I think books make a great gift- I requested a pile of them for Christmas and I can’t wait to see which ones I get! It’s like the gift that keeps on giving, especially when it’s a book you wind up really loving. When I can’t think of a gift for someone, I figure a great book is always a safe bet. I have pretty eclectic taste when it comes to reading material, so I culled my collection for a few that I think would make excellent presents for many different tastes. Some are old, some are new, but all are great in their own way!
For the mystery lover:
Tana French’s novels are total page turners, but without sacrificing great writing, detailed character development, and emotional intensity. In the Woods is my favorite so far!
Alice LaPlante’s Turn of Mind is told from the point of view of a physician accused of murder while her mind is deteriorating with dementia. Unreliable narrator, anyone? Louise Penny’s A Trick of the Light is one I’m currently reading-it got rave reviews from Bookpage.com and made the New York Times list of top Notable Crime Books of 2011!
For the romance lover:
Ali Shaw’s The Girl with Glass Feet is a unique tale of two outsiders who fall in love while one battles a highly unusual affliction.
One Day, by David Nicholls, follows the on-again, off-again relationship of two opposites, Dexter and Emma. I LOVE this book.
Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is bursting with fascinating information and rich descriptions of delicious meals. I cannot recommend this book highly enough, absolutely loved it.
A Homemade Life, by Molly Wizenberg (of the lovely Orangette) is a great collection of stories accompanied by yummy recipes. It’s just a warm and delightful memoir, the perfect book to curl up with on a snowy day.
Tracy Chevalier’s Remarkable Creatures is a simple story of two friends who hunt for fossils and make some surprising discoveries-Chevalier is such a great writer and I enjoyed this book MUCH more than I expected to.
In the Garden of Beasts, by Erik Larson, takes a really interesting tack on WWII by describing the time period leading up to it, from the point of view of the US ambassador in Berlin. I don’t read much non-fiction but this was a REALLY good one.
Catherine the Great, by Robert K. Massie-I haven’t read it yet but see my post here about why I’m looking forward to diving into it!
For the lover of “coming of age” tales:
Curtis Sittenfeld’s debut Prep was dubbed by some a Catcher in the Rye for girls-I consider this a modern classic.
The Little Stranger is DEFINITELY in my top five-Sarah Waters crafts a seriously creepy, atmospheric tale that will give you chills and keep you guessing to the very last line.
Room, by Emma Donoghue, is a total original-told from the point of view of a five year old boy who lives with his mom in “Room,” where they’ve been held captive for his entire life.
Scott Smith’s The Ruins is another one in my top five which I cannot recommend highly enough (and please do NOT judge it by the rather poor movie made in it’s image)-4 college grads go on vacation in Mexico, where an unexpected and unpleasant dilemma awaits them.
What do you think? Anyone read any of these and loved them (or not loved them?) Any of these on your wish list?