HILLSDALE – No matter who's on your shopping list for this holiday season, books can make great gifts.
Stocking the shelves of those you adore with fascinating books is as simple as finding out what topics they love.
Local author Ruth Kyser enjoys telling stories and has more than a dozen published. Her favorite topic is research, making her novels come to life. Her newest Christian novel is titled “Oatcakes, Tea, and Me.” It was released at the end of September.
She likes to give her readers hope when they read her books, which are Christ-centered.
Kyser said she doesn't think she could write without including some segment of her own personal faith in the story.
Readers, in turn, look for topics that interest them, so it's not hard to shop once those interests are discovered.
Even writers like to read about others like them who've created some of the world's greatest novels, short stories, poems and plays. The following are some book ideas based on topics that appeal to others.
Biographies on writers
“Writers: Their Lives and Works” features more than 100 biographies of the world’s greatest writers, from Shakespeare to Toni Morrison. Biographical entries trace the friendships, loves and rivalries that influenced each writer, while placing their works into historical context.
Illustrated with portraits, photographs and paintings of writers’ homes, studies and personal artifacts, along with pages from original manuscripts, first editions and correspondence, this book introduces the key themes and literary techniques of its subjects, revealing the imaginations and personalities behind some of the world’s greatest novels, short stories, poems, and plays.
History of ballet
From its origins at court and the first national ballet companies, to the contemporary scene and the extraordinary venues that stage productions, “Ballet: The Definitive Illustrated Story” provides an invaluable overview of the history of ballet.
Readers can discover more than 70 of the most famous ballet dances, learn the stories behind renowned companies, explore the lives and achievements of dancers across centuries, and meet composers and choreographers. Filled with rarely seen photographs, this book is well-suited for ballet enthusiasts.
“Flora: Inside the Secret World of Plants” invites you to explore the plant kingdom from the ground up, and from root to leaf tip. This introduction to botany is packed with photos and illustrations explaining the mechanics of photosynthesis, why leaves change color, how cacti store water, and how seeds know when to grow. Filled with fascinating stories of how plant roots and leaves communicate with their neighbors and how flowers use color and scent to interact with the creatures around them, this is an introduction to the mysterious inner workings of the plant world.
For children who can’t get enough wildlife, consider “An Anthology of Intriguing Animals,” a compendium of the facts, stories and myths behind more than 200 of their favorite animals. Whether it’s how the koala got its name or which animal the ancient Egyptians thought rolled the sun across the sky, readers can learn fun facts while poring over photographs, including detailed close-ups.
Robotics and modern society
“Robot,” a book for kids, covers artificial intelligence throughout history, including automata created by Leonardo Da Vinci all the way through to modern-day androids. Discover cutting edge robotics, where science, technology, mechanical engineering and computing meet. Bright graphics and photography help readers learn how robots work, how they are made, and how they help and hinder modern society.