Books, Audio Books, Games, Stationery & More to put on your Holiday Wish List

by Lian on November 30, 2011

Putting together your Holiday Wish List for friends and family? Or maybe you’re the gift gatherer  in search of some fun items for under the tree? I’ve put together a list of books,  audio books, games, stationery and more. Some are are my wish list, too!

For the cook:

Recipes, techniques and great information for all levels of cooks.

When I saw the title of this new cookbook at a publishing event, I declared, “Hey, my middle name is All About Roasting!” The publisher rep didn’t laugh but he did let me flip through Molly Stevens new title.  I promptly went to my local bookstore Vromans and picked up a copy of this wonderful cookbook. Go Beyond Roasted Asparagus with a huge range of roasting recipes to warm up your winter.  And, Molly doesn’t stop with recipes like Garlic-Roasted Shrimp with Tomatoes, Capers and Feta. She includes basic and advanced techniques, step-by-step carving instructions and tips for all levels of cooks. Click here for Molly Steven’s website and more information about All About Roasting.


For the Funny:

Satellite Sisters listeners will love this audio book. Keep reading for your chance to win a copy!

Put this in your cd player for your holiday road trip with your mother or daughter:  Fans of Satellite Sisters, here is an audio book for you!  Best Friends, Occasional Enemies: The Lighter Side of Life as a Mother & Daughter . Written by best-selling author Lisa Scottoline and her daughter Francesca Serritella with warmth, familiarity and a huge dollop of  humor. The authors read their own work ( brave, brave souls!) and they bring that family feeling to the audio book that will be familiar if you have either a mother or a daughter!  Great audio book inspired by their weekly column “Chick Wit.” See below for a chance to win a copy of Best Friends, Occasional Enemies furnished by MacMillan Audio.

This is one title on my wish list. Hint, hint,  family! Merrill Markoe, comedy writer, novelist and dog owner is back with a book of essays that let us into her beginnings as a funny girl. I think the title, “Cool, Calm and Contentious” says it ll about this Emmy-winning  (former) Letterman writer.  Can’t wait to read it. Here’s the link to Cool, Calm & Contentious at .


For the Kids:

This special gift set features a book and cd for under ten bucks!

William Steig and Meryl Streep together in one fantastic gift for the younger set: a special book and CD set that features the inspiring adventure of Brave Irene read by Academy Award-winning actress Meryl Streep. Frankly, when I listened to this classic story of one little girls determined trip to deliver a dress to a duchess story, it was hard to determine who was having more fun: me or Ms. Streep. This special, affordable set ($10!) features a read-along track as well. Click here to find the audio book gift set of Brave Irene at .

For the Risk-Takers:

Roll the Dice and Add'em Up.Easy, Fun and Family-friendly.


Planing on some gaming this holiday? Hey, hey– let’s Farkle. It’s a classic, but now there are about 20 different version from Party Farkle to Travel Farkle. It’s a super easy, family- friendly game that might actually teach some math skills along the way. And, everyone can roll dice, right? FARKLE!


Yes, Mommy, you do need a card with your name, the kids' name and all your many contact digits.


For new moms and anyone else who needs a calling card:

I love the idea of “business cards” for moms. How chic, fun and so much sassier than a post-it hastily written in crayon with your name and number! Erin Condren designs great look stationary, cards, invites and these wonderful Call Me Cards. You can get the new mom on your list ( Or anyone else who needs a card for a home-based business) a gift card and they can pick their own designs. Cost runs about $75 for 100 personalized Call Me Cards. Call me crazy, but that’s a deal, Erin Condren.


Want to win a copy fo the audio book Best Friends, Occasional Enemies by Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella? Yes, please. Leave a comment below with the answer to this question: What audiobook is on your wishlist this season?

Thanks to MacMillan Audio for providing this copy of Best Friends, Occasional Enemies for give-away. Winner will be drawn from available comments on Wednesday, December 7 at noon PST.

Embracing my Chaos, Lian

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Andrea Brancato December 6, 2011 at 10:07 AM

I listen to audio books all the time. My wish list includes the Katie Couric book The Best Advice I Every Got.

Billie December 5, 2011 at 2:22 PM

I would love to win the Lisa Scottoline book, my Mother and I travel to her
family every chance we get and listen to audio books as we travel so would be a great way to share our time together

Kerri Powell December 5, 2011 at 11:56 AM

Lisa Sottoline’s book is on my audio wish list. I’ve read several of her other essay books and loved them!

