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The Dog Ear: Books to give for the holidays

By Alyssa McDonagh
On December 3, 2012

The holiday season is officially here. While buying gifts for people is probably the last thing on many people's minds with finals sneaking up on us, gifts are eventually going to have to be purchased. If you're at a loss as to what to get someone, I recommend a book. Books are the perfect gift. You can give someone an adventure, a romance, a mystery, a comedy and words to live by all in one package neatly bound together. If you're stuck on what book to buy, here is what I recommend.
For fans of "The Hunger Games" I strongly recommend Veronica Roth's "Divergent." This is the first book in another dystopian trilogy. In this world, society is split into five different groups, each one dedicated to a certain personality trait. Once Beatrice, the protagonist, picks which group she wants to be a part of, she is sent into a whirlwind of adventure that is more than she ever could have anticipated. You'll find yourself whipping through the pages, desperate to find out what happens next. This book will also make you think, albeit not so cheerfully, about what would happen to our world if situations like this occurred.
Those who identify with Holden Caulfield would enjoy "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky. Chbosky references "The Catcher in the Rye" in his novel when the narrator, a teenaged boy named Charlie, is given the book to read by a teacher. Charlie is struggling to solve his problems and to find his niche. As the book progresses, his perspectives on the world are revealed. While reading, you'll find yourself relating to Charlie or being taken aback by some of the insightful words the author has imparted.
Nicholas Sparks readers and hopeless romantics will love "The Time Traveler's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger. The characters, Claire and Henry, are passionately in love with each other but they have to deal with a major hiccup in their relationship. Henry time travels and cannot control when he leaves nor where he will find himself once he does. The novel jumps from one point in the character's life to the next, backward and forwards, so readers have to pay attention to avoid confusion. Emotional and intriguing, this unique tale is not your average love story.
Readers who are still lamenting that the "Harry Potter" series have ended should investigate the "A Song of Fire and Ice" series by George R. R. Martin. Even though the first book, "A Game of Thrones" is almost nothing like "Harry Potter" there is something to be said for getting hooked on a series of books. The excitement that surrounds finding out the answers to mysteries and getting to know a cast of characters is present, along with a new world to explore. While it won't replace "Harry Potter," this series is a worthwhile addition to fantasy book collections.
As you read through my recommendations, maybe you'll be inspired and think of a book you enjoy that you want to give to a friend or family member. When you give a book, the recipient will think of you whenever they read it and appreciate the gesture. Regardless of what book you choose to give, it is a gift that will last longer than the holiday season. Have a great winter break and holidays!

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