From The Beacon: Perfect gifts to give your bookworms

Now that the 2011 holiday season has officially begun, it is time to tackle those shopping lists. If you have any book lovers among your friends or family, here are a few suggestions:

For the history buff –An eye-opening account of a little known event in American history, The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson, tells of the decades-long migration of almost six million black citizens as they relocated from the South to cities in the North and East in search of a better life from 1915 to 1970. Meticulously researched and vividly written, Wilkerson takes an expansive topic and makes it personal. Also recommended: The Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Medicine, Madness & the Murder of a President by Candice Millard or Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff.

For the video game enthusiast – If someone in your life adores spending hours with a gaming system they are sure to enjoy Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Set in 2044, the world has turned into a bleak place and Wade Watts escapes his grim reality by spending most of his time inside a virtual environment called OASIS. For years players within the giant networked world have been searching to find and solve puzzles hidden by one of the creators in the hopes of winning the grand prize.  What follows is a fast-paced and exciting adventure story with a unique technological spin. Also recommended: Reamde by Neal Stephenson and Robocalypse: A Novel by Daniel H. Wilson.

For the mystery fan – For anyone who is in Stieg Larsson withdrawal The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olson might be just the thing to fill the void. The author, highly regarded in his native Denmark, makes his American debut with a complex and absorbing page-turner which features a flawed, but appealing, protagonist who is put in charge of cold cases and discovers that one of the purported victims in an old case is still alive.  Also recommended: The End of Wasp Season by Denise Mina or The Boy in the Suitcase by Lene Kaaberbøl.

For the Book Club attendee – Victoria Jones has grown up in the foster-care system and when she turns eighteen and “ages out” she is distrustful, independent, and desires only solitude. Due to her interest in flowers, she gets a job at a florist and discovers she has a gift for helping people through the flowers she chooses for them. Heartbreaking, yet hopeful, The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh would make excellent fodder for a book club discussion. Also recommended: Birds of Paradise by Diana Abu-Jaber or The Submission by Amy Waldman.

For The Hunger Games devotee – If you know someone who is counting the days until March when The Hunger Games movie is released, Divergent by Veronica Roth makes an excellent alternative to the popular trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Set in a future dystopian Chicago, Beatrice “Tris” Prior has recently turned sixteen and it is time for her join one of the five factions of society: Erudite, Candor, Abnegation, Amity, or Dauntless. When Tris chooses to go against her family and join a different faction, she surprises everyone, including herself, and soon discovers that everything is not as it seems in this “perfect society”. Also recommended: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater or Legend by Marie Lu.