Giving the Gift of Reading: UWC Librarians' Suggestions

December 15, 2017

* The Ideal Gift *

In the libraries, we know that books make an ideal gift. They are personal, but do not require you to know someone's pants size! Matching the perfect book with its reader is something our librarians have a lot of experience doing.

The Ideal Gift - A Book!



     Our Library Staff's
   Gifting List this Year:






Wisconsin Supper Clubs: an Old Fashioned Experience (2013) and (it’s follow-up) Wisconsin Supper Clubs: Another Round (2016)

by Ron Faiola are the perfect gifts for the Wisconsin supper club lover. These books feature the unique tradition of supper clubs in Wisconsin, highlighting clubs all over the state.  A few years ago I gave my brother-in-law the first book, and this year I plan to give him the second. He has enjoyed using Wisconsin Supper Clubs to inform some of his dining choices, and will hopefully enjoy expanding his knowledge of Wisconsin supper clubs with the follow-up. 
- Rachel Metzler, UWC Online & UW-Marathon County


Songs of a Dead Dreamer and Grimscribe

combines Thomas Ligotti’s first two horror fiction collections into one book.  The stories are said to invoke the “strange terrors” of Lovecraft and Poe, as well as the “brutal absurdity” of Kafka, all while hitting the reader with Ligotti’s own experimental brand of “cheap, gory” thrills.  I’m getting this for my 21 year old son who’s a big fan of Lovecraft and the “Lore” podcast.  I’m hoping that he won’t be able to sleep for a week!
- Cheryl Nessman, UWC Libraries


Turtles All the Way Down

Smart and philosophical, John Green’s novels are favorites in my household. I will be gifting my niece and daughters Green’s latest, Turtles All the Way Down (2017), a story that one might think is about a missing billionaire and an alluring $100,000 reward, but in reality is more about the inner battles of anxiety-ridden 16 year-old, Aza Holmes.  
- Jennifer Chamberlain, UWC Libraries


Blast Off to the Moon (Dr. Wonderful and her Dog)

This holiday season, I will be giving my 5-year old niece a copy of Blast Off to the Moon (Dr. Wonderful and her Dog) by Lauren Gunderson.  This illustrated children’s book follows Dr. Wonderful and her dog, Newton, in her scientific quest to find out why the moon changes shape in the sky every night.  And the best way to find the answer?  Taking a journey to the moon, of course!  What interested me about this book is that the author is an award-winning playwright, who based the book off a musical she wrote… also, the young protagonist is a girl who, along with her dog, solves problems using science!  The book is suitable for children ages 4-8.
- Missy Motl, UW-Fond du Lac


Indian Nations of Wisconsin: Histories of Endurance and Renewal

When I was in 6th grade I caught my mom reading my history textbook about Native Americans. Her curious spirit always inspires me, which is why I bought her Indian Nations of Wisconsin: Histories of Endurance and Renewal for Christmas. In this title Patty Lowe, a true scholar, focuses on the histories of the Ojibwe, Potawatomi, Oneida, Menominee, Mohican, Ho-Chunk, and Brothertown Indians.
- Treasa Bane, UW-Baraboo/Sauk County


Creatures of Will and Temper

Molly Tanzer’s new novel, Creatures of Will and Temper, is set in Victorian London where the main character, a fencer named Evadne Gray, is sent to look after her younger sister.  Evadne soon learns of a “secret, hidden world of devilish demons and their obedient servants”, and must battle these supernatural creatures when she learns that her sister has become entangled with a diabolic cult.  I will be giving this to my eldest son’s girlfriend who’s a fan of the Netflix series, Penny Dreadful, and the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series.
- Cheryl Nessman, UWC Libraries


David Letterman: The Last Giant of Late Night

Jason Zinoman, in his well-regarded book, David Letterman: The Last Giant of Late Night, provides fans of late night comedy a thoughtful and well-researched view into one of the comic geniuses of the last 40 years. It’s an intriguing look at a complicated, unconventional, insecure, and yet extremely successful television personality. Have Youtube ready, because fans of the show will want to re-live all the classic culture-defining moments from the show (e.g. In and Out Burger drive-thru with Zsa Zsa Gabor, Larry Bud Mellman greeting arrivals at the Port Authority Bus Terminal, Dave takes a shift at Taco Bell, and much more). This gift is going to my college roommate with whom I spent hours in the mid-80s watching Dave into the wee hours of the morning.
-Scott Silet, UW-Waukesha


Llama Llama Jingle Bells

My 16-month-old daughter is crazy for the Llama Llama books by Anna Dewdney!  I can see why; the colorful illustrations and simple rhymes appeal to her eyes and ears.   I love the depiction of a loving family relationship and every day activities, plus they are fun to read aloud.  For Christmas I’ve chosen Llama Llama Jingle Bells to add to my little one’s Llama Llama collection.
- Rachel Metzler, UWC Online & UW-Marathon County


A Gentleman In Moscow

My sister and I trade books of historical fiction.  This year I am giving her A Gentleman In Moscow by Amor Towles.  Covering a turbulent time period, 1922 to 1962, an aristocrat lives under house arrest as Russian history is reshaped across the street at the Kremlin.
- Beth Webb, UW-Rock County


Round Ireland with a Fridge

Need a gift for that "impossible-to-shop-for" person in your life? Round Ireland with a Fridge by Tony Hawks gives the universal gift of laughter.  It is a fun travel memoir of a man hitchhiking around Ireland with a small refrigerator.  It's surprising how many adventures one person can have with a small appliance.
- Ane Carriveau, UW-Fox Valley


The Fifth Season

is the first book in the Broken Earth trilogy, written by N.K. Jemison.  Awarded the 2016 Hugo Award, this science fantasy takes place on a planet on which there is one giant continent called the Stillness.  Every 50 years or so, the inhabitants of the Stillness are subject to what they call a “Fifth Season,” which is characterized by a catastrophic climate change which threatens to destroy their world.  Jemison places her strongminded characters in this tumultuous world as she tells the stories of their equally tumultuous lives.  I’m hoping my 23 year old son will like this one as he’s always been a big fan of fantasy series, and he’s currently living in LA where the effects of climate change are all too real.
- Cheryl Nessman, UWC Libraries


Happy Gifting from all of us in the Library!