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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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!”
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.”
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