It’s always the right size and color
A book may be entertainment. It may be a deep read that provokes thought and debate. It may be heartbreaking. It may be inspirational.
The gift of a book means that you’ve taken the time to select a title that will appeal to your friend or family member. It’s a way to say, “I know you” and appreciate who you are and what you love.
Here’s a selection of books to match with a range of readers on your holiday list.
The Essex Serpent
Sarah Perry || Literary Fiction
For fiction lovers, here’s Dickens with an edge. This novel is set on the sea in Essex, east of London, where “the serpent” has been reported. The author has an extraordinary ability to describe the lush and decay of the land and creates characters that appear to us out of the ether. Enjoy this combo love story and mystery—solemn and joyous at times, yet with moments that are shattering.
A Legacy of Spies
John LeCarre || Thriller
Peter Guillam, retired from the CIA, is called back to headquarters, where pending litigation is making people nervous. His superiors wish to discuss (interrogate him about?) an intelligence operation that took place during the Cold War. Acclaimed author John Le Carre takes us back to the Cold War (have we missed it?) and reacquaints us with George Smiley, an honorable man in a dishonorable age. Clearly, if you’re a Le Carre fan, then Smiley is one of your old friends. Enjoy the ride.
My Absolute Darling
Gabriel Tallent || New Author/Indie Pick
We seem to live in the time of people searching out sanctuaries—physical spaces where they might be shielded from chaos. New author Tallent brings us Turtle Alveston, a 14-year-old girl living with her dangerous, survivalist father in the Northern California forest. Turtle is lonely, tough, resourceful and increasingly wary of her father’s explosiveness. Finally, she must escape. In doing so she becomes a character rendered indelible in the reader’s memory.
Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI
David Grann || Nonfiction
David Grann, best-selling author of The Lost City of Z, has written a nonfiction narrative that revisits the tragic Osage murders—from the 1920s, when there were mysterious murders of Osage Native Americans. The Osage had become wealthy from the oil found on their land. The book reads like a mystery but has undertones of greed and racism. At the same time, J. Edgar Hoover was taking over the FBI, which played a key role in tracking down some of the killers.
The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World
The Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu || Spirituality
His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu came together to discuss something very important to them both—joy. Both winners of the Nobel Peace Prize, these spiritual icons are known for their infectious happiness. In the book, they examine their teachings, the science of joy and how joy has infused their own lives. Now in their later years, the two want to share with others. There’s likely someone on your list to share this with, too.
The Historic Barns of Southeastern Pennsylvania
Gregory Huber || Local Interest/Architecture
Beautifully photographed, the historic barns come alive in this interesting history of the architecture and preservation of barns built in this area between 1750 and 1900. This book, from Shiffer Publishing in Atglen, would make a lovely holiday gift for those who love this part of the country—whether they have their own barn or just dream of having one.
The Salt Line
Holly Goddard Jones || Science Fiction
On the surface, this dystopian nightmare is a horror story about ticks that carry a deadly disease outside the “salt line” that protects all who live within. As the story develops, another story is woven in—of greed and a conspiracy to blackmail wealthy individuals who have paid to venture beyond the salt line and experience the unknown and forbidden. The interplay of personalities, the enjambment of rich and destitute, and the excitement of the chase make this a fascinating read for fans of the genre.
The Home Cook
Alex Guarnaschelli || Cookbook
Guarnaschelli is an accomplished chef and author, as well as daughter of the key editor of the late-20th-century classic The Joy of Cooking. Here she introduces 300 recipes including Glazed Five-Spice Ribs, Roasted Eggplant Dip with Garlic Butter Naan, Roasted Beef Brisket with Pastrami Rub, Fennel and Orange Salad with Walnut Pesto, Quinoa Allspice Oatmeal Cookies, and Dark Chocolate Rum Pie. This book is a worthy descendant of that kitchen bible for many of us—and that those of a certain age still have in our pantry!
What to Say Next
Julie Buxbaum || Young Adult
Buxbaum’s first novel, Tell Me Three Things, earned her accolades and comparisons to Rainbow Rowell. This book focuses on an unlikely friendship that started when popular Kit Lowell decides, after her father’s death, to sit somewhere new at lunch, where she meets introverted David Drucker. As they get to know each other, they take on finding out the mysteries of her father’s car accident. A compelling young adult read.
John Lennon || Children’s
For those who love this song and remember John, this beautifully illustrated children’s picture book will introduce your child to universal themes of love and peace—and perhaps fill you with nostalgia. Yoko Ono has written a lovely introduction.
Find the Wellington Square Bookshop on Facebook, Instagram and on Twitter at WSBookshop. The Bookshop hosts a café, monthly fiction and nonfiction book clubs, author events with book signings and an Avid Reader podcast available on Podomatic. 549 Wellington Square, Eagleview Town Center, Exton. WellingtonSquareBooks.com.