Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Artsy gift ideas with a family theme

Today’s ideas focus on the family. To start off, I’m suggesting one of my favorite mainstream authors, Marilynne Robinson. I first started reading Robinson’s work as a “have to” for a college class. The book was titled Housekeeping which I have to say made me roll my eyes. The title, however, is so completely understated. It’s an incredible book, full of cultural and psychological issues and maybe the best prose I’ve read.

Home-MarilynneRobinson The one I’m suggesting today, though, is Robinson’s newest: Home. Also simply titled, this book is an incredible deep look at the inner workings of an old minister’s family and the black sheep son and unassuming daughter who seems to be fine and well-adjusted but holds things within she can barely deal with. Again, the writing is beautiful and the story more so. I’m in awe of this author if you can’t tell yet. Gilead, her second novel, is slower and more inward, also an incredible read. It’s now in paperback and Borders has it for less than $13.00.
If you’re buying for a non-fiction lover, look for her The Death of Adam: Essays on Modern Thought. I’m only partway through this  one. It’s not a quick, easy read, but it’s incredibly thought-provoking and very much on-target.

How about that hard to buy for (other than electronics) group: young teen and pre-teen boys? Personally, I recommend the Hardy Boys series (not only for boys! I loved them as a kid!)

My son would highly recommend Rick Riordan’s Percy series for those who love action-adventure mixed with mythology.

Different artsy ideas:

Blank Journals for any age! You can usually find these on clearance at a bookstore. Add colored pencils, colored pens, or drawing pencils to spark creativity.

Find an art store and see what they have on clearance for a hodge-podge bag full of creative stuff for kids (or artsy adults). Add a low cost sketch pad or a calligraphy set. (Learning calligraphy is very good for young kids!)

Have your own family theme ideas? Leave them in the comments. :-)



Maggie Toussaint said...

One year my daughter painted an inexpensive clay pot green, filled it about halfway with marbles, and then she stuck pens in the marbles. The pens were the inexpensive kind, you know, where you get a dozen or so for not much money. She affixed a clearance flower to each pen with that green floral tape. Now I have a "permanent" bouquet near the phone and I never have to wonder where a pen is.

This gift was easy and cheap, plus I liked it so much that I'm still using it five years later.

Celia Yeary said...

LORAINE--I love blank journals. We have a Half-Price book store in town, in which most books are used, but many other items are new, such as over-runs from other stores. They always have a shelf full of new blank journals, regular sized and pocket sized. I can never resist them, with their padded covers of beautiful artwork or fabric.
Our 12-yr-old grandson is into the Hardy boys. He went through Harry Potter, Star Wars, the Incrediables, and now he loves the old Hardy Boys books. Oh, and the Orphan Train Series--he devours those, too. Funny. I'll check out some of the adult books. What a wonderful idea!Celia

Keena Kincaid said...

Great ideas, Celia. I'm going to check out Rick Riordan's series for my 14-year-old nephew. He's tough to buy for.

LK Hunsaker said...

Maggie, I love that!

Celia, I haven't heard of the Orphan Train series. I'll have to look and see what they are.

Keena, I hope he likes them. Riordan has other series, also - lots to choose from!