Despite the fact that the winter holidays are still like nine weeks away, my day job had me compile a list of books that would make suitable gifts. It got me thinking about what I’ve been reading lately and how I’ve fallen into a reading slump. There’s been things I loved like Hand Me Down by Melanie Thorne, and Playground by 50 Cent. (Yes, the rapper). But mostly it’s been stuff I hated like Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein and Emily Giffin’s Where We Belong (I couldn’t even finish that). And of course there are the titles I’m completely neutral on like Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl.
So, I need some help to get out of this slump. This is where you come in. Send me your recommendations! I have a very eclectic taste in books (as you will see from my list below). And because you’re nice enough to share with me, I’ve got my favorites so far this year.
In no particular order:
The French Slow Cooker by Michele Scicolone
With a slow cooker, even novices can turn out dishes that taste as though they came straight out of the kitchen of a French grandmère.
Red Ruby Heart in a Cold Blue Sea by Morgan Callan Rogers
A captivating debut, introducing a spirited young heroine coming of age in coastal Maine during the early 1960s. When her mother disappears during a weekend trip, Florine Gilham’s idyllic childhood is turned upside down.
Otto the Book Bear by Katie Cleminson
Otto lives in a book and is happiest when his story is being read. Otto is no ordinary storybook character: when no one is looking, he comes to life!
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson
Lawson takes readers on a hilarious journey recalling her bizarre upbringing in rural Texas, her devastatingly awkward high school years, and her relationship with her long-suffering husband, Victor. For fans of Tina Fey and David Sedaris.
Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead
When seventh grader Georges moves into a Brooklyn apartment building, he meets Safer, a twelve-year-old coffee-drinking loner and self-appointed spy.
A Grownup Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson
A powerful saga of three generations of women, plagued by hardships and torn by a devastating secret, yet inextricably joined by the bonds of family.
Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker
On a seemingly ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, 11-year-old Julia and her family awake to discover, along with the rest of the world, that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow. Luminous, haunting, unforgettable, The Age of Miracles is a stunning fiction debut by a superb new writer, a story about coming of age during extraordinary times, about people going on with their lives in an era of profound uncertainty.
Close Enough to Touch by Victoria Dahl
Leaving her job as a Hollywood makeup artist behind, Grace Barrett arrives in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to stay with her great aunt to figure out her life and finds herself distracted by Cole Rawlins, a rugged cowboy.
Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, And Hope In A Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo
Narrative nonfiction that tells the dramatic and sometimes heartbreