Sunday, December 5, 2021

Book Ideas for Your Holiday Shopping!

 It's the time of the year when gift-giving is being considered. Book suggestions please!

Brenda Chapman starting off the gift-giving recommendations.👍🎄🎅

So many great books this year to choose from! With the lockdown, I had a chance to do lots of reading and will give my top picks. I cannot pretend to have read every good book out there, so my choices in no way diminish the value of any other book published this year or past years. Hopefully, amongst the ten bloggers on this site, we'll have read widely enough to give some terrific selections for you or others on your gift list.

I indulged in my usual round of crime fiction reads and have two that stood out for me. My local independent bookshop owner at Perfect Books recommended Jane Harper's The Dry, and I have to say that this is one of my favourites. Harper is a print journalist living in Australia (originally from the UK), and this is her debut novel. A solid plot and stunning setting gets my two thumbs up. I'm keen to read more by Harper.

Dietrich Kalteis's novel Triggerfish is of the hard boiled variety, and as entertaining a read as you'll find. In a nutshell, an ex-cop is out on his boat with a date when he witnesses a submarine smuggling in drugs in a secluded harbour on the British Columbia coast. The trouble is he's been spotted too. Lots of action and fast-paced suspense.

In the humour category, Indians on Vacation by Thomas King is well worth a read. An older Indigenous married couple Mimi and Bird travel to Europe to retrace an uncle's footsteps to find the treasure he supposedly left there years before. Bird has numerous physical ailments and doesn't want to travel but Mimi keeps him visiting tourist sites. The story is filled with both humour and pathos.

In the excellent writing, moving and tear at your heart category, I choose Indian Horse, a second Indigenous story by another Canadian author Richard Wagameese, who sadly is no longer with us. This is the story of Saul Indian Horse, who grows up in a residential school and despite this becomes an all-star hockey player. The book is haunting, disturbing, in the end hopeful, and beautifully told. I pretty much recommend anything written by Wagameese.

In the biography/autobiography category, my choice is Born a Crime by Trevor Noah. Not being into late night television. I didn't know much about Noah, but this autobiography about growing up poor and black in South Africa makes me want to invite him home for dinner. A twist, real life ending - his story is eye-opening and never dull.

In the literature category, The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett gets my thumbs up for a thought-provoking, well told read. It's the story of twin girls who grow up in the deep South. They're black but could pass for white and each of them take a very different path in life.

I read several domestic-thriller type books and Lisa Jewell's The Invisible Girl about a missing seventeen year old is the one I enjoyed the most. An interesting, twisty plot. Some of the domestic thrillers I read this past year are too disturbing for my taste, but you might have another view. 

So, that's all from me this 2021. I wish each of you a warm, wonderful holiday season with friends and family. May we all have a healthy, happy 2022 with lots of good books on our bedside tables!📖📕

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Dietrich Kalteis said...

What a nice surprise! Thanks very much for including me on the list, Brenda. All the best to you for the Holidays.

Brenda Chapman said...

My pleasure - Happy holidays to you too, Dietrich.