I think everyone should give books this holiday season, so for a second I had this idea that I would present a series, recommending what type of people to whom you could give all the books I read between now and Christmas.
Then I realized that will probably be like three books.
Nevertheless, for the ghostbusters and gender benders in your family, I recommend Jennifer Finney Boylan's I'm Looking Through You, a memoir of "growing up haunted." Boylan, who transitioned to female in 2000, spent the latter part of her childhood in a crazy, creaky 200-year-old mansion in Pennsylvania. Strange noises and full-on apparitions were as much a part of her daily life as the nagging feeling that she--then he--was supposed to be a girl.
Flashing back and forth between decades, Boylan drives home the message that you can be haunted by literal ghosts and metaphorical ones, ghosts of the past and--to her surprise--ghosts of one's future self.
Such themes are right up my literary alley, and I devoured this book in just a few days. It's also hilarious. Boylan has a wry sense of humor and a wacky family as good source material (for example, the grandma who loves to get drunk and talk about the night Boylan's father was conceived). Sometimes its lightness felt like a disservice to the book, though. I like my haunted houses just a little more spooky.
Nevertheless, with more than one quote from A Christmas Carol adorning its bookishly haunted pages, it would make a great gift.