Today’s no-waffle: 10 great books to give

Posted on

Thank you for sending in such great book suggestions for your fellow gift-givers.  I have included the Amazon link to each book so you can read its reviews and a longer description, but I urge you to support local bookstores when buying.  A big shout out to Third Place Books in Seattle and Island Books on Mercer Island!

1.  It’s a heartbreaking book, but An Exact Replica of a Figment of my Imagination by Elizabeth McCracken is unbelievably good.

An Exact Replica of a Figment of my Imagination by Elizabeth McCracken, memoir, writer's life, death of a child book, miscarriage book, amazon

2.  Ghost Map by Steven Johnson is a thrilling historical account of the worst cholera outbreak in Victorian London-and a brilliant exploration of how Dr. John Snow’s solution revolutionized the way we think about disease, cities, science, and the modern world.

The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson, books about cholera, historical non-fiction, cholera outbreak London, books about epidemics, amazon, great books to give

3.  Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls, the author of The Glass Castle,  is the amazing story of Walls’ grandmother, a tough, independent rancher.

Jeannettte Walls Half Broke Horses, author of The Glass Castle,

4.  Mudbound by Hillary Jordan is set in 1946 Mississippi Delta. Readers give this book terrific reviews.  The story is told from many characters’ points of view, but highlights the relationship between two men — one white, one black — returning to Jim Crow south after serving in WWII.

Mudbound by Hillary Jordan, 1946 Mississippi Delta, black white friendship, Book about Jim Crow South

5.  Readers give high marks to Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese:   “Moving from Addis Ababa to New York City and back again, Cutting for Stone is an unforgettable story of love and betrayal, medicine and ordinary miracles–and two brothers whose fates are forever intertwined.”

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese, Abraham Verghese, Amazon

6.  One reader wrote in that she enjoyed The Help: “It made me laugh, cry, rejoice, be angry, and most of all, it made me want to continue to change the world for the good.”

The Help Kathryn Stockett, popular books, best book club books


7.  The Hare With the Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal is a fascinating tale by a world class potter who explores his family’s history and its collection of tiny carvings, Japanese netsuke. This precis does not convey the beauty of the language, the detective skill in discovering his family’s experience before, during and after the Holocaust and the sheer fun the reader gets out of the book.

The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance by Edmund de Waal

8.  Sarah Bakewell, the author of How To Live: The Life Of Montaigne, does a superb and affectionate job of giving the reader the of so lovable French Renaissance philosopher Montaigne, his works, and the the events and background that informed them.

How to Live: Or A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer sarah bakewell


9.  Jessica from Shhh Mommy’s Blogging loved The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak: “It’s the story of a small German town during WWII and it follows a particular young girl known as the Book Thief. It’s narrated not by the girl but by Death and is a wonderful book. I’ll be buying it for a few people on my list I’m sure!”

the book thief marcus zusak

10.  In The Happiness Project Gretchen Rubin “chronicles her adventures during the twelve months she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific research, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier.”

The Happiness Project Gretchen Rubin, memoir


Happy selecting!

What are you waffling about these days? Whether it’s boots or bathroom fixtures, click on the button below to send me a waffle and get help.

5 responses

  1. my sister-in-law got me “The Help” for my birthday last year and it was awesome 😉

  2. I’ve heard a lot of great things about many of these books.

  3. Thanks for the shout out Molly! I really hope everyone reads The Book Thief if they haven’t already. It’s SO good. I’m excited to check out the rest of the list – there’s quite a few I haven’t read yet.

  4. I’m so happy to have your list for references. I have always been in a book club until very recently so I feel lost for idea. Yay!

  5. Great list! I am currently reading The Happiness Project and am enjoying it so far.