Reading Group Center

Staff Picks: The Books We’re Giving This Year

We’re very, very, very lucky to work in an office filled with readers. It means that our TBR pile is always well-stocked with quality reads. So this holiday season, we asked our colleague which books they’ll be giving this year—they are the experts after all! Below is a list of their picks that are sure to delight even the hardest-to-shop-for friend.

9780375713347Geek Love by Katherine Dunn

Recommended by Austin O., Digital Publishing

This book is achingly beautiful and bizarre and the perfect book with which to take a breather from your family and feel good about returning to your own little clan of freaks.

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9780385480017Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

Recommended by Laura C., Marketing

Anne Lamott’s indispensable guide to writing and life turned twenty-five this year, so I’ll be handing out the beautiful anniversary edition to everyone on my gift list. It is a genuinely delightful read regardless of whether you’re a writer or just a fan of the written word.

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9781524747671A Cosmology of Monsters by Shaun Hamill

Recommended by Jackie L., Design

If you’re like me and prefer Halloween over the winter holidays, you’ll want to read Hamill’s debut novel. Weaving both the horror of mysterious fantastical creatures and a sprawling family drama A Cosmology of Monsters is the kind of book you’ll want to read at least twice.

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9780525565536The O. Henry Prize Stories 2019: The Best Short Stories of the Year edited by Laura Furman

Recommended by Diana T., Editorial

This annual collection is always a treasure box for fiction lovers, bringing twenty fantastic and wildly different stories together in one volume. And this year, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the fabled prize, it comes in an elegant gold-and-cream cover that is so gorgeous you won’t even need to wrap it.

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9781984898852Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Recommended by Laura C., Sales Marketing

I’ll be giving this fresh and gorgeously repackaged edition of Little Women from our Vintage Classics program.  With the movie opening 12/25, it’s the perfect time to go see the movie with friends, read the book, and discuss together!

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9781400032693The Best Cook in the World by Rick Bragg

Recommended by Tom P., Editorial

All of Rick Bragg’s books are delightful, but his most recent, ahem, takes the cake. Part family history, part cultural excavation, part tribute to his beloved mother, and part cookbook, it’s my go-to pick for word and food lovers alike.

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9780525564102The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

Recommended by Jess D., Marketing

Pat Barker’s latest novel is a stunning retelling of The Iliad from the perspective of the captured women of the Trojan War. It brings a refreshing twist to a well-known tale, and I think it’s the perfect gift for the women in my life. And just look at that cover!

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9780525566182Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl by Andrea Lawlor

Recommended by Maria G., Editorial

The winter holidays are the perfect time to step out of the doldrums of routine and escape into the magic of a different life and a different existence. Andrea Lawlor’s Paul Polydoris will sweep you away on a wild and fantastical odyssey, seduce you, and leave you aching for more. I won’t give anything away, but this exhilarating, sexy, and genre-defying book will have you hooked at its first page, and as soon you’ve closed the cover, you’ll want to shove it into the hands of all of your friends—as I plan to do this holiday season.

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9781400033416Beloved by Toni Morrison

Recommended by Paige S., Digital Marketing

I recently reread Beloved with my book club and was reminded of how amazing it is—from the powerful story to the beautiful writing. As a tribute to Toni Morrison, there will definitely be a copy in everyone’s stocking this year!

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9781524732363Running with Sherman by Christopher McDougall

Recommended by Caitlin L., Editorial

Chris McDougall’s inspiring, feel-good tail about nursing a rescue donkey back to health is perfect for literally everyone on your holiday list. It’s a great gift for runners, animal lovers, and fans of voice-driven narrative nonfiction.

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9780525564201My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Recommended by Lindsay M., Marketing

I’m planning to give my sisters (biological and honorary) Oyinkan Braithwaite’s darkly hilarious debut, My Sister, the Serial Killer. It’s a sharp, witty exploration of the power of sisterhood and a reminder that I’m not that bad of a sister because, hey, at least I don’t have a habit of killing my boyfriends.

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9780525432685The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian

Recommended by Irena V., Advertising & Promotion

Chris Bohjalian’s The Flight Attendant is a page-turning murder mystery that will have you holding your breath until the surprise ending. While it’s a thriller full of nail-biting suspense, it’s also a story of a vulnerable, self-destructive woman with whom you can’t help but sympathize as she struggles to find the killer and refuses to sit back and be the next victim.

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