Here's my top four picks that's I'd like to get (I have the 1st one already) from this years Christianity Today Book awards (see here for their extensive list).
So can I encourage you to choose one for a friend, and make them fat! OK, it might be too late to get some of these actually by the 25th Dec, but then hey, give a card that says "it's in the mail", or buy them the e-version.
Steven D. Boyer and Christopher A. Hall (Baker Academic)
"Boyer and Hall do an excellent job unpacking the subject of mystery, which is constantly alluded to in theological work but rarely carefully analyzed. The authors achieve clarity without sacrificing depth." --James Beilby, professor of biblical/theological studies, Bethel University
Larry Eskridge (Oxford University Press)
"This rich and surprisingly entertaining book is the definitive work on the Jesus People movement, a significant shaper of contemporary evangelicalism. Eskridge masters an incredible range of stories and sources. For anyone with a background in the Jesus People movement, Calvary Chapels, Vineyard churches, the Willow Creek Association, or the charismatic renewal that began in the 1970s, this is like reading an autobiography." --Thomas Kidd, professor of history, Baylor University
N. D. Wilson (Thomas Nelson)
"Death by Living is a reflective yet lively mishmash of theology, philosophy, and memoir. Wilson's mantra that 'life is meant to be spent' seeps from every pore of this book. Both playful and poetic, Wilson's carpe diem challenge is sweaty with urgency, his anecdotes buzzy with vibrancy." --Kristen Scharold, writer and editor, Brooklyn, New York
Tyler Wigg-Stevenson (InterVarsity Press)
"Wigg-Stevenson offers insight and advice to a generation badly in need of visionary yet earthy wisdom. This book is freighted with the kind of realism capable of restoring and sustaining high ideals." --Eric Miller, professor of history, Geneva College