Some Help for Your Black Friday Shopping List

Rowena Itchon and Tim Anaya

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s time for a holiday tradition that most of us have a love-hate relationship with – holiday shopping.

If you’re like us, you never know what to get the people on your shopping list.  We can always use some good gift ideas before battling the crowds at the local mall.

Help is here!   This week, We asked our colleagues at PRI to share their ideas for 2017’s must-buy books.  Below is a listing of their recommendations.

Hopefully there are some good ideas here for the booklover on your shopping list.

On behalf of all of us at PRI, we wish you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

Tim Anaya

I’m going to be greedy and share two book recommendations.  These are not books that I’ve read yet – but books that are on my actual wish list to Santa.

On the political side, Scalia Speaks – Reflections on Law, Faith, and Life Well Lived is on my wish list.  It’s a new collection of Justice Antonin Scalia’s speeches, some of which are very personal and talk about his pastimes, heroes, and friends.  Looks like a must read for those – like me – who were big fans of the late Justice.

On the fun side, Joan Rivers Confidential is at the top of my list.  I saw Joan in concert twice . . . once, she walked right by me after a show and squeezed my check after I yelled out, “We love you, Joan!”  This is a collection of photos, scripts, jokes, and other memories from throughout Joan’s legendary career.   Free market advocates should love Joan too, as we learned from Peggy Noonan after her death that she was a Republican because she “worked hard, made her money with great effort, and didn’t feel her profits should be unduly taxed.”

Dana Beigel

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

This is the memoir of a young neurosurgeon diagnosed with terminal cancer. Brilliant – one you’ll remember.

Bartlett Cleland

The Forgotten Man by Amity Shlaes (read it after Hillbilly Elegy and come to understand real America) – An eye level view of the Great Depression that helps one understand the character of our country.

But this is the time of year I turn to a very old tradition – ghost stories at Christmas. I choose a “scary” book or two to read over the holidays. So, my other suggestion (if I am choosing just one), I recommend Ghost Story by Peter Straub.  Light a fire, snuggle up next to someone and turn on the lights and you will still have the hairs on your neck stand up as the terror builds. Those covered up mistakes in your past always do come to haunt you, now don’t they…

Rowena Itchon

My recommendation isn’t a book . . . it’s 3 magazines that I enjoy reading very much and give me great insight and perspective on the hot political issues and the key challenges facing America and our culture today.

  • New Criterion – for those like me who love the arts and want to read great writing and artistic criticism from a conservative point of view.
  • Commentary for great writing and perspective on religion, politics, and cultural issues.
  • The Claremont Review – for those who want to read thoughtful commentaries on politics, international affairs, current events, and culture . . . edited by Charles Kesler, the husband of our President and CEO Sally Pipes.

Lance Izumi

California’s War Against Donald Trump: Who Wins? Who Loses? by James Lacy and Katy Grimes.

The book is an excellent and revealing look at how ultra-liberal California lawmakers are waging an ideological scorched-earth war against President Trump and his administration, with little concern for the negative impact that their actions are having on average Californians.

Ben Smithwick

Born on the Bayou: A Memoir by Blaine Lourd

Endearing and witty, this memoir by Blaine Lourd takes you on a journey from his formative years in rural Louisiana in the 1970s to Los Angeles, where he established himself as a successful money manager after arriving in 1987 with just $2,000 in his pocket. This book will make you reflect on your own upbringing and the relationships in your life.

Vickie Nelson and Wayne Winegarden

Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance.

This is a compelling personal story about the working-class crisis in Appalachia and the industrial Midwest.

Rowena Itchon is senior vice president of the Pacific Research Institute.

Nothing contained in this blog is to be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of the Pacific Research Institute or as an attempt to thwart or aid the passage of any legislation.

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