Have you been agonizing over finding a perfect gift for a special person in your life who has specific interests and tastes? If your giftee is interested in history, research, the Catholic faith, Irish-American culture, or ethnic studies, read on!

My work allows me to work with books in various phases of their production and their journey to their audience. Here are my top picks for the people on MY Christmas shopping list:

Catholic Historian’s Handbook: Researching and Writing Your First American Catholic History Project
For the past year, I’ve been working with the New Jersey Catholic Historical Commission, editing its newsletter The Recorder and coordinating its Facebook page. The members of the Commission include first-rate scholars and teachers who enjoy nothing more than sharing their love of all things New Jersey, Catholic, and historical. I am very impressed with this volume by Commission member Carl Ganz, as well as by the Foreword by Rev. Msgr. Francis Seymour. This rich handbook is filled with practical advice, sound explanations, and real-life examples to flesh out the historical research process. A must for friends who are interested in conducting ecclesiastical historical research using primary sources!

ANY and ALL of Catholic Book Publishing’s Christmas Books
If you’re like me, you grew up with St. Joseph Editions of the Bible in your house, and you had a full selection saints’ lives books by Father Lovasik in your childhood bedroom. This year, I began working with the thriving company that produces these—and nearly countless other—books for Catholics of all ages. I am proud to coordinate social media promotional and email marketing efforts for Catholic Book Publishing, based in Totowa, NJ. This company, celebrating its 114th year, offers a tremendous wealth of books that are sure to enhance the spiritual life of many of the Catholic friends on my list—and yours!

The Irish-American Experience in New Jersey and Metropolitan New York: Cultural Identity, Hybridity, and Commemoration
This book, previously available only in hardcover and e-book format, was released this month in paperback—just in time for Christmas! While the hardcover is beautiful and the e-book is convenient, the paperback is both highly giftable and affordable. I can’t recommend this book highly enough. Of course, I’m not biased in any way…

So, there you have it! My top gift picks for the readers on your Christmas list. I can personally vouch for each of these gift options. And even if you’re done shopping for others, there’s still time to treat yourself!

I wish you the merriest of Christmases and a joy-filled 2016!


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