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Dont Know What to Read? Ask the Penguin Hotline

Call us old school, but we’re all about giving thoughtfully chosen books as holiday gifts. But what to pick for your WWII-obsessed uncle who has already read every WWII-related tome? You’re kinda thinking something about U-boats… or Roosevelt… but you’re at a loss…

Fear not, there’s a time-savvy way to get book recommendations. It’s the Penguin Hotline, and it’s basically like the Thanksgiving Butterball hotline--but for getting book recommendations, and it's conducted via email.

It takes about five minutes: You just fill out a short questionnaire about your giftee’s interests, then some brainiac at Penguin Publishers emails you back with recommendations (from any publisher, not just Penguin) and reasons why each is a good selection.

Recent queries for our family members led us to get Dad a memoir about monetary policy during the Great Recession and a boxed set of Wimpy Kid books for our nine-year-old nephew.

Check it out now, since it can take a few days to get responses (although ours came five hours after we emailed!), and the service is available only through December 21.

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