus far is the song Friday by Rebecca Black. Not the greatest song—I play it when my husband is on the toilet to annoy the heck out of him. But it had huge hits on YouTube, and a study showed that those hits generally spiked on…Fridays. People searched for things about Friday on Fridays and her video was near the top of the list.

Amazon Ads Unleashed by Robert J. Ryan

Here Robert breaks down Amazon ads in a fun and systematic way, with ideas that I think are a great place to start. He also has a Facebook group where he continues to drop more knowledge. There are other books he’s written as well that I haven’t gotten to yet, but I will eventually.

Some things I’ve read in the past for pleasure:

Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan

If you like science thrillers, this might be for you. It’s actually an autobiography detailing a reporter’s descent into losing her mind, but in the end, it turns out to be not psychological, but physiological. Great writing.

Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs

This and the rest of his books are extremely funny. More of in a wow-did-that-really-happen kind of way. They’re great books for people-watching.

Light by M. John Harrison

This book is a little hard to explain. The blurb on Amazon reads, “…a serial killer on the run from the entity that drives him to kill. He is seeking escape in a future that doesn’t exist yet—a quantum world that he and his physicist partner hope to access through a breach of time and space itself.”

But that doesn’t begin to describe how good the writing is. When I got to the end, it was like everything clicked and the words cascaded in a whirl of colors, painting a picture of the finale. While a little hard to follow, all the pieces came together at the end beautifully.

The Visitation by Frank Peretti

If ever there was a book to emulate as an author, it would be this one. The style is so rich, with each intricate character woven so deftly together throughout the two main plots. In my opinion, this is the best of the best writing. Some of his other books are good, like the Omen (my second favorite), and the This Present Darkness series, but overall I think The Visitation was his masterpiece.

Now, not going to lie, it is Christian fiction. But it touched me deeply, in many ways, and shaped my writing as an author. Whenever I think about what to write, or how I want to phrase something, I think about that book, and how the words were intertwined together. Of course, I’m not saying I write as well as he does, but maybe someday.

Speaking of my books…

Catnip, Toilet Paper, and Lasers by M.G. Rorai

This is my best seller. It’s hilarious cat poems about cantankerous cats and what they do best—catting. It includes antics from my own kitties, Socks and Elsa, which if you follow my blog you know they get into some mischief. It’s selling pretty decent this holiday season—if you’re a cat lover or have a cat lover you need a gift for, they will get a kick out of this book.

Nightmares & Twisted Thoughts by M.G. Spear

My second best-selling book. This short horror story collection is filled with thrills and chills, from murderous toilet paper to things the shadows only whisper about. If you’re looking to give some goosebumps, you’ve come to the right place.

A Whiskered Perspective by M.G. Spear

This is a domestic thriller about a cat on a mission to protect his owner. Filled with drama, action, and humor, it’s sure to bring a few skips to any reader’s heart. Just what the holiday season needs, right?

Creature Cat Tales by M.G. Rorai

These are life lesson poems told by creatures cats, complete with pictures. A great gift to read to your kids or for an advanced reader.

The Witchy series by M.G. Spear

This series is young adult urban fantasy. Evil afoot, flying cats, and a young woman traipsing from her normal life and into the witchy world while trying to keep everything together. Can you really trust a black cat?

I hope you find some good reads and present ideas off my list and spread the cheer of good books. Here’s to happy reading this holiday season!

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