Myrna Blyth, long-time editor of Ladies Home Journal, founding editor of More, and author of Spin Sisters: How the Women of the Media Sell Unhappiness — and Liberalism — to the Women of America, suggests:
I would recommend Enemies of the People, by Kati Marton, for anyone who never learned, has forgotten, or needs a refresher course in the true horrors of Soviet oppression. It is about her parents, who were AP and UPI correspondents in Communist Hungary and were imprisoned by the regime. After reading the secret police’s massive files on her mother and father, Marton understood far more about her parents’ complex story. It is a cool, thoughtful memoir about family secrets and family love.
For pre-teen and teenage girls besotted by vampires, I’d suggest some books with gutsy heroines. Nowadays, girls’ tastes too often seem to run to novels where the heroines are passive, vapid, and love-sick — either that, or shopaholic mean girls. I’d start with Pride and Prejudice, of course, and Little Women, maybe even Anne of Green Gables and some Nancy Drew mysteries. Elizabeth Bennet and Jo March should entertain them and help them realize there is more to life for girls than wanting someone to suck your blood.
Although it is very, very late in the game and doesn’t provide 75,000 apps, I’d still suggest the ruby-red Blackberry Curve. For someone who may not be all that tech savvy, it is easy to use. And if you give it in a bright little carrying case, it is very easy to find in one’s handbag.