Looking for that perfect gift this holiday season?  We might be able to help.  Jeff Bullard, library coordinator for the Free Library of Philadelphia, visited four local libraries and bookstores to find out which books are jumping off the shelves in Northwest Philadelphia. 

1. The Help by Kathryn Stockett

A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope, The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don't.

2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson and Reg Keeland

Little is as it seems in Larsson's novel, but there is at least one constant: don't mess with Lisbeth Salander, the girl with the dragon tattoo.

3. The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson and Reg Keeland

The fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to Lisbeth Salander—The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Blomkvist, alone in his belief in Salander's innocence, plunges into the investigation of the slayings while Salander herself is drawn into a murderous hunt in which she is the prey.

4. Wisdom to Know the Difference by Eileen Flanagan (*local Northwest resident)

In this inspiring book, Eileen Flanagan draws on her own Quaker faith as well as a range of other religious and spiritual traditions to show readers how they can learn to listen to their own inner voice in determining when a change is needed in their lives or when instead acceptance is the answer.

5. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

Though he may not speak of them, the memories still dwell inside Jacob Jankowski's ninety-something-year-old mind. Memories of himself as a young man, of a world filled with freaks and clowns, with wonder and pain and anger and passion; a world with its own narrow, irrational rules, its own way of life, and its own way of death: The world of the circus.

6. Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver

From the Mexico City of artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo to the America of Pearl Harbor, FDR, and J. Edgar Hoover, a poignant story of a man pulled between two nations as they invent their modern identities.

7. Getting Back to Even by Jim Cramer and Cliff Mason (*non-fiction)

Advice on how to put your investments back on track to recover from the financial debacle of 2008-2009.

8. A Journey: My Political Life by Tony Blair (*Memoir/autobiography)

Tony Blair's firsthand account of his years in office and beyond, from the aftermath of Princess Diana's death to the war on terror.

9. Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (*teen/young adult)

Marcus, a.k.a w1n5t0n, is only seventeen, but figures he already knows how the system works, and how to work the system. In the wrong place at the wrong time, Marcus and his crew are apprehended by the Department of Homeland Security and whisked away to a secret prison where they are mercilessly interrogated for days. Knowing that no one will believe his story, Marcus has only one option: to take down the DHS himself.

10. Known to Evil by Walter Mosley

Leonid McGill, the protagonist introduced in The Long Fall, is still fighting to stick to his reformed ways. Alfonse Rinaldo, the mysterious power-behind- the-throne at City Hall, the fixer who seems to control every little thing, has a problem that even he can't fix - and he's come to Leonid for help.

(Photo by Wonderfully Complex photostream on flickr)


For NewsWorks