“This is the time of year when thoughts turn to gift-giving. Could you suggest four books that would be ideal for "x" type of person - you get to define "x" - or a book for each of four different types of person…again, your choice of types.”
I’m choosing the “four different types of person” option for this question, and, who knows, maybe you know some folks like the ones I’m describing.
For my husband: he’s a huge Elmore Leonard fan, though he also enjoys Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce books too (hey, we all have our guilty pleasures) and he doesn’t get much of a chance to read novels, so, when he does, he likes to kick back and enjoy the adventure. As luck would have it, there’s a new Lee Child book available: Night School takes his character, Jack Reacher, back to 1996 when he’s still in the forces. For anyone who enjoys a lone-wolf scenario, Jack Reacher has to be their go-to character, and Lee Child their go-to writer. His style is easy to read and sucks you in from the beginning. This gift would earn me a couple of cooked breakfasts, I’m sure. (In order to ensure I get cooked breakfasts for a whole week, all I’ll need to do is also buy him Ian Rankin’s new Rebus book, Even Dogs in the Wild, and Linwood Barclay’s most recent release, The Twenty Three).
For my mum: she’s a lover of traditional mysteries, an avid library-user, and reads a few books each week. Of course I’m her favourite author (allow me that, at least?) but, otherwise, I know she prefers British, rather than non-British, settings; despite the fact she’s visited me in Vancouver, Canada many times, she tells me she cannot envisage the settings in “American cozies” and finds the dialogue somewhat confusing, too. She’s read everything Agatha Christie wrote - several times - and she’s the reason I love Christie and Marsh. That being said, she’s okay with books by those authors written at that time, but doesn’t like historicals – she’s particularly averse to anything set in the 1950s or 1960s; she doesn’t care for books that “try to be funny”, but enjoys them when they are light; she gets annoyed with “young things” (she’s in her eighties) traipsing about falling over clues; she seems to prefer main characters who are female (though she doesn’t admit it); she hates anything that smacks of romance. So…tough to choose for. A “picky” reader. For her I’m going to get the books featuring Miss Silver by Patricia Wentworth. When mum and I went to The Mysterious Bookshop in New York last year, she found an old Miss Silver Mystery, was gifted it by the lovely people who run the store, and enjoyed it very much. I’ll stick with those for mum. She’ll lap them up, and will appreciate the fact I have hunted about for them on her behalf.
Grandsons and granddaughters: (I’m counting this as two different types of person….though, being six people, they are really six different types of person, however young). I have three grandsons – aged zero to four, and three granddaughters – aged two to seven, so I’m going for something that can be read aloud to them, to begin with, so they can enjoy a brotherly and/or sisterly experience, and which they can then enjoy as they read alone for years to come. I travel a great deal, and always have....I would like all my grandchildren to understand how travel and exploration can help them learn, and broaden their horizons, so a set of books featuring Dora and Diego would be just the ticket.
Cathy Ace is the Bony Blithe Award-winning author of The Cait Morgan Mysteries (#8 The Corpse with the Ruby Lips was released on November 1st) and The WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries (#2 The Case of the Missing Morris Dancer was published in paperback in the USA & Canada on November 1st, and #3, The Case of the Curious Cook, will be released in hardcover in the UK on November 30th.) You can find out more about Cathy, her work and her characters at her website, where you can also sign up for her newsletter with news, updates and special offers: http://cathyace.com/