Friday, December 13, 2013

A Christmas Gift for Someone Special

I love the Christmas Season. So, I’ve decided to tell you about a hodge podge of things that you can check out from the library, buy, or make at an affordable price for Christmas. Since this is the blog for the Birmingham Public Library, I will begin by spotlighting a few non-fiction books that I’ve read recently and then I’ll segue into some unusual things you can purchase or make.

Driven by Donald Driver is the autobiography of a former Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver. Driver pens a very interesting and engrossing book. Growing up, Donald experienced homelessness and a troubled life in Houston, Texas. He managed, with the help of his stepfather and grandparents, to overcome poverty, get a college education at Alcorn State University, and become a Wide Receiver in the NFL. Along the way, he had varied experiences which he recounts including stories about playing for the Packers and finally winning a Super Bowl Championship at the end of his career. A truly inspiring read, I couldn’t put this book down. Recommended for those who love football.

The Rejected Stone by Reverend Al Sharpton gives insight into what it takes to be a leader. This book reads like a who’s who of African-American Civil Rights leaders, entertainers, and politicians. Starting out as a boy preacher, Reverend Sharpton got to know such luminary figures as Mahalia Jackson, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Jesse Jackson, and James Brown. In this book, Reverend Sharpton gives details about the highs and lows of his life and career and offers advice on what to do in a myriad of situations. This book is recommended for those who aspire to be a leader or for those who just enjoy a good autobiography.

The Dirt on Clean by Katherine Ashenburg, published in 2007, chronicles the history of personal hygiene from the ancient Greeks and Romans until today. The Romans achieved the ideal in personal cleanliness that would not be achieved again until the 20th century. Ashenburg reveals the myths and fallacies that were attached to cleanliness, for example, King Louis XIV reportedly never had a bath in his life but believed changing his shirt everyday was a mark of personal cleanliness. I found a reference to this book while reading an article online and thought I should give it a try. The author of this book is an excellent writer and has done good research. Recommended for those who enjoy learning about the story behind things we take for granted.

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare tells the story of a seemingly normal teenager, Clary Fray. Clary’s world is turned upside down when her mother is kidnapped and she finds out she is a descendant of Shadowhunters and possesses supernatural abilities. I couldn’t put this book down and it was a quick read. I kept intending to go see the movie that came out this year entitled Mortal Instruments: City of Bones but will have to watch it on dvd. Recommended for teens and adults who enjoy magical worlds and the paranormal.

I found the following items and thought they would make great gifts:
Candy Crush Candy - For all of you out there who are playing the Candy Crush Saga computer game, they now have the candy.

Lego Light Switch Plate - For all of you Lego lovers. You only get the light switch base plate and have to provide your own Legos.

Custom Molecule Jewelry - Our Summer Reading themes for 2014 are Fizz Boom (Youth), Spark a Reaction (Teen) and Literary Elements (Adult). Wear your jewelry and get someone interested in chemistry. Also, check out these molecule puzzles called Lab Test Games.

Snack Treat Notebooks are so neat. Take a look at these; one looks like a cheese cracker and the other looks like a chocolate cream filled cookie.

If you enjoy making gifts, take a look at the following websites:
Pillsbury has a plethora of recipes. The ones I like are the Cinnamon Roll Christmas Tree, Christmas Tree Sandwich Cookies and Christmas Tree Ornament Cookies.

Hershey’s Kisses website has wonderful Christmas crafts you can make that are eye catching and delicious. I think I’d like to try the Snowman Soup.

M & M’s has a recipe for Rice Krispies Tree Trimmer Treats for you to make along with other yummy recipes.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and I hope this makes your holidays easier by giving you gifting ideas.

Maya Jones
West End Library

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