Obviously, you’d don’t have to be an old farmer — or even any kind of farmer — to enjoy The Old Farmer’s Almanac (Yankee Publishing), which has been published annually since 1792. The contemporary editions retain all the down-homey advice that made the annual publication an absolute must for those who made their living from the land, but gears itself these days to answering questions and bringing smiles to readers wherever they live. The 2009 edition includes articles on fashion trends, growing tomatoes and even one on global cooling. But the heart of the whole thing is in the calendar pages. “They present sky sightings and astronomical data for the entire year and are what make this book a true almanac.”

Who needs an almanac? Brides, gardeners, event planners: basically anyone who wants a shot at seeing into the future. In any case, the book is slender, inexpensive and will slide easily into a stocking and should, theoretically, provide a whole year of fun.

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