Holiday Gift Guide: Books

For the former boy/girl scout: "The Dangerous Book for Boys" and "The Daring Book for Girls"

These runaway bestsellers chronicle the staples of adolescence (like tying knots for boys, executing the perfect cartwheel for girls). And lest you think they subscribe to gender stereotypes, each book includes facts about history (including the letters of Abigail Adams for girls). Prices: Both $14.97

For the religiously challenged: "The Atheist's Bible: An Illustrious Collection of Irreverent Thoughts"

"Do not let yourself be deceived" philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once said, "great intellects are skeptical." This is the basis for "The Atheist's Bible" by Joan Konner, a collection of famous quotes on "irreverent thoughts." Price: $11.53

For the movie buff: "The Kite Runner," "Atonement," "No Country for Old Men," "Into the Wild" and "The Namesake"

All of the above have been or will be big-screen adaptations in theaters this year, and each are bestselling, well-reviewed novels by some of the best authors working today (Khaled Hosseini, Ian McEwan, Cormac McCarthy, Jon Krakaeur and Jhumpa Lahiri). Prices: "The Kite Runner" ($8.99), "Atonement" ($10.17), "No Country for Old Men" ($8.40), "Into the Wild" ($8.37), "Namesake" ($11.20)

For the Oprah Book Club collector: "The Pillars of the Earth," "Love in the Time of Cholera," "The Road" and "Middlesex: A Novel"

Oprah Winfrey's latest selections for her uber-popular book club include the 973 page epic "Pillars of the Earth" by Ken Follet, the classic romance "Love in the Time of Cholera" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the post-apocalyptic father-son drama "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy and the sexual identity crisis, family saga "Middlesex" by Jeffrey Eugenides. Prices: "Pillars" ($14.97), "Love" ($8.97), "Road" ($8.97), "Middlesex" ($11.20)

For the elitist: "A Thousand Splendid Suns" rated Khaled Hosseini's novel as the best book of 2007. Hosseini's follow-up to "The Kite Runner" is another tale set in Afghanistan amidst war and turmoil. Price: $14.27

For the person you have no idea what to get: "The Intellectual Devotional"

David Kidder and Noah D. Oppenheim's two volumes of "The Intellectual Devotional" (one American history themed, the other general) are pedestrian enough to ensure anyone could enjoy them. Each page is devoted to a significant person, place or thing in history for the 365 days of the year. Prices: Both volumes $16.32

For the inventor: "The Assault on Reason" and "An Inconvenient Truth"

Since Al Gore did indeed "invent" the Internet, his books "Assault on Reason" (a criticism on the Bush Administration) and "Inconvenient Truth" (on global warming) could provide invaluable advice to the inventive friend or family member. Prices: "Assault" ($15.57), "Truth" ($15.64)

For the comedian: "I Am America (And So Can You!)"

Stephen Colbert compiles his humorous thoughts on issues pertaining to the world at large today in his 240-page diatribe on everything from terrorism to atheists. Price: $16.19

For anyone, regardless of age or gender: "Harry Potter" (series)

J.K. Rowling's series concluded this year with the seventh entry, "The Deathly Hallows." While hardcore fans have no doubt read and re-read it by now, Christmas marks the chance of converting the Harry Potter ignorant and resisters into fans. Prices: "Deathly Hallows" ($19.24), all others ($9.99)

For the coffee table book fanatic: "Planet Earth: As You've Never Seen It Before" and "Ansel Adams: 400 Photographs"

The BBC has condensed its groundbreaking documentary series "Planet Earth" into the ultimate coffee table book, complete with 312 pages filled with gorgeous photography from around the world. Similarly, the renowned photos of iconic photographer Ansel Adams have been compiled into the first-ever single-volume collection of his work by Adams and Andrea G. Stillman, making it an ideal gift. Price: "Planet Earth" ($23.97), "Ansel Adams" ($26.40)

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