These are books I would give or ask for myself.

Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain is so diabolically fun that it will flip your ideas about restaurant life upside down. It’s twisted, it’s sexy, it’s the cooking version of backstage at a Rolling Stones show (or a Ramones show for Mr. Bourdain). This is not a cookbook! Give this to someone who wants to know what really happens in a restaurant kitchen.

I gave Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch to my sister-in-law for her baby shower. It is my all-time favorite Girl Power picture book. At my niece’s birthday party, I read this book to an overwhelmed toddler fresh from a nap to coax her into joining the fun. Worked like a charm! I’d give this to mothers and daughters.

I’ve asked Santa for The Tales of Beedle the Bard, J.K. Rowling’s book of fairy tales from the Harry Potter universe. A must have for HP fans.

My kids at school love, love, love Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid. The sequel, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules and the Do-It-Yourself book would make a nice set, and the third book in the series (The Last Straw) is due out in mid-January.

I love Jane Austen, and the Oxford Illustrated Jane Austen collection is also on my wish list. A beautiful set for any Janeite.

A great title for sentimental parents and their children. Paul Rogers’s depiction of Bob Dylan’s song makes Forever Young a very cool book.

For anyone who loves vampires and hasn’t already read the series, the Twilight boxed set is another good bet. Stephanie Meyer’s series is unavoidable these days, and I’m really enjoying it.