Books are good gifts to receive and even better gifts to give because you can get books without half the hassles involved in buying many other kinds of gifts. You can easily buy books from the Internet and avoid the mob scenes at the shopping malls.
This has been a good year for books that shoot down false and nonsensical notions on major issues of our time.
"The Immigration Solution" is an excellent new book that discusses illegal immigration without the political rhetoric, spin, demagoguery, and unsubstantiated claims that have become all too common in the media and among politicians.
It was written by three scholars at leading think tanks -- Heather Mac Donald and Steve Malanga of the Manhattan Institute and Victor Davis Hanson of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Unlike many other scholars, they know how to write so that the general public can understand what they are saying.
"Mugged by Reality" by John Agresto is an eyewitness account of life inside Iraq by someone who does not take either the Bush administration line or the Congressional Democrats' line. Nor does he hesitate to admit that what he saw in Iraq changed the opinions with which he first entered the country.
It is a sobering and insightful account of what has happened and of the problems with various alternative courses of action. It is one of those books that adds a new dimension to your understanding, whether you agree or disagree with the author.
"The Prince of Darkness" by Robert Novak is a big book detailing half a century of his experiences in Washington, dealing with both political figures and other members of the print and broadcast media. He names names.
This book should be especially valuable to those young people who have been brainwashed with the notion that it is somehow nobler to be in "public service" than in the private sector.
For those who like history, there is a new history of one of the most decisive decades in American history -- the decade of the Great Depression of the 1930s -- titled "The Forgotten Man" by Amity Shlaes.
It tells a revealing story of the people and the policies that shaped that decade, as that decade has shaped much of what has happened with government intervention in the economy ever since then.
For those who want more in-depth analysis of the economic consequences of New Deal policies, Jim Powell's book "FDR's Folly" would make an excellent supplement to Amity Shlaes' book.
"Until Proven Innocent" by Stuart Taylor and K.C. Johnson is an account of the Duke University "rape" case that goes far beyond the misdeeds of the disgraced District Attorney Michael Nifong.