Books I’m Giving this Holiday Season

I believe books are the best present and they often make up a large part of the gifts I give.  For the last several years, I’ve written about the books I plan to give during the upcoming holiday. My previous posts are here: 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012.  I used to share ideas “for children’ and “for adults” but as my children, and many of the children I know get older, the lines are blurrier.  So, this year, my list in no particular order.  I’d love to hear what books you plan to gift this year!

The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage (Book of Dust, Volume 1)– Philip Pulllman.  It’s no secret that I’m a huge Pullman fan (fun fact: so is R.J. Palacio: Auggie Pullman in Wonder is named for him) and I can’t wait to read this new book (the first of three) which revists Lyra, the intrepid, compelling heroine of the The Golden Compass.

Strong Is the New Pretty: A Celebration of Girls Being Themselves – Kate T. Parker. One of Grace’s godmothers gave her this book and she and I were both smitten.  Inspirational, strong, powerful, this book is an affirmation for anyone – girl, boy, adult, child – that being ourselves is the most beautiful, and most important, thing.

Artemis – Andy Weir.  For any fan of The Martian, this is a must-read.  I loved Andy Weir’s first novel (and love the story of how it came to be, with his self-publication followed by enormous success followed by traditional publishing taking notice). I plan to read this after Whit undoubtedly tears through it.

Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery – Scott Kelly. I found this book, of Kelly’s journey from childhood in New Jersey to a year in the International Space Station, as riveting as the photographs he tweeted from space. A marvelous book for anyone in your life who is interested in space, exploration, and the human race pushing the boundaries of the known.

Turtles All the Way Down – John Green. Grace and I will have to take turns with John Green’s much-anticipated and awaited new novel.  He can do no wrong as far as she (and I) are concerned.

Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver – Mary Oliver, my favorite poet.  This beautiful collection is a perfect gift for a friend who doesn’t yet know of Mary Oliver’s luminous poetry, or for someone who is just beginning to discover her. Or, really, for anyone.

I’m the One Who Got Away – Andrea Jarrell’s.  Jarrell’s first book, a slender memoir, reads with the urgency of a freight train.  In spare, beautiful prose, she writes about how we live with and move past our childhoods, in her case a particularly challenging one.  I can’t stop thinking about this beautiful book.

Saints for All Occasions – Courtney Sullivan.  I’ve established that I didn’t read much meaningful fiction this year, but Sullivan’s engrossing, compassionate novel about family, loyalty, secrets, and identity is one I keep recommending.  The Washington Post just named it one of the 10 best of the year, so I’m not alone in loving this story!

The Burning Girl – Claire Messud.  I also loved Messud’s novel, and have been mentioning it along with Saints to everyone who asks what I’ve read recently.  Her story, about the treacherous road girls can travel from adolescence to adulthood, has stayed with me.

Full disclosure: the links are Amazon affilitate links.

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