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Books always make great gifts

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— If all else fails, a book is usually the perfect gift to give for Christmas. For both adults and children, books are always a good way give a gift that matters. "They are more personal," Off the Beaten Path Bookstore employee Erica Fogue said. "You can match a personality with the book."

Publishers, of course, know that, too, and release books just in time for Christmas shoppers. Here are a few of the more popular books selling for the Christmas.

"Lovely Bones"

Alice Sebold

Sebold kills her narrator and reveals the killer, all in the first 10 pages. What is there left to tell? How about the narrator talking from "her heaven," describing how the death affected her family and watching her killer. It's an intriguing tale that is hard to put down.

"Series of Unfortunate Events"

Lemony Snicket

This series of children's books are about exactly what you would guess they are about, some bad things happening to the main characters. There are nine books in all, starting with the fitting "A Bad Beginning," which some critics say is actually the worst book in the series. Either way, children seem to like them and they are selling well.

"Steamboat Ski Town USA"

Tom Bie

One-time Paddler magazine editor and Steamboat resident Tom Bie has put together one of the more comprehensive collections of photos and stories about Steamboat Springs. Sure to be a big seller, the book was just recently published and is destined to be on the coffee table of visitors and residents alike.

"Journals"

Kurt Cobain

This interesting book is a must-have for Nirvana fans. It's a selection of Kurt Cobain's 23 notebook journals, some 800 pages, dating back several years. There is no translation, the pages are simply scanned directly from the notebooks and put to print. It's Cobain's handwriting and thoughts, with a few scratched-out parts.

It makes you wonder who really scratched those sections out, doesn't it?

"Lord of the Rings"

J.R.R. Tolkien

Along with the "Hobbit," the three books of the "Lord of the Rings" are flying out of stores. Apparently, people are seeing the movie and buying the book. What a concept. With new editions and lots of fancy behind-the-camera books about the making of the movies, even the most seasoned Tolkien fan probably has something on his or her wish list that involves a hobbit.

"The Old Ace in the Hole"

Annie Proulx

The Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist of the "The Shipping News" takes her readers on a trip through the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles to look for hog farms in her new book. "The Old Ace in the Hole" follows Bob Dollar, a hog farm scout, as he explores the countryside and discovers agricultural conglomerates cheating locals out of their land. The real beauty of the story is Proulx's descriptions of the area.

"Prey"

Michael Crichton

Depending on which critic you believe, this is either Crichton's best or worst effort sense penning "Jurassic Park." No matter for Crichton fans though, this thriller is exactly what is to be expected from a new novel. This time the story is in the field of nanotechnology, building manmade machinery of extremely small size, which Crichton gives his readers a science lesson about. The technology gets out of control as the plot develops, forcing the protagonist, computer programmer Jack Forman, to help save the day.

"Colorado Colore"

The Junior League of Denver

Possibly the perfect gift for some, this book is a collection of 300 recipes that are sophisticated, yet not difficult to make. The authors hoped to collect recipes that reflect Colorado's "diverse cultural influences and bounty of colorful ingredient," according to the Junior League.

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