Monday, December 16, 2013

It's the Holiday Season: Books Make Great Gifts for the Holidays

It's the Holiday Season: Gift Ideas for the Holidays
Ten authors with books that make great gifts

Yet another year is coming to an end and, with it, another holiday season approaches. Question is: are we ready for it? Are you more ready this year than we were the previous year(s)?

Well...for those who're already making their lists and checking them twice (or more than twice), for those who are thinking of starting their lists for this year's holiday shopping, here are a few ideas.

But let's start with the question: What makes a perfect gift? That depends. For one, I believe that books make great gifts. For book lovers out there, here are only a few of my favorite reads by awesome authors I admire:

1. Books by award-winning author T.J. Banks:

book cover for Sketch People: Stories Along the Way, by T.J. Banks
Sketch People: Stories Along the Way, by T.J. Banks
Catsong, for cat and animal lovers in particular

Houdini, also for cat and animal lovers, and not only

Souleiado, for fans of time-travel stories although, I have to tell you, Souleiado is not your usual time-travel story, but it's also an unusual love story; one thing it's guaranteed--it will keep you up at night and make you turn page after page, until you finish the read

A Time for Shadows, my favorite by this author, Shadows takes an unexpected look at World War I, WWI, aka the Great War; a fantastic read for the holidays and all around the year, it will take your breath away, promise

Sketch People, a collection of real-life stories of real-life people, great read that gives you hope; for more about Sketch People and other books, visit T.J Banks' blog, at

2. Books by award-winning author Kergan Edwards-Stout:
Cover of Gifts Not Yet Given and Other Tales of the Holidays, by Kergan Edwards-Stout
Gifts Not Yet Given,  by Kergan Edwards-Stout

Songs for the New Depression, an award-winning debut novel

Gifts Not Yet Given, a fantastic collection of short stories, a perfect gift for the holiday season and any holiday of the year

You can read an interview with award-winning author Kergan Edwards-Stout and learn more about Gifts here

3. Books by Bud Santora, Drake Braxton, and other authors:

Cover of The Green Storm, by Bud Santora
The Green Storm, by Bud Santora

I encourage sci-fi and fantasy fans to check out Bud Santora's debut novel, The Green Storm.

Another great read is Drake Braxton's Missing, an amazing novel I got to review for A&U Magazine

Other great ideas include books by Carey Parrish Marengo or by Brian Centron, An Ordinary Boy or David G. Hallman's Searching for Gilead

4. Books by New York City author Arthur Wooten:

Cover of Birthday Pie, by Arthur Wooten
Birthday Pie, by Arthur Wooten
On Picking Fruit

Fruit Cocktail

Birthday Pie



I had the opportunity to interview Arthur Wooten several times.

Check out A Balancing Act, an article published in Out IN Jersey Magazine, which offers a peek into his recent novel, Dizzy.

Or learn what the acclaimed New York City author has to say about writing, in general, and also about writing the truth, in my blog post, Writing the Truth.
Cover of Leftovers, a book by Arthur Wooten
Leftovers, by Arthur Wooten

If you want to learn more about what I call Wooten's "Fruit series" (picking up On Picking Fruit made me a fan of the author and his books, and now I'm hooked), browse through On Fruits and Pies.

And last, but not least, just in time for the holidays, read the story of Wise Bear William, a fantastic children's book written by Arthur Wooten and designed by artist Bud Santora.
And don't forget Wooten's amazing novel, Leftovers.

5. Books by award-winning author Gregory G. Allen

Cover of Patchwork of Me, a book by Gregory G. Allen
Patchwork of Me, a book by Gregory G. Allen
Well With My Soul, my all-time favorite by this author

Patchwork of Me

Cool Side of the Pillow

I had the chance to interview Gregory G. Allen and talk to him about his books, and much more.

You can read a review of Well With My Soul published in A&U Magazine--America's AIDS Magazine.

Or you can check out a review of Patchwork of Me.

Or check out the author's tips on finding The Cool Side of the Pillow.

Cover of Cool Side of the Pillow, a book by Gregory G. Allen
Cool Side of the Pillow, a book by Gregory G. Allen

6. My own books, including Journeys Through Darkness: A Biography of AIDS

Cover of Journeys Through Darkness: A Biography by Alina Oswald with photographs by Kurt Weston
Journeys Through Darkness: A Biography by Alina Oswald
Journeys tells the story of the life and art of a long-term AIDS survivor and activist, award-winning, legally blind photographer Kurt Weston. Check out what Art & Understanding Magazine and Out IN Jersey Magazine have to say about Journeys.

Happy shopping and Happy Holidays!

Thanks for stopping by,

Alina Oswald


  1. Excellent suggestions, Alina. And no, I'm so NOT ready for the holidays! :)

  2. Hi Sean,
    As always, thanks for the comment and for your ongoing support. And as for the holidays...I'm not there either, not yet. The holidays season kicks in late for me. It's always been this way. But it will come.

    Happy Holidays! May you have wonderful ones, with many, many presents and gifts :-)