Gift picks for book lovers and zombie fans

On the hierarchy of gift-giving excitement, books don’t have to sit beside bland ties and plain white socks.

Shop wisely and your literary selection will be received with a smile — maybe even a “best gift ever” distinction.

Need help? Here are some of our recommendations:

“It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Zombies!: A Book of Zombie Christmas Carols” (Michael P. Spradlin, $9.99)

Nothing beats the seasonal charm of fresh brains roasting on an open fire, right? Spradlin’s book offers a zombie twist on many popular Christmas carols. Before long, you’ll be singing tunes like “I Saw Mommy Chewing Santa Claus” and “We Three Spleens.”

Perfect for: Your adult cousin who still can’t sing “Jingle Bells” without including “Batman smells” in the chorus.

“Cowboys Full: The Story of Poker” (James McManus, $30)

This entertaining book traces poker’s history and contemporary relevance. McManus asserts poker is not merely a game — instead, its underlying strategies affect military, business, personal interactions and more.

Perfect for: Your friend who leaves Christmas dinner to catch a midnight flight to Las Vegas.

“The Guinea Pig Diaries: My Life as an Experiment” (A.J. Jacobs, $25)

Jacobs takes on a variety of social experiments — everything from joining the Radical Honesty movement to spending a month agreeing to every command from his wife.

Perfect for: Anyone brave enough to re-create Jacobs’ “perfect husband” experiment.

“When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present” (Gail Collins, $27.99)

It’s a comprehensive look at women’s lives over the past 50 years, Readers will return to the days of daily weigh-ins for stewardesses — and see how much American culture has changed since then.

Perfect for: The friend who shows up to your holiday party in a “girl power” T-shirt.

“Ophelia Joined the Group Maidens Who Don’t Float: Classic Lit Signs on to Facebook” (Sarah Schmelling, $15)

It’s a perfect mix of old and new, retelling classic literary tales in the format of social networking site Facebook. Expect elements like a profile page for Edgar Allan Poe, where the writer’s relationship status is listed as “incessant woe.”

Perfect for: The English major who corners you with Jane Austen discussions every Christmas.

Sonya Sorich can be reached at 706-571-8516.