Monday, December 2, 2019

Books Make the Best Presents. By Brenda

Question: Books make wonderful gifts. What are your recommendations this year?

I love giving books for Christmas and receiving them. I always tucked a novel in my girls' stockings so they'd have something to read over the holidays. Some afternoons after the gift-giving, all you'd hear in the living room was the sound of turning pages.

I must confess that I joined a book club this year that reads mainly literary fiction so these books are top of mind; however, I've squeezed in a couple of mystery/thrillers that I can recommend as well as a few titles I'm hoping are under the tree for me. I must also confess that I haven't done a ton of reading this year since I've been working on a couple of manuscripts of my own, but hope to change this in 2020!

My two top picks in the 'literary' category go to:

1.  Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens: There is a mystery in this novel, but it's mainly the story of survival of a young girl who raises herself in the backwoods marshes in North Carolina and becomes an expert on the flora and fauna. Also a love story although it's the beautiful writing that makes this a must read.

2. Educated by Tara Westover. Another kind of survival story but a true one this time. The author grew up in a reclusive, poor family with an abusive brother and a reckless father who believed Armaggenden was imminent. A fascinating, disturbing and ultimately uplifting read told in an objective style that makes the events even more impactful.

3. Becoming by Michelle Obama: I enjoy reading biographies and this one is written by a woman I admire. Her childhood and relationship with Barack are interesting as are her experiences as First Lady.

In the mystery/thriller genre:

3.  The Long Call by Ann Cleeves: The first in a new series set in North Devon featuring Detective Matthew Venn. A body on the beach near his home anchors the mystery. Will be good to see where the series goes in the next editions.

4.  Dark Sacred Night by Michael Connelly: (currently reading): Detective Renee Ballard teams up with Harry Bosch to work on the cold case murder of a runaway fifteen year old girl named Daisy Clayton. If you enjoy the Bosch series, this is a good one. I believe he has a few more recent books out so this leads to ....

Books I would like to receive: 

1.  Novels written by any of my fellow 7 Criminal Mind bloggers because this is a talented group with some intriguing books on offer.

2. Conviction by Denise Mina: I'm a huge fan of Denise's writing and highly recommend her Paddy Meehan series - I hear her latest Conviction is a terrific read too.

3.  The Testaments: A Novel by Margaret Atwood: Co-winner of the Booker and follow up to The Handmaid's Tale. I'd also recommend Atwood's Alias Grace and Cat's Eye - some fabulous writing and storytelling.

I'll be checking out recommendations by my fellow bloggers over the next two weeks and hope we help you with your shopping list. Happy Holidays, everyone and wishing you all the best in 2020.


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