Wine, flowers, and a book?

On the rare occasion in which I am invited to dinner, I always take a bottle of wine. Sometimes flowers. (I've read that you should never take flowers as it creates more work for the host. I disagree. I love to get flowers. And really, how hard is it to fill a vase with water and plop 'em in?)

As much as I like wine, I like to shake routine.  And so, I've been giving books! 

I enjoy the process of considering my favorite books and then matching those to what I think my host may enjoy — Do I choose funny? thoughtful? irreverent? mainstream? I'm not sure I hit the mark — or that my hosts wouldn't rather have wine — but it's fun to try. 

A few of my favorite hostess book-gifts are: 

How Not to Act Old by Pamela Redmond Satran

Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner

Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

I'd like to expand my offerings (I once took my own book, a painting/poetry collaboration, but that felt self-promoting and weird). What books do you suggest? If I was invited to your home for dinner, what book would you like me to bring?