The Omni Personal Shoppers Are On Call: Send Us Your Toughest Book Gift Puzzlers

Recently, the Wall Street Journal asked a group of booksellers and bloggers, including us Amazon book editors, to recommend gift ideas for a half-dozen profiled readers: e.g., "An 81-year-old retired physician who loves tennis, politics and traveling. Loves biography and non-fiction, particularly idea-driven books such as Jared Diamond’s 'Guns, Germs and Steel' and Charles Mann’s '1491.' He's also an avid fiction reader and likes works by Patrick O’ Brian, the George MacDonald Fraser and Dorothy Dunnett," or "A 14-year-old boy who loved 'Harry Potter' but generally isn’t an enthusiastic reader. He enjoys sports, music and videogames. When forced to read it for school, he loved 'Ellen Foster.'" (Real people or not? We weren't sure, but the profiles were pretty convincing.)

We had a great time putting together our recommendations (which included Stir, The BLDGBLOG Book, and Eyes Like Stars--we were also happy to see someone else picked Omni's own Jeff VanderMeer's new novel, Finch), and we thought we'd like to do more of it. So from now until the last menorah candle burns out and Santa hitches up Donner and Blitzen, we'll be taking requests from the bandstand. Describe your trickiest gift recipients in the comments to this post (with as much detail as possible), or email them to omnivoracious at, and we'll do our best to suggest the perfect book, new or old, to give them. And, more helpfully, no doubt, we'll open up the floor to the Omni hive mind, and we hope that you fellow rabid readers out there will add your own suggestions.

Whether you have a one-book-a-year reader in mind, or someone who reads so much you're afraid you could never find something for them they haven't read already (or whether you're just asking for yourself!), let us know, and we'll see what we can do to help. Happy giving. --Tom

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