From Unemployed to Overworked: Best Book Gifts

If you're anything like me, you know at least half a dozen people who've been complaining about their colleagues and supervisors an awful lot lately. Rather than listen to more of their bellyaching, give them a copy of Donna Flagg's book (complete with scripts for sticky conversations). Then ask them how their Big Talk with that bumbling boss, cunning co-worker or underperforming underling went.

"The Power of Slow: 101 Ways to Save Time in Our 24/7 World"

You know that friend who's always 20 minutes late to dinner, checking her BlackBerry incessantly throughout the meal and forever whining about how behind she is at the office? She needs this book. As a member of Christine Louise Hohlbaum's target audience (people who aren't as efficient as they could be), I assure you your friend won't be offended. I'm currently sleeping with my copy of the book under my pillow, as is the friend I gave this book as a holiday gift.

For Hopeful Telecommuters

The number one question readers ask me is how to find a job they can do at home in their long johns. Countless books have been published on the topic. I should know; I wrote one of them, on how to launch a home-based freelancing business.

Of course, the aspiring telecommuters on your holiday shopping list may have no interest in forming their own company and finding their own clients. Instead, they may long to be a full-time or part-time employee who works at their kitchen table.

For those friends and family, I suggest "Work at Home Now: The No-Nonsense Guide to Finding Your Perfect Home-Based Job" by Christine Durst and Michael Haaren, founders of the job listing site RatRaceRebellion.com.

Among the topics Durst and Haaren cover: which jobs lend themselves to telecommuting (from tutors and transcriptionists to accountants and attorneys), where to find these positions online, how to avoid the many work-from-home scams littering the Web, which companies are telework friendly and how to convince your current boss to let you telecommute.

Sure, angora sweaters are softer than books, and yes, they come in those festively wrapped department store boxes that look so great under the holiday tree. But a sweater can't tell your sister or boyfriend how to collect a paycheck or hang onto the one they have -- something they'll need if they ever want to get your gift dry-cleaned.

This work is the opinion of the columnist and in no way reflects the opinion of ABC News.

Michelle Goodman is a freelance journalist and former cubicle dweller. She is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life: How to Survive and Thrive as a Creative Professional for Hire" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide: Practical Career Advice for Women Who Think Outside the Cube". For more information, see Anti9to5Guide.com.

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