Unlike most gifting suggestion lists you’ll come across, The Abominable Dump Bin endeavors to advise you on giving the gift you know somebody doesn’t want.
Yeah, I realize reading isn’t dead, what with the advent of e-readers and all. However, we all have people in our lives who watch the movie adaptation, play the game adaptation, and so forth– yet they will never, ever read the book of their own volition.
This guide is designed to help you give such persons a nudge in the literary direction.
Affliction by Russel Banks
Why do people who like crazy also like family drama? Maybe because they’re the same thing. Give ‘em this.
American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis
For the highfalutin somebody who can’t admit they enjoy genre stuff… And for the disaffected, counterculture, angsty Occupy sympathizer.
Audition by Ryu Murakami
Is somebody in your life into romance or quiet foreign comedy? Give them this and you’ve not only taken care of this holiday season, but also got April Fools Day covered… Forever!
Battle Royale by Koushun Takami
I’d say give this import to the sullen teen in your life… But then you might get accused of something. Instead give it to the sullen 20-something.
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Creepy, homegrown ethnic messed-upness: You guessed it, another family drama. Also for those who enjoy period pieces.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
For the person into science fiction, women’s studies, and damn fine storytelling. They’ll be back begging you for more before the bowl games are over.
High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
People who like romantic comedy will appreciate this one… And so will dudes, making this easy read a twofer.
Holes by Louis Sachar
For the young would-be reader in your life. It’s good, clean fun. No, seriously.
Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist
Smart, easy, and a refreshing take on vampires for the horror lover. Also a nice foreign import for the Euro-fetishist.
Wild At Heart/Perdita Durango by Barry Gifford
This brilliant, dark, sexy, surreal crime series just gets better as it goes along–just look at how much crazier Perdita Durango (USA film release: Dance With the Devil) is than even David Lynch’s Wild At Heart. Smooth, fast reading for all levels.
Yes, there are plenty of others that might be more obvious– like Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk. And, seriously, if playing the game version, playing with the toys, and watching stuff like The Hobbit and Harry Potter doesn’t convince somebody to read the book, and if visiting Hogwarts at Universal Studios doesn’t… I mean, seriously, you’re talking about a real stick in the mud, so don’t bother buying them books. Or do. Hey, it’s your money. You’ll note I also didn’t bother with the few cool things you have to read in school, like Slaughterhouse Five, or the stuff you just know from being conscious, like Silence of the Lambs— despite the fact they’re easy reads. And some of the foreign Manga-derived products like MPD Psycho and Oldboy have received plenty of play elsewhere. But you can mix and match these entries if you insist on living dangerously.
Complaints? Something I missed? Be sure to let me know. Note: this is not the gift-wrapping counter. Visit Sound Check with Jason Jack Miller for that service.