Season?s Readings

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ShoppingHoliday shopping is hard work. So how about some relief? How about one-stop shopping at your local bookstore? Here are some great suggestions to get you going (and to shorten your gift-buying load):

African-American Authors

For any child age 10 to 14, ?My Name is Henry Bibb? by Afua Cooper is a historical novel they?ll love. It?s the story of a young boy born into slavery and the life-changing events that made him think of escape. Hint: wrap it up with ?My Name is Phillis Wheatley? by the same author.

It?s a pretty safe bet that you?ve got someone on your list who loves music. So why not give him or her ?Lawdy Miss Clawdy ? The True King of the 50s ? The Lloyd Price Story? by William ?Dollar-Bill? Waller. Filled with pictures and memories, this book is all about Lloyd Price, his life, the people he knew (Ike and Tina! Fats Domino! Sam Cooke!) and his enormous contribution to music. Hint: wrap it up with a compilation CD or concert tickets.

For anyone who wants an uplifting story as a gift, look for ?What Else But Home? by Michael Rosen. This is the triumphant story of a family that adopted and ?adopted? boys who had little, and gave them everything in the form of support, guidance, and love. Hint: wrap it up along with a donation to your giftee?s favorite charity for a double gift they?ll appreciate.

If your giftee just needs a divine nudge in the right direction for the coming new year, how about giving ?Making Great Decisions for a Life Without Limits? by T.D. Jakes. Using a spiritual approach to make sense of personal relationships, this book is good for both men and women who are looking for love in all the wrong places.

Know somebody who?s struggling with issues of race ? even though it?s the Twenty-First Century? If you do, then wrap up ?Survival in a Sea of White? by Marcia E. Jones Cross, which is a story of one woman?s move from the familiarity of home to an environment of hostility and unwelcome. While it may be a little hard to find, it?s a great read for anyone of any race who struggles with hatred and lack of acceptance.

Know someone who needs a good boost? For women, wrap up ?Tears to Triumph? by Dawn Marie Daniels, Candace Sandy, and Dr. Jarralynne Agee. This book offers helpful stories, worksheets, insightful thought-provokers and plans to move past hard times and stay there. For men or women, look for ?Family Affair?, edited by Gil L. Robertson IV.? Filled with essays from some of today?s best writers, entertainers, and thinkers, this book offers ideas and thoughts on being African American in today?s world, what it means, and how we can all reach a better understanding together.

Caribbean Authors
Looking for a fun romance with island flavor? Then look for ?Caf? au Lait? by Liane Spencer. When everything goes wrong for Shari Zamore, she returns home to Trinidad to heal her soul. What she finds is a handsome man to heal her heart, too?.

If your giftee longs to get back to the island, then look for ?White Frock & Coals Dust? by Lincoln Depradine. This book, filled with gossipy tales and wonderful characters is the story of The Wharf neighborhood of Grenada and the people who call it home. Truth? Or novel? Doesn?t matter? it will make a great gift.

Business Books
Someone on your gift list is always coming up with great ideas. Nurture those notions by wrapping up ?The Genius Machine? by Gerald Sindell. This book is all about turning simple ideas into money-making blockbusters. Hint: wrap it up with a nice journal and watch what happens?. Also look for ?How to Salvage More Millions From Your Small Business? by Ron Sturgeon. If your giftee wants riches, this book is a great place to start.

How does a businessperson get noticed? You can help by wrapping up ?Step Into the Spotlight! A Guide to Getting Noticed? by Tsufit. Using show biz analogies and amazing real-life examples of big corporations who?ve stepped out on a limb to do something different, this book offers a step-by-step method of making a splash in business and in life. Bonus: it?s easy to read and fun, too.

In this economy, it?s no surprise that someone on your list is thinking about starting a new business. Show your support by giving ?The Accidental Entrepreneur? by Susan Urquhart-Brown. This book is filled with Wish-I?d-Known-That hints and tips from people who?ve been there and will definitely help on the business-building journey. Also look for ?Profits Aren?t Everything, They?re the Only Thing? by George Cloutier. This book offers ?rules? to follow to ensure that your business grows and succeeds in all the right places.

