When looking for gifts this Christmas, you cannot go wrong with a book. Books remain one of the most popular items to give, and if you are looking, St. Louis abounds with talented authors.
The following suggestions came from Left Bank Books, Central West End and Downtown; Subterranean Books, University City; The Book House, Rock Hill; and Pudd'nHead Books and Webster Groves Book Store, Webster Groves.
"Stan Musial: Baseball's Perfect Knight," a compilation of over 70 years of St. Louis Post Dispatch coverage, this book is sure to please even non-sport fanatics.
"Hoosiers and Scrubby Dutch," by Jim Merkel details the curious culture of the city's South Side.
"Five Flavors of Dumb" by Antony John tells the story of a deaf teenage girl who manages a rock band called "Dumb."
"Curbstone Justice," by ex-St. Louis cop Bill Leahy is a collection of true cop stories from the 50s and 60s.
"In the Garden With Dr. Carver." Susan Grigsby tells the story through a young girl's eyes of George Washington Carver who, as an adult, lived in her neighborhood and taught the families about plants and gardening.
"The Missouri Botanical Garden Climatron: A Celebration of 50 Years" with an essay by Eric Mumford and a forward by former director Dr. Peter Raven features archival photographs, art and architecture relating to the structure. 3D glasses are also included.
"A Tour Guide to Missouri's Civil War" by Gregory Wolk details what led up to the war and Missouri's participation in the epic event.
"City of Gabriels" by Dennis Owsley, host of KWMU's Jazz Unlimited, writes the history of jazz in St. Louis from 1895 to 1973 and features such greats as Miles Davis, Jeanne Trevor, and Clark Terry.
"Devil at the Confluence" by Kevin Belford tells the history of the prewar blues music in St. Louis, the music that touched America born from musicians at the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers.
"Killing Horses" by Judy Piatt. A true story, Piatt lost her stable of horses and business because of dioxin, which also sickened her family. She launched a mission to find the truth, which, after many years, she did.
"Peaches and Cream" by W.E. Mueller, a collection of short stories looking at life in St. Louis over the past several decades.
"Brain Dead in the Burbs and Cooking Your Way Back to Sanity" by Laura Edwards-Ray, a hilarious account of life that includes her marrying and divorcing her ex-husband twice, jobs, girlfriends, dating, and recipes with accompanying stories.
"Route 66 St. Louis: From the Bridges to the Diamonds" by Norma Maret Bolin. A popular subject, this book includes new information, new businesses and more details about Coral Court, Ted Drewes, the Red Cedar Inn and the Diamonds.
"Gently Down the Stream" by Bill McClellan. St. Louis Post Dispatch columnist McClellan shares his famous humor and insight into human behavior with a generous selection of his weekly columns.
"An Uplifting Murder," by Elaine Viets. Although she doesn't live here, Viets remains an honorary St. Louisian, and this book is her sixth in the Josie Marcus, mystery shopper, series.
This does not cover all the many writers who call St. Louis home, such as Jonathan Franzen with his current best seller, "Freedom;" suspense writer Ridley Pearson, "In Harm's Way;" newsman Don Marsh, "How to Be Rude Politely;" St. Louis journalist Harper Barnes, "Never Been A Time: The 1917 Race Riot That Sparked the Civil Rights Movement;" romance writer Bobbi Smith, "A Cowboy for Christmas" out in E-book through Borders;" mystery writer John Lutz, "Mister X;" and suspense writer Eileen Dreyer, "Barely A Lady."
If you cannot find what you want from this list, then you might try board games.