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Top 10 Books as Gifts for Curious Tastes

best book gifts

Books make a fast and fabulous gift for folks with curious tastes, but not just any book will do. You don’t want your book gift to end up on the big, dusty pile of reading material everyone one day intends to read by never does. Nope. You want a book that’s super special for the recipient. It needs to be a book that stands out, stirs the mind, and gets read so frequently it starts developing those dog-ear things. Here come 10 of them now.

Full Disclosure: Five of the 1o books are mine.

For Folks who Have a Thing about Rats

Yes, rats. Whether your pals love ’em or hate ’em, friends are sure to get a kick out of ’em with this illustrated rat dictionary. Rats Incredible features a slew of words that contain the word “rat,” along with black and white rynski illustrations depicting the definitions.

Two editions of Rats Incredible are floating around and, although both are out of print, you can still buy a copy of the second edition on the ryndustries website.

For Yoga (and Skeleton) Enthusiasts

Bony Yoga is suited for yoga enthusiasts of all ages, as well as for those who dig skeletons (not literally). This real-life yoga guide provides descriptions of 84 yoga poses, each featuring a cartoon skeleton performing the pose to the best of his or her ability. Note: The skeletons are pretty durn good!

This happy book has been gifted to yoga instructors, as well as used in classrooms and as bedtime reading for kids. One elementary school teacher sent me email attachments of the kids’ art projects, which featured skeletons doing yoga. How cool is that?

For Medieval Torture Device Fans

Whether you’ve always wondered what the heck a Pear of Anguish is, or you simply wanted a better look at the Iron Maiden, you’ll get it with Infernal Device: Machinery of Torture and Execution. This short and scintillating book gives you realistic, full-color renderings of some of the most excruciating torture devices ever created.

My beau gifted me with this one early in our relationship. That’s how I knew he was a keeper.

For Grim Fairy Tale Fans

Many fairy tales these days are lame. Everyone always la-de-dahs around and then lives happily ever after. Not only does the happily-ever-after ending make a story cliché, but it doesn’t serve to teach kids any lessons. The Boy with Moldy Cheese Pizza Under His Bed teaches a grave lesson indeed.

Enjoy a short and not-so-sweet illustrated story of what happens to kids who don’t clean up after themselves. Warning: This story is not for those spineless kids who cry if they don’t get a trophy every time they breathe.

For Grimm Fairy Tale Fans

If one little fable about the dangers of being a slob isn’t enough, go for an entire collection of the best fairy tales from the best fable authors ever. The Brothers Grimm were where it’s at for creating scary fables with horrible ending that taught magnificent lessons.

Since I don’t have a Grimm collection on hand to recommend, I’m going with the one published as part of Tolkien’s Bookshelf series. (Yes, Mr. Lord of the Rings himself enjoyed Grimm influences.) The book is Tolkien’s Bookshelf #10 Grimms’ Fairy Tales – Illustrated.

I selected this version in the hopes that the endings are true to the original stories before they were Disney-ified. Also like the idea of the stories being accompanied by old-timey illustrations rather than big, bubbly colorful cartoons.

 For Urban Legend Lovers

From alligators in the sewers to Kentucky Fried rats, urban legends leave you laughing, thinking and making sure your sewer grates are secure. I have The Big Book of Urban Legends, but I see it’s since been updated it to The Colossal Book of Urban Legends. Surely you can’t go wrong with either one.

Loads of lucrative legends are accompanied by even more loads of lovely illustrations. Super book for mining tales you can share at your next dinner party (unless, of course, you’re serving Kentucky Fried Rat). 

 For Big Dreamers

A dream dictionary wins hands down here, but not just any ole dream dictionary. Years of use have made me particularly fond of Cloud Nine: A Dreamer’s Dictionary for its variety of entries and interpretations. The explanations are thorough without being overwhelming. And it even includes kooky things like termites and bogs.

Sure, you can try to interpret your dreams with stuff you find online, but having a master reference book lets you scribble those handy notes in the margins. That way you can keep track of recurring themes, significant symbols, and continue to look things up when the internet inevitably crashes.

For Meditation Mavens

Those who meditate are going to adore this book, while those who don’t meditate might just start after absorbing all the beauty that comes pouring out of it. The book’s title is Offerings: Buddhist Wisdom for Every Day, and I received it as a gift from my mom several years back. (I see a mini version is now on the market, although I have no experience with the mini.)

With striking photos and even more striking words of wisdom, this hefty hardcover gives you 365 insightful tidbits on which to meditate. It’s gorgeous enough to keep the page open to your daily thought, propping it on the kitchen counter, coffee table, or mildly scratched podium you picked up for a song at an estate sale. 

For Folks Frazzled by Jerks

Whether it’s a coworker, neighbor or group lunch attendee, jerks tend to pop up in various areas throughout our lives. Give your pal a keen way to deal with them with the Little Book of Big Jerks.

This full-color illustrated guide not only outlines 12 of the most notorious jerk types we run across regularly, but it also gives you 12 handy solutions for dealing with them without losing your cool (or your mind).

For Fans of Fast, Hearty Laughs

Traditional bucket lists can be so bland, not to mention unattainable. C’mon, are you really going to climb Mount Everest? When you review all those ridiculously difficult goals, you can end up feeling like a total failure. Not to fear, the fix is here in the form of The Septic Bucket List.

Rather than outlining a list of things to do before you die, this full-color, illustrated book gives you a rundown of things NOT to do before you die. These things are easily attainable, can be achieved from the comfort of your own home, and are pretty dang hilarious.

Still stumped for a gift book? Don’t be. Dive into more info on Rynski books and we bet you’ll find your own keeper!

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