Okay, brilliant might be pushing the boat a bit, but I think we came up with a pretty good idea for someone who is turning 50 - that would make her born in 1961.
If you know me, then you know normally books are for birthdays, but I couldn't remember who she liked to read, so I was stumped. Unheard of, but it happens. However, we were under the gun, and we had no time to fuss about, so we went shopping.
Being me, I hadn't totally ditched the book idea, but then the cutie brought forth a a CD of 60's hits. We walked around with it for a while and it finally hit me - find a bestselling book from the year she was born - and settled on James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl, although Thunderball by Ian Fleming also sound pretty good. And then I took it a step further and picked up a copy of the Oscar winner for Best Picture for the same year which was West Side Story. That said, Breakfast at Tiffany's was another that sounded pretty cool.
I wish I could have found a candy or drink that had debuted that year, but I ran out of time. In the end, it was fun to shop for this gift, at some point it had turned into a scavenger hunt of sorts. So, next time someone you know is turning 50, give them the best from the year they were born.