This HSG comes from Roy Kesey!
The answer to the question as to the identity of the ideal book for holiday gifting—that is, what I'd get you if you were me and I (you) didn't already have it—is Brian Evenson's The Wavering Knife. There are many, many, many reasons why this is so, and if you are interested in knowing any of them, I encourage you to track down the current issue of The Cincinnati Review, wherein all is revealed. Seriously, all. We're not even wearing pasties.
A different question: What books did I, having realized just in time that not everyone is me, actually get for other people? Well, now. My sister, I thought, would enjoy a few of those complicated sweet/bitter laughs that Lorrie Moore is so good at, so she gets Birds of America. Mom's a big Kingsolver fan, so The Lacuna was an easy call. Dad, as much a sucker as I am for real-life explorers who traipse interestingly into jungle and fail to return, gets David Grann's The Lost City of Z. And my cousin Tim, who has spent most of the past several years dealing with sand and bullets, gets a little bit of complex gorgeous green: Bruce Chatwin's In Patagonia, perhaps my favorite of those travel books that need their own nook-shelf somewhere between fiction and non-.
Roy Kesey did not supply me with a bio so I'm winging it. He currently resides in Peru with his lovely wife and two children. He's the author of the novella, Nothing in the World, and the short story collection, All Over, and numerous other writings both on and off of the web.