Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Looking for bookish gift recommendations?  Take a look at this year's releases and how they relate to books of yesteryear:


If you like Howl's Moving Castle and Fire and Hemlock, try:

The Book of Dust by Philip Pullman


Eleven-year-old Malcolm Polstead and his dæmon, Asta, live at the Trout Inn where many visitors pass through.  Malcolm demonstrated himself to  be extremely adept and reliable, qualities that will aid him in caring for the baby Lyra Belacqua, who lives across the River Thames with some nuns.  When a flood comes, Malcolm will need his boat, La Belle Sauvage, the aid of his friend, Alice, and all his wits to save her.

Though you will get more out of this if you've read Pullman's His Dark Materials, it works as a stand-alone as well.



If you like  The Sun is Also a Star and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Universe, try:

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Aza lives in a world where her thoughts are all-consuming.  She tries to rise above her self-absorption to come to the aid of her mother, her friend Daisy, and her next door neighbor, Russell, whose billionaire father has gone missing. But the ultimate test is whether she can accept herself.






If you like The Giver, try:

Gertie Milk and the Keeper of Lost Things by Simon Van Booy

Gertie finds herself washed ashore on an unusual island. She has no memory of who she is and the only clues as to her identity are her name sewn into her gown and a key etched with the letters KOLT. She escapes a giant worm and encounters a Keeper who trains her how to return crucial lost items to humanity at just the moment they need them.  She does this with the help of the book of all knowledge, a time machine disguised as a Jaguar, and a Robot Rabbit Boy. Her missions include returning a stick to Eratosthenes to help prove the circumference of the world, restoring a lucky watch to Mercedes Gleitze, who will attempt to swim across the channel between France and England, and reuniting a legendary sword with its rightful owner in Ancient China.


If you like The Dark Is Rising, try:

The Ship of The Dead (Magnus Chase and the God of Asgard #3) by Rick Riordan

Magnus Chase, a once-homeless teen, has died and become one of Odin's chosen warriors. As the son of Frey, the god of summer, fertility, and health, Magnus isn't naturally inclined to fighting. Together with his friends, Hearthstone the elf, Blitzen the dwarf, and Samirah the Valkyrie, he must prevent the end of the world from coming.

One of Riordan's trademarks is his sarcastic humor which is somehow  distinct in each character.  Revising ancient mythology to be relevant to current trends today is pure genius.

If you like Swing Low and The Memory Palace, try:

You Don't Have to Say You Love Me by Sherman Alexie

Alexie is trying to come to grips with the death of his mother and how his relationship with her impacted his life as a "part-time Indian" and other aspects of his life. As an unreliable narrator, derived from the conflicting stories he inherited from his mother, Alexie deftly weaves a narrative that is somehow as realistic as they come.



If you like The Fire Next Time and Between the World and Me, try:

Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson

Dyson argues that if we are to make real racial progress we must face difficult truths, including being honest about how black grievance has been ignored, dismissed, or discounted.

(from Goodreads)



If you like Ann Coulter's style, but vote for the other side, try:

Insane Clown President: Dispatches from the 2016 Circus by Matt Taibbi

Consisting of articles from Rolling Stone, Taibbi captures the train-wreck of a presidential election with dead-on, real-time analysis of the failures of both the left and the right.





If you like The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,  but need something a bit more down to earth, try: 


Unf*ck Your Habitat: You're Better than Your Mess by Rachel Hoffman

With strategies such as spending 20 minutes cleaning and then giving yourself 10 minute breaks, Hoffman makes changing your cleaning habits doable.







If you like The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake and The Girl Who Chased the Moon, try:

A Million Junes by Emily Henry

Who exactly is this gruff, sarcastic, but seemingly harmless boy who has returned to their hometown of Five Fingers, Michigan, after three mysterious years away? And why has June—an O’Donnell to her core—never questioned her late father’s deep hatred of the Angert family? After all, the O’Donnells and the Angerts may have mythic legacies, but for all the tall tales they weave, both founding families are tight-lipped about what caused the century-old rift between them.

(from Goodreads)

If you like Relativity, try:

The Many Worlds of Albie Bright by Christopher Edge

What would you do if your mom died of cancer? And your famous physicist of a father told you that she might be alive in a parallel universe? The answer for Albie Bright is, anything he possibly can. He uses a radioactive banana, a cat, a quantum computer borrowed from his mom, and a cardboard box to trek across universes.



If you like One Crazy Summer, try:

Walking with Miss Millie by Tamara Bundy

Alice has to move to the town her Mama and Daddy grew up in, a town that her Daddy couldn't get out of fast enough. Her grandma isn't doing well. Alice hopes the arrangement is temporary. She misses her friends back home. And misses her Daddy. She hasn't seen him in a long time.

She doesn't want to make new friends. Doesn't want to do anything that would imply her family is staying. But she starts walking a dog with the next door neighbor, Miss Millie, every day. The ninety-two year-old African American woman is just the sort of friend she needs. To seal the friendship, Miss Millie gives her little mementos from her life when she visits.

This, in part, inspires a plan. Alice has also found a box full of poems her daddy wrote to her Mama about the time they were courting. Not only do they speak of a time when he felt better about her mama, but he felt better about the town of Rainbow too. She decides to collect objects to remind him of the love that their family shared.


Happy Christmas-gifting!
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