RoseA December 4, 2011 at 9:52 PM

I would love to hear Smarty Pants by Tiny Fey! She is so smart, strong, and organized. . . if I could only organize myself to get her book on CD (:

Zanna B. December 3, 2011 at 7:01 AM

I’d like to have “the help” on audio book this year. I haven’t read the book or watched the movie. Audio books are fantastic while soaking in a bubble bath. :D

Cynthia December 2, 2011 at 5:43 AM

I’d love to win and I am feeling lucky! Would be good listening as I drive my daughters to high school. Best audio books are David Sedaris, but I have truly had to pull over because I was laughing too hard to drive…

Annie Goodrich December 1, 2011 at 7:59 PM

Lian – as always, your recommendations are spot on! I just put my mom on a plane after having her at my house for three weeks and it was three weeks FULL of occasional enemies AND best friends. Whew! Anyhow, can’t wait to hear the audio version of the new book on Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. Fascinating I’m sure and I love audio books since I’m the mom taxi in my family and constantly on the road. Thanks for all you do.

Belinda December 1, 2011 at 12:15 PM

I love audio books – I drive 45 minutes each way to work and they are the best. Am on the 2nd Adriana Trigiani Valentine series – Brava Valentine – Waiting for Ciao Valentino to come out. Hope I win!!

Carol December 1, 2011 at 8:42 AM

Thanks for the tip on the new roasting cookbook. I love roasting as well. One of my favorite cookbooks is “The Roasted Vegetable” by Andrea Chessman.

Funny you should mention Farkle. I hadn’t heard of the game until a few weeks ago when some friends discussed it. I purchased the game for my nephew-in-law (is there such a thing?)

An audio book I would like to hear is Laura and Lisa Ling’s “Somewhere Inside: One Sister’s Captivity in North Korea and the Other’s Fight to Bring Her Home.”

Lesley in MN December 1, 2011 at 6:04 AM

Great gift ideas, Lian! While I have read The Help and watched the movie, I would love to listen to the story and the characters’ voices on my car trip to visit my parents for the holidays. Lisa Scottoline’s book sounds fantastic and would make for an enjoyable ride back home.

Cloud Mom December 1, 2011 at 4:57 AM

The Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich makes me laugh out loud too. On my wish list this year is the fantasy series, A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE by George R. R. Martin. It is a little like Harry Potter for adults and plays out like a soap opera.

gilles December 1, 2011 at 3:27 AM

The audio book I’d like to hear (besides Helen of Pasadena) is the latest in the Chet & Bernie series by Spencer Quinn. These great dog detective books help me understand my pound hound, Bill.

Jennie November 30, 2011 at 8:07 PM

I would LOVE to know/get a copy of Alice Munroe’s collection “hateship, courtship,….” I LOVE her stories and my library doesn’t carry this amazing collection in audio!

Beth November 30, 2011 at 5:56 PM

I recently finished Merrill Markoe’s book and it was fantastic. Hope you enjoy it as well.
One of the audiobooks on my list is Rin Tin Tin, by Susan Orlean.
Thanks for the ideas.

chpdlivr November 30, 2011 at 3:12 PM

I’d love to win! I think I’d like to listen to the latest Janet Evanovich book. My husband and I listen to her books on road trips and they keep us laughing.

Susan Greif November 30, 2011 at 1:52 PM

I have enjoyed Lisa Scottoline’s mysteries for many years, and would love to win a copy of this mother/daughter book/CD. Audio book…..maybe “Emperor of Maladies” if it is available. I hear it’s wonderful, but the size is scarey – I’m afraid I’ll break my nose of I doze off while laying in bed reading!

CLSD OPEN November 30, 2011 at 1:45 PM

Lian – thanks for the great gift ideas! I would love to win and listen to Best Friends, Occasional Enemies—a topic near and dear to my heart. On my audio wishlist is “The World According to Mr. Rogers: Important Things to Remember” (an excellent book for anyone looking for a little gift for someone). Happy Holidays, All! :)

Natalie November 30, 2011 at 12:11 PM

I love listening to comedians read their own books. My absolute favorite is Paula Poundstone reading her book “There’s Nothing in this Book I Meant to Say.” Now I really want to get “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)” by Mindy Kaling (from “The Office.”) Hopefully she’ll be a good reader!

Lisa Scottoline’s book sounds fun too! Happy Holidays!

Teresa Smith November 30, 2011 at 11:52 AM

I think mine would be The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.

Marge November 30, 2011 at 11:13 AM

I’d love a chance at winning the book!

Joan W November 30, 2011 at 10:27 AM

I want the Steve Jobs biography; I hear it is excellent.

angi November 30, 2011 at 8:58 AM

My audio wish list item is now Lisa Scottoline’s book. My 16 year old daughter and I drive our two golden retrievers (also girls, coincidentally) to Park City, Utah on Dec. 16. I am looking for a good audiobook to share during the 10 hour drive. This one may get us talking!
I had been thinking about a David Sedaris, as laughing is always a good way to pass the drive time across the California and Nevada desert!
Of course, I hope to listen to new Chaos Chronicles and Satellite Sisters podcasts!
Merry Christmas!

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