Cyber-Monday geek gift guide: 2009's top toys and books for techies

As visions of electronics dance in your head, check out these seriously cool gadgets and provocative books for your wish list

Finding the perfect gift for techies is no easy matter. After all, by definition, geeks are steeped in the latest and greatest tech gadgets, and it's just as difficult to find a tech-based subject they don’t already think they know everything about. With today's "cyber-Monday" official start to online holiday buying, what better venue to find those techie treasures?

To help you find the perfect gift for the techie in your life -- or to steer a loved one toward something you'd really like -- has looked beyond the obvious to uncover 10 seriously cool new gadgets and 24 must-read tech books that will appeal to the geek in all of us. You won't find the iPhone or Droid here, nor will you light upon the latest external network drive; more likely than not, your geek already has those. Instead, you'll find items aimed at satisfying every geek's innermost desire: to explore.

[ Discover the 10 best gifts for techies in the’s "2009 geek gadget gift guide" slideshow. | Discover the 24 best new books for techies in the’s "2009 geek book gift guide" slideshow. ]

Because if there's one thing we geeks all love to do, no matter what type of science, engineering, or tech discipline floats our boat, it's to play with technology that is both cool and useful. Sometimes that means toying around with a somewhat esoteric gadget. Other times that means soaking up new tech know-how we can apply at home or at work.

This year's geek gadget gift guide includes the 55-cent Animal Clips for budding young geeks to the seriously useful and cool personal Pogoplug cloud storage device to a touch-based laptop that could show the way for real tablet computing.

This year's geek book gift guide has recommendations in seven categories: "something different" explorations, personal tech guides, hands-on deep technology how-tos, cloud and architecture expositions, business management primers for IT people, IT management how-tos, and tech best-practices "rethink" books.

This article, "2009 geek gift guide: The best toys and books for techies," was originally published at