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The 12 books of Christmas

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Retail stores are decking the halls, restaurants are booking parties, and neighbours are balanced precariously on ladders, adorning their homes with strings of lights. With the holiday season right around the corner, it’s time for savvy shoppers to start compiling that all-important shopping list, and instead of resorting to the boring old scarf or gift certificate for your hard-to-buy-for brother or dad, why not offer up a literary gift: a book. We’ve compiled a list of 12 good reads for 12 different people on your shopping list, making two suggestions each week: husbands, wives, crazy uncles and aunts, teenage boys and girls, tiny tots, the boss, your American (pro-Obama) friend, the foodie, the family nature nut and local political junkie. Happy reading!

 

For the teenage girl – Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer

 

It was with much hesitation that I picked up “Twilight” from a Chapters bookstore in mid-November. My girlfriend urged me on to it, I swear. It seemed like everyone was reading it and it was only $11 — what harm could it do, aside from forcing me to admit I was reading a novel for teenage girls?

Not a lot as it turns out. I opened the book on a Sunday and by the end of the day had devoured almost 100 pages. I hadn’t read a book that fast since The Da Vinci Code, only this one didn’t claim to be any smarter than it was.

It didn’t take me long to decide that Twilight could be the perfect Christmas gift for any teenage girl who’s been living under a rock the past few months.

The story concerns a young girl, Bella Swan, who moves from Phoenix to the small Pacific Northwest town of Forks. Mountains envelop the town on all sides and the sun never seems to shine. It’s a perfect place for the Cullens, a family of “vegetarian” vampires living in perpetual withdrawal for human blood.

The Cullens are secluded, pale-faced and eerily beautiful. Bella can’t take her eyes off of Edward, who seems like the youngest of them, after she sees him in a cafeteria one day. One day Edward notices her noticing him, and in a roundabout way the two fall in love, all the while trying to keep his Transylvanian identity a secret. Of course, that’s easier said than done when a troop of hungry vampires wanders into town.

Twilight isn’t much of a rigorous read — like The Da Vinci Code, you could probably finish it within three days, regardless of your reading ability.

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