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Must Buy Gifts


I have this game from the makers of Cranium (which incidentally, is a gold mine of gift ideas) called Whoonu where you basically ‘guess’ the likes and interests of the people you’re playing with. Sometimes it’s easy stuff like ‘a dozen roses’, other times it’s random stuff like ‘parrots that talk’. We still tease a friend of mine to this day who ranked two of her favourite things as ‘making lists’ and ‘being on time’.

Speaking of the former of those two items, we are a list-making and achieving generation. I read 50 books per year and list them in a different blog. I set a list of goals for myself to complete each year. I make grocery lists. I make lists of tasks to complete when getting my house ready to sell.

One popular ‘list’ activity is making ‘ALL TIME’ lists on specific topics. Entertainment Weekly is particularly good at these, as per their recent issue dedicated to the 100 best characters of the last 20 years (as long as they’ve been in existence).


If you’re friends with a ‘buff’ of any kind – movies, music, television, books, travel – then I have a great gift for you. The ‘501 Musts’ series has proliferated in the last decade with tomes on everything from cocktails and cars to speeches and events. Part coffee table, part bucket list, this books are a great treat for the passionate enthusiast in your life, plus you can mark off how you’re progressing as you go through it. Each item gets its own page of succinct text with images, giving you time to pore over the book for hours and hours.


What’s even better about these books (debatably I suppose) is how frequently they’re updated. The books repeatedly go out of print within a year or two when they’re updated with the latest ‘musts’ that have emerged in the last few years. While the core content of the book will remain the same, you can still find very recent titles in the ‘Musts’ series that actually will point to stuff in 2010 and 2009.

Depending on where and when you search, the prices on the books vary. In general they’re around the $15 mark, but right now on Chapters a few of the titles are in the bargain section for only $5 (likely because a new edition is set to launch soon). If you’re feeling a little chintzy for buying such a cost-effective gift, why not top it up with one of the items suggested in the books? Get a cool set of martini glasses or a specialty brand of liqueur with the cocktail book, or include a gift card or a few titles from ‘Must Read Books’, even if they’re used.

Best of all? If your enthusiast keeps up with the book, I have no doubt you’ll have gift-giving options for years to come based on the contents of whatever book you purchased them. Brilliant!

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