Well, maybe that’s not all I want. But is it any accident that some of the best books of the year are published between September and December? I’m going with no. There are beautiful cookbooks, and art books, and juicy novels. A new book by an old favorite? A snazzy debut? Heck yeah. I can’t lie, when it comes to book shopping, as with most gift shopping this season–who are we kidding?!–it’s a “one for you, one for me” kind of process. As Nick Hornby once wrote, “reading begets reading”, so one book just makes me want more. Family members may want to stop reading here, unless you like knowing what’s inside the gift wrap.
Though I’ve got piles and piles of books to read, here’s some of what I’m reading and buying these days:
2. Commonwealth by Ann Patchett. I’m a huge fan of hers, and this is a novel about marriage, infidelity, stepsiblings, tragedy, growing up, death, love, heartbreak, parent-child relationships, being a screwup. I loved it, I got mad at characters, I cried, I laughed a little.
3. Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple. I love, love, loved Where’d You Go, Bernadette? and this is her newest. Semple is great at creating characters who are kind of bitchy in a way that I love and relate to, even if they experience things I don’t relate to. And she’s FUNNY. Write more faster, please, Maria.
4. Shop Cats of New York by Tamar Arslanian. I think any store is made better with a cat’s presence. These cats are gorgeously photographed, and this book loudly whispered my name. Had to buy it.
5. Audrey and Givenchy by Cindy De la Hoz. A trim little gem about a beloved actress and the fashions we all know her for. Found in the gorgeous Rizzoli bookstore in the NoMad neighborhood in Manhattan. This may be one of the most beautiful bookstores I’ve visited in my life.
6. Best American Mystery Stories 2016, edited by Elizabeth George. Includes stories from Megan Abbott, Stephen King, and Steve Almond.
7. A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny. My first adventure with Armand Gamache, and it won’t be my last.
8. Saving Hamlet by Molly Booth. A gift for the drama-loving YA reader I love.
9. Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick. I love her and think she’s hilarious. Is it this year’s Why Not Me? We’ll see.
11. A pile of Survivor-inspired books for my adventure-loving nephew. Some even by Jeff Probst.