A book can be one of the most meaningful and thoughtful (not to mention relatively inexpensive) gifts you can give during the holiday season. Few things are be more personal than sharing the stories which have resonated with you, and which have shaped the way you feel about or understand the world.
A book is the kind of gift that will last far longer than the fleeting holiday season, the wrapping paper strewn on hardwood floors, or the shriveled and fallen pine needles from the Christmas tree or Hanukkah bush.
And to get you started, here are five books which have become dear companions over the past year, and which would serve as wonderful gifts for any and all of the book lovers in your life.
The MaddAddam trilogy is a post-apocalyptic themed, furiously satirical trilogy that I positively devoured this summer. Atwood creates a world where the CorpSeCorps rule and the fabric of society is strained between those who exist on the fringes of society in the Pleeblands and those who exercise maniacal control over the planet’s remaining resources, in the Compounds. This is, in my humble opinion, some of Margaret Atwood’s best work. The world she creates is creepily close to where humanity could end up in the (near) future and her imaginative characters and storytelling are truly spectacular.
I’ve read nearly everything published by Neil Gaiman and this collection of “Short Fictions and Wonders” is one of my absolute favorites. Although Gaiman’s typical medium is the novel (ie, Anansi Boys, Stardust, Neverwhere) he breaks from that and transitions to short story telling form in this collection. The stories span a variety of themes, from Sherlock Holmes-esque mysteries in A Study in Emerald, to a coming-of-age story where literal alien females mingle with nervous boys at an adolescent house party in How to Talk to Girls at Parties. This little gem is packed full of vivid storytelling that will keep your mind wandering far away from the confines of your morning commute.
This book is truly a masterpiece and a gift to the world. It’s dense, vivid, and heart breakingly wonderful in every way. The novel, set in the mythical town of Macondo in metaphoric Colombia, chronicles the rise and fall, sorrow, heartbreak and joy in the lives of the sprawling Buendiá family. The story feels like an anthology of the human experience and combines elements of magical realism and echoes themes of ancestral story telling. If I were ever to be stranded on an island for all eternity by myself, this book would surely be the one that I would choose to have with me. It’s that good.
Yvette takes on Dutch and French comfort food in her quirky cookbook that combines hand drawn illustrations, personal photos, stories and recipes. It’s the perfect cookbook to curl up with on a wintry day and provide you with cooking inspiration for warm and nourishing winter meals. She includes recipes for everything from Pain d’épices (spice gingerbread), to homemade herbed butters, stiff cocktails, soups, roasts and desserts.
The second follow up cookbook from Joy Wilson, a spunky self-taught baker, who runs the wildly popular blog, joythebaker.com. Her recipes alone have earned my trust for making chocolate chip cookies & homemade pie. Her recipes are approachable and written without pretention, that makes it seems as if Joy is standing right beside you, helping you work the shaggy dough of her perfect biscuit recipe, or helping you blend up a frosty glass of her peach and buttermilk milkshake.
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