Great Christmas Gifts — Books, of course!

by | Dec 10, 2017 | Karna Small Bodman, Chris Goff, KJ Howe, Gayle Lynds, On writing | 6 comments

….by Karna Small Bodman

At this wonderful time of the year, we Rogues are writing about favorite Christmas gifts we have received.  I’ve been thinking about that and have several to share with you, along with some ideas of other great novels you may want to share with your family and friends.  Reviewing the past, some of the gifts I remember the most were books! In fact, how about a Christmas tree laden with them?
Going back many (many) years, when I was a teenager starting out in a big High School, I had so many of the usual concerns: Will I “fit in,” make any new friends, be able to contribute anything useful? That’s when I was given the book that has sold millions of copies and been updated over and over for the last 50 years. 

This famous book by Dale Carnegie made such an impression on me that I have given copies to  members of our family when they reached those impressionable teenage times.

Decades later I remember receiving a copy of an exciting thriller by one of my (now) favorite authors, Nelson DeMille.  I became a true fan of his writing when I read his ‘breakthrough” novel written a long time ago, The Charm School. More recently, I was happy to get to know him when we were both signing at the big publishers’ convention, Book Expo, in New York.  (Later he graciously gave me a “blurb” for my second thriller, Gambit).

What about this coming Christmas? What books should we give to our own family and friends? And since there are some three million (!) books published every year, how in the world can we figure out which ones to select? Should it be word-of-mouth, marketing ads extolling the virtues of a particular story, appearance on a bestseller list or perhaps personal comments made by other bestselling authors or reviews by well known publications?

When it comes to New York Times bestselling authors, one place to look is our own list of guest bloggers who have been “In the Rogue Limelight.” And one of the best-known, whose latest novel, The Midnight Line,  has been on a bestseller list for weeks now is our friend, Lee Child. He loves to collect and read wonderful books — check out this shot of his library:

Author Lee Child

Let’s also check out reviews and comments about particular novels you could consider giving as gifts this year:

     “Breath-taking suspense,” — Catherine Coulter on Red Sky by

     “Authentic settings, non-stop action,” — Steve Berry on Trojan Horse by

     “You get hooked on page one,” — Nelson DeMille on The Assassins by

     “One of my favorite characters,” — Lisa Gardner on Blood Run by

     “A holiday tour with an ocean view, complete with a murder mystery,” — Publishers Weekly on   
    Death in Nantucket by 

     “Unparalleled story-telling,” — Clive Cussler on The Freedom Broker by 

     “Secrets around every corner and an exciting premise,” — Kirkus reviews on Desert Dark by 
And okay – I guess I’ll add my latest endeavor to this list of gift-ideas by my Rogue colleagues:
     “Smart, slick, exciting as hell,” — Christopher Reich on Castle Bravo by
One final comment about favorite books at Christmas time — I now look forward to an annual tradition at our home here on Christmas Eve….and that is when my husband will gather the children (no matter the ages) around him on the couch and read one of the most famous stories of all:
So, as you do your Christmas shopping, we hope you’ll consider a good book for some of those on your list.  And while you’re at it, leave a comment to let us Rogues know what some of YOUR favorite Christmas gifts have been and what you are going to leave under the tree for your own loved ones.  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!
…Submitted by Karna Small Bodman

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  1. S. Lee Manning

    Books are my favorite present, too. How wonderful to get the gift of excitement and imagination. I love that Iceland has a tradition of giving books on Christmas Eve and then spending that night reading.

  2. Sonja Stone

    Karna, what a wonderful list! And I love the Little Golden Book you included! I don't think I've ever celebrated a holiday season without giving and receiving books–not once. (I love my family of nerds.)

  3. Jamie Freveletti

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Jamie Freveletti

    I love the book Christmas tree! We give books every year and my favorite thing to do is to search for books in the bookstore and I must admit, I end up getting one (or two) for myself. Have a wonderful holiday!

  5. Jamie Freveletti

    PS. Deleted first comment when I saw a typo. Couldn't let it stand and retyped!

  6. Gayle Lynds

    I loved the progression of your blog about books as gifts during the holidays, Karna. I have such fond memories of both the Dale Carnegie book and the Nelson DeMille book. And I loved seeing the list of Rogue books, too. You told a great story in the blog, and that's what all of us try to do in our books, too. Merry Holidays to all!