The Holiday Gift guide you were hoping never to see?
1. Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill. A cheerful, festive title! Happy Valentine's Day! Tell them that you bought the book on eBay and that it comes with a ghost! How come nobody ever gave me a vengeful ghost for Valentine's Day?
2. Let the Right One In. A vampire film that is really a love story between a boy and a girl who is "not really a girl." Romantic! Also it is a secret test to see if they realize how oh my god depressing the happy ending is.
3. The End of Alice by A. M. Holmes. The first story I ever read by A. M. Holmes was about a boy who was secretly dating his sister's Barbie doll. The story had weird overtones of the sister abusing Barbie, and it ended with the boy using Ken as a sex toy. Now imagine that writer writing a book about murderous pedophiles. This is the perfect gift.
4. Little tales of Misogyny by Patricia Highsmith. Patricia Highsmith is one of my absolute favourite writers, and this book is not why. It is almost entirely hateful, to women in particular but also just to everyone. If Valentine's day is rolling around, and you haven't been able to break things off, give them this book and tell them it really speaks to you.
5. If, on the other hand, Valentine's day is rolling around and you are starting to think they might be the one, you could get them Highsmith's far superior The Animal Lover's Book of Beastly Murder. A book of animals killing the people who mistreat them. It is just as nasty as the Misogyny book, but this is the kind of nasty anyone can get behind. And true love loves to hate together.