Do you have a book lover on your holiday shopping list? Here are a few recommendations from our very talented literary critics that are sure to please even the most discerning reader.
Tabitha Lord Recommends
Dessert First by Dean Gloster. This young adult book is a beautifully written, compassionate story of a young girl dealing with the painful realities of her brother’s fight with cancer, while at the same time navigating her own tumultuous teenage experience. Read my interview with Dean here.
Good Morning, Midnight: A Novel by Lily Brooks- Dalton. Augustine is an aging astronomer working in the Arctic circle and astronaut Sullivan is returning from a mission to Jupiter when they both lose all connection to the outside world. Chilling in its premise, with a compelling narrative and well-drawn characters, this book faces a question for the ages: what matters at the end of the world? Read my interview with Lily here.
Kelly Sarabyn Recommends
The Yoga of Max’s Discontent: A Novel, by Karan Bajaj. The rare book that manages to be both philosophical and a page turner. Follow Max as he leaves the New York City rat race behind to test his body and spirit on an adventure through India. Hidden night markets, Himalayan caves and remote ashrams bring this book alive. Read my interview with Karan here.
The Dollhouse: A Novel, by Fiona Davis. This is a glamorous mystery set in 1950s New York and the present day. At the famed Barbizon Hotel for Women, we meet two ambitious young women who flirt with danger as they navigate their careers and relationships. Read my interview with Fiona Davis here.
Amy M. Hawes Recommends
The Runaway Wife: A Novel by Elizabeth Birkelund. After three French sisters persuade Jim Olsen to track down their mother Calliope in the Swiss Alps, Jim not only helps Calliope escape from her cheating, politician husband, he finds refuge from his own predictable path in life. Literary with a touch of thriller mixed in. Read my interview with Elizabeth here.
A Hundred Thousand Worlds: A Novel by Bob Proehl. Valerie Torrey and her nine-year-old son Alex travel cross-country hopping from one comic book convention to another. They do have a destination–Los Angeles–yet the trip itself brings the reader on a metaphoric journey well worth taking. Proehl’s technique facilitates an interesting and fun read that never bores, while deftly avoiding confusion and excess. Read my interview with him here.
Everyone Loves You Back by Louie Cronin. Bob Boland struggles with his age, his neighbors, management, love and other sundry upheavals as a radio host in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Bob’s honest, biting observations on gentrifying Cambridge will have you laughing out load. Louie worked at Car Talk and other radio programs for years. Read the interview here.
Mary Sullivan Recommends
What Light by Jay Asher. Teenage romance set on a Christmas tree farm. Grab the cocoa.
The Kite and the String by Alice Mattison. Part memoir, part tough love for the aspiring writer from an MFA professor/novelist. Read my interview with Alice here.
Kate Newton Recommends
The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena. Anne and Marco Conti’s new baby disappears from her crib while her parents carouse at a dinner party next door. What starts out as every parent’s worst nightmare leads to growing scrutiny from the police, the couple’s mounting desperation, and eventually, suspicion within the family’s inner circle. This will keep you guessing til the end. Read my interview with Shari here.
North of Here by Laurel Saville. Against the backdrop of the Adirondack Mountains, this is the story of a back-to-nature cult, delving into the complex relationships that can grow between damaged souls and their would-be rescuers. Illustrates both the power and the limitations of love. Read my interview with Laurel here.
Maribel Garcia Recommends
My Heart Can’t Even Believe It: A Story of Science, Love, and Down Syndrome by Amy Silverman. This is a searching, compassionate and ultimately uplifting memoir about the emotional and educational journey that ensued after Amy’s baby was diagnosed with Down syndrome. Read my interview with Amy Silverman here.
One More Day: A Dark and Captivating Thriller, by Kelly Simmons. Kelly delights us with a psychological thriller about the mother of a kidnapped child that is both plot and character driven. Her novel makes you ask questions like: What is the good life? What does it look like? Does it even matter? A must read. Read my interview with Kelly here.
A House of My Own: Stories from My Life by Sandra Cisnero. This memoir delivered on three of the criteria that I consider to be most relevant when evaluating the strength of the genre: a memorable voice, prose that elicits an emotional connection, and reading material that teaches you something new. Read my review here.