If your giftee is in advertising ? particularly if she?s a woman in a man?s world ? she?ll enjoy reading ?Ad Women? by Juliann Sivulka. This book is about women in advertising and how their decisions affect us all. It?s a great book for businesspeople, as well as anyone who?s fascinated by how ads influence consumers. Also check out ?Rubies in the Orchard? by Lynda Resnick (with Francis Wilkinson), a book about branding and finding ?hidden gems? in your company.

All business owners want people to talk about their company ? in a good way. Wrap up ?Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3,000? by Pete Blackshaw, give it to the businessperson on your list, and ensure that the good stuff happens. Along the same lines, look for ?It?s Not What You Sell, It?s What You Stand For? by Roy M. Spence, Jr. This book is meant for anyone who wants their business to excel and make a difference.

Believe it or not, your favorite entrepreneur has all he or she needs to be rich. Find out more by giving ?Cash in a Flash? by Mark Victor Hansen and Robert G. Allen. This is a book about filling the bank account when the economy and business is slow. There are lots of good ideas in here, and this book will make someone smile (and make them money). Take it a step further by wrapping up ?Who?s Your Gladys? by Marilyn Suttle and Lori Jo Vest. That?s a book every businessperson needs, because it?s how to turn all customers ? even the most trying ones ? into big fans.

New managers will enjoy getting ?Leadership and the Sexes? by Michael Gurian with Barbara Annis. This book explains the science of gender and how knowing it can lead to success. Also look for ?The Big Leap? by Gay Hendricks. That?s a book about overcoming fears and getting ahead in life and in business.

If your giftee has experienced a lot of change this year (or anticipates some in 2010), wrap up ?Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change, 3rd edition? by William Bridges, PhD. Revised to reflect a new work environment, this book includes thought-provoking quizzes to get that businessperson back on track in the new year.
If you?re looking for a gift for someone who once loved to play the stock market, then wrap up ?F Wall Street? by Joe Ponzio. This is an in-your-face, common-sense book about investing, and it includes lots of good ideas.

Any businessperson who needs motivation needs ?I am Potential? by Patrick Henry Hughes. Born with a rare genetic disorder, the author of this book doesn?t let anything stop him. Not only is this a book that puts things into perspective, but it?s also a darn good story. Also look for ?Happiness from the Inside Out? by Robert Mack, which is about living a better life by knowing yourself from within.

Every business owner loves it when those ?EUREKA? moments happen. Help your favorite businessperson to get more of those by wrapping up ?The Eureka! Enigma? by Ron G. Holland. This book unlocks the keys to complete success and is easy to read with small chapters. Also check out ?Coaching and Mentoring? by Jane Renton because giving is a good way of getting.

Because doing business means crossing the ocean sometimes, somebody on your gift list would appreciate a little help in that department. So here?s something to wrap up: ?Africa: Strictly Business? by Rosalind Kilkenny McLymont. This serious book is a look at how business cultures work in Africa, including agriculture, technology, and medical advances. Hint: wrap this up inside a nice, airport-safe briefcase. Also look for ?How to Say It: Doing Business in Latin America? by Kevin Michael Diran, EdD. This book is a must-have for anyone in business; it?s small enough to tuck in a briefcase or pocket, it includes etiquette and cultural things you should know, and it?s written in an easy-to-use format.

The inventor on your gift list will truly appreciate getting ?The Genie in the Machine? by Robert Plotkin. This provocative book promises to explain the new revolution in artificial invention (you read that right) and who will control tomorrow?s technology.

And there you are: something for pretty much everybody you need to buy for, at tiny non-budget-busting prices. And if none of these books are perfect, be sure to ask your favorite bookseller for his or her expert help because, hey! That?s what they?re paid to know, right? Season?s Readings!