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Item #25: "gift" exchange. In the spirit of the holidays -- Step 1. Post a note here in the comments section with a book that you think others would like to or should read. Give a compelling reason why you think others should read that book. Hint: You want people to pick your book recommendation for step 2. YOU MUST POST YOUR BOOK RECOMMENDATION PRIOR TO JAN 7, 2016.

Step 2. Starting on JAN 7 and NO EARLIER. Pick a book to read from among the book titles that other people have recommended. You can’t pick your own book to read. Please wait until after Jan 7th to select your book since that will give everyone a chance to post their recommendations.

This item comes with a “hidden” prize that will be revealed at the end of the competition. In order to qualify for this prize you must complete BOTH steps for this item.

If you don't want to compete for the individual item prize, you can still complete this item by picking one of the recommended books and reading that one - without making your own recommendation. You won't win the prize, but you will then be able to tick this item off your whole list.

The list of recommendations for you to choose from (please see individual comments to read rationale for each book):

Of Mice and Men by Steinbeck

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Machines of Loving Grace by John Markoff

Rules for a Knight by Ethan Hawke

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

The Martian by Andy Weir

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot

An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Almeddine

The Tsar of Love and Techno by Anthony Marra

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields

I Always Loved you by Robin Oliveira

In the Night Garden by Catherynne M. Valente

The Hour of the Star by Clarice Lispector

Columbine by Dave Cullen

Franny and Zoey by J.D. Salinger

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy

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