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Shopping for the holidays

Our 12th annual gift guide

Created date

October 22nd, 2013
Shopping for the holidays

Gifts for yourself

Exerstrider Nordic Walking Poles. Turn a walk into a total body workout with walking poles. In addition to giving the upper body a workout, the poles help stabilize your joints and improve posture and balance. Prices range from $69.95 to $89.95, depending on options chosen (

Up by Jawbone. This nifty little bracelet is like having a personal trainer on your wrist. It’s both a pedometer and a sleep monitor. Wear it day and night then plug it into a smart phone. The UP app will give you a graph showing you how many steps you took and how many hours of deep versus light sleep you had the previous night. It even makes suggestions for improving your rest and fitness levels. $129. (

Mastering the Life Plan: The Essential Steps to Achieving Great Health and a Leaner, Stronger, and Sexier Body. Seventy-four-year-old Dr. Jeffry S. Life is in better shape than most men half his age. In this book, Dr. Life shares his expertise on exercise, meal plans, and health issues that impact men in their later years. (Atria books, $26)

Novel ideas for young adults

Vade Retro Satana by Michele Suzanne. It’s never easy living up to your father’s expectations, but when your father is Satan and he sees you as his ticket to world domination, it’s especially tough. There’s plenty of fire and brimstone to keep high school readers engaged, but at its heart, this is a tale of teenagers struggling to find the good in themselves. (Cinimod Press, $15)

Slammed series by Colleen Hoover. Hoover’s trilogy starts with Slammed, is followed by Point of Retreat, and finally concludes with This Girl. High school readers will enjoy following along as Will and Layken’s complicated romance develops over time. The first two books are from Layken’s point of view, while This Girl is told from Will’s perspective. The series title refers to the poetry slam competitions the characters participate in. (Atria Books, $15 each)

Mister Max: The Book of Lost Things by Cynthia Voigt and illustrated by Iacopo Bruno. This mystery adventure novel is sure to captivate middle school readers as twelve-year-old Maximilian Starling finds himself doing detective work as he searches for his colorful missing parents. This is the first in a proposed series. (Knopf, $16.99)

Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo and K.G. Campbell. This unique tale of a super-hero and a cynic is a novel peppered with graphic, comic-book style illustrations that will keep middle school readers enthralled. (Candlewick, $17.99)

American history (a fresh look)

Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution by Nathaniel Philbrick. The author reconstructs the revolutionary landscape from the earliest days of colonial discontent to the heated and bloody battle of Bunker Hill in June 1775. His narrative brings to life the stories of the lesser known, but nonetheless important, participants in America’s fight for independence—men like 33-year-old Boston physician Joseph Warren—who stand among the nation’s forgotten founding fathers. Until now. (Viking, $32.95)

Where Were You? America Remembers The JFK Assassination, compiled and edited by Gus Russo and Harry Moses, with foreword by Tom Brokaw.

A future president was tending to his farm. A future vice president was standing on the steps of his college library. A future movie star was attending his second-grade art class.

Combining evocative archival images with the unique first-person stories of those who lived through it, Where Were You? says what the history books can’t about the JFK assassination. (Lyons Press, $29.95)

In the two-hour NBC documentary event that this volume accompanies, special correspondent Tom Brokaw interviewed people close to the tragedy as well as former heads of state, politicians, authors, journalists, performers, and musicians. He asked them five simple questions, starting with: “Where were you?” Together their words paint a rich and moving picture of a hopeful nation torn asunder by grief.

Tummy pleasers

Tate’s Bakeshop Cookies. Kathleen King started baking cookies when she was eleven and forty-plus years later, she’s still at it. Tate’s Bake Shop is a local favorite in South Hampton, N.Y., and one bite of a Tate’s walnut chocolate chip cookie will tell you why. Flavors include oatmeal raisin and “chipless wonder” cookies. Tate’s whole-wheat dark chocolate chip won the Gold sofi award (the Oscars® of the baking industry)—twice. Prices start at $18.


Krave Jerky. This savory and moist jerky comes in a wide array of unique flavors. From the black cherry barbecue to basil citrus to chili garlic pepper, each bite of Krave jerky is packed with protein and low in calories. $35 for a five-bag sampler. (

Cake Pops. The tiny decorated cakes on a stick from Sweet Lauren Cakes in San Francisco, Calif., are like miniature works of art, but don’t let their beauty get in the way of eating these tasty treats. A variety of seasonal designs are available through Williams-Sonoma. $35. (


Man Repeller: Seeking Love. Finding Overalls by Leandra Medine. Fashion blogger Medine brings her amusing outlook and self-depreciating wit to the pages of her memoir. With millions of loyal followers, she is a big hit with fashion-savvy young women. (Grand Central Publishing, $25)

Jason Wu for Lancôme makeup collection. Jason Wu, one of the hottest designers in fashion, has designed a special collection for Lancôme cosmetics. The collection includes beautiful “of-the-moment” colors and Wu’s signature gray packaging. $18–$51. (


Diamond candles. There’s a lot more to the fragrant Diamond Candles than meets the eye. Hidden inside each and every one of these fragrant soy candles is a ring. Some rings are worth $10 and others are worth $100, $1,000, or even $5,000. The hidden treasure inside the candle makes burning them a thrill. $24.95. (

College Cooks: Simple Ingredients, Easy Recipes, Good Tasting Food. While this title is obviously geared toward college students, anyone just starting out on their own will appreciate this book of cooking basics. And $2 from every book will be donated to Feeding America, a hunger relief effort serving children and seniors. (Good Eatz Publishing, $16.16)

Fun toys

Electronic Voice-Activated Keepsake Box. The password-protected Keepsake Box from Mattel helps young ladies keep their valuables safe from nosey little brothers and sisters. The voice-activated lock responds only to the owner of the box. $29.99. (available at toy retailers everywhere)

Robo Fish. Here’s a fish you don’t have to worry about feeding while you are away from home. Robo Fish, along with its realistic fish bowl, will delight people of all ages. They come in a variety of colors. $8–$12