Relaxing with a good book is something so many of us wish we had more time for. That’s one of the many things that makes a book the perfect gift. You’re asking someone to take a little time to sit and enjoy the carefully crafted story on the pages in front of them. To help you wrap up your shopping, here are a few book suggestions that would make a great gift.
The Paris Wife (By Paula McLain)
A Moveable Feast (Ernest Hemingway)
Paula McLain has several historical fiction novels that top my own personal favorites list, The Paris Wife being one of them. This book tells the story of Ernest Hemingway’s first wife, Hadley Richardson. The novel captures the life of the young couple as they lived in Paris during the Jazz Age. McLain always does an impecable job researching her historical fiction pieces which makes them even more enjoyable. When I read this, I was so drawn into Paris and the lives of Hadley and Ernest that I went on to read Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast. I like to think of this memoir as his perspective on The Paris Wife. Any reader who falls in love with Hadley’s story like I did will be ready to move on quickly to the literary work of her husband.
My Losing Season: A Memoir (Pat Conroy)
This year, the literary world lost a great author. Thankfully, his stories will be around for generations to come. Conroy’s famous The Prince of Tides was almost a rite of passage reading in my family. The same emotionally rich storytelling fills the pages of My Losing Season. This memoir goes back to Conroy’s years as a student at the Citadel playing basketball. This is the ultimate story on how to learn from your losses and bond together with others as a team. It is a great read for most anyone, but an especially good pick for anyone in a mentor role, a sports fan, or a fan of Pat Conroy.
The Wizard of Menlo Park: How Thomas Alva Edison Invented the Modern World (Randall E. Stross)
There are many biographies out there on Thomas Edison, who is thought to be one of the first celebrities of the modern world. What’s interesting about this biography is that it doesn’t focus solely on Edison’s unquestionable genius, but also tells the story of his insecurities, challenges, and ability to create his own brand. This isn’t just the story of his inventions and scientific contributions, but of his life as a human with quirks and imperfections like the rest of us. While I haven’t personally read this one, my husband has recently been working on it and has really enjoyed the unique perspective it gives on the life of an American legend.
Serafina and the Black Cloak (Robert Beatty)
I recently ventured into the deep dark woods with Serafina and became a huge fan. These books are intended for readers 9-14 years old, but as an adult lover of young adult books, I thought this was amazing. This list has suggestions intended mostly for adult readers and Serafina and the Black Cloak is no exception. Don’t get me wrong, this is a great novel for older elementary and middle school readers, but any adult who loves juvenile fiction, especially supernatural stories, will fall in love with Serafina. This is the story of a mysterious young girl who lives in the basement of the famous Biltmore Estate in 1899 with her father. She discovers what it is like to have a friend, treasure her own peculiarities, and solve a magical mystery. The Black Cloak was released in July of 2015 and there is now a second book in the series, Serafina and the Twisted Staff. Though I haven’t read it yet, I’m sure any book lover friend of yours would be happy to receive the newest in the series as well!
A Christmas Carol (Charles Dickens)
As a book lover, I have to first admit that I had never read the Christmas classic, A Christmas Carol until this year. I also must admit, I only have a digital copy and would absolutely love a nice hardback copy, complete with original illustrations, to keep with my Christmas decorations and put out year after year. Do you know anyone who would do the same? The last time I had read Dickens was in high school, so I was a hesitant to dive into what I thought would be dull and boring. I was surprised to find myself drawn into the characters, swept up in the poetic descriptions, and thoroughly enjoying the story. Giving the gift of A Christmas Carol is a fantastic idea for Christmas lovers and book lovers alike.