By this time in the holiday season, Christmas lists start looking less like catalogs of upcoming joy and more like stress filled timed tests. And just like the SATs you've left the hardest people on your list for list. Luckily Jane Jacobs, one of our buyers, has a few suggestions for those calculus problems left on your list.
For the would-be parent who can't chose a baby name book: The Baby Name Bible. It has over 50,000 plus names and makes for interesting reading on its own. Did you know that Orna is Irish for "little green one?"
For the disorganized person who can't seem to get anything done in his life and always ends up asking you how to accomplish what really should be simple tasks: Rules of Thumb: A Life Manual. This includes such things as how to tell whether you need a bra (something to do with Ann Landers and a pencil) and how much dynamite you need to blast a stump out of the ground (one stick of dynamite for every four inches of stump diameter).
For the person who needs help prioritizing the stuff in his life and/or the person who loves trivia: The Order of Things: Hierarchies, Structures and Pecking Orders. It will tell you the order of the Emperors of Byzantium, beer measures and the 12 Olympian gods. It's pocket-sized so you'll have it whether you need to settle a bet in a bar or decide which fire extinguisher to buy for your kitchen.
For the morbid member of the family always wondering how they'll be remembered: The Economist Book of Obituaries.
For the person on your list who shrugs and says "Eh," every time you try to wheedle some information about their interests out of them: The Bodleian Library's reprinting of historic documents including; Instructions for British Servicemen in Germany 1944, Instructions for American Servicemen in France During World War II, Instructions for American Servicemen in Australia 1942, and German Invasion Plans for the British Isles 1940. All the books are filled with life lessons like "Do go easy on Schnaps" and "Australians are natural group singers," and are fascinating cultural and historical documents. Also great stocking stuffers.