Today’s guest post, in honor of Black Friday, is from Roxanne Coady of R.J. Julia Booksellers in Madison, Connecticut. For more than 20 years, the book store has offered personalized in-store service. Now it's available online via Just the Right Book!, a program which will send books to the person of your choice based on their personal tastes and interests at regular intervals—call it a tailor-made “book of the month” club. Roxanne stopped by the blog to give readers a few ideas for difficult-to-buy-for folks.

Books for everyone on your list


guest post by Roxanne J. Coady, Owner of RJ Julia Booksellers, and founder of Just the Right Book!

I always hear from people that they’d love to give a book as a gift to lots of people on their list. It’s more fun, it’s more thoughtful and it’s more lasting. That’s the easy part. What’s the tough part? Figuring out which book to give.

We’re already on the fast track for holiday shopping, so it seemed like a good time to help you find books for people on your list. These ideas might help get you started:

For the New Yorker-loving, learn-for-the-sake-of-learning types, who have probably read most of the Classics:


  • The Poets Laureate Anthology – the best of the last century plus an introduction by Billy Collins.

  • How to Live by Sarah Bakewell – she uses 20 philosophical questions that we’re always asking ourselves to tell the story of Montaigne’s life – this is exquisite.


For the thirst-for-adventure, don’t-bother-calling-me-during-shark-week-‘cause-I’ll-be-busy people on your list:

  • The Tiger by John Valliant tells the thrilling story of a man-eating tiger in Far East Russia and the men (committed conservationists) who nonetheless vowed to capture and kill it.

  • Susan Casey's The Wave combines the science of the ocean with the insanity of people who surf 100-foot waves.


For reluctant teen readers:

  • Payback Time by Carl Deuker will appeal to the aspiring sports commentator. This engaging read will keep his nose in this book (shhh- he won’t know its good for him).

  • If she loves Twilight, The Vampire Diaries and has that wistful romantic look in her eye, go for  Jane, an engrossing mystery by April Lindner based on the classic, Jane Eyre.


Lastly, check out Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff for any adult on your list who loves history or biographies . . . or really for any smart reader. It’s one of the most luminous, insightful, and enveloping books I’ve read in a long time.

Happy reading! For more ideas check out Just the Right Book!, your holiday helper.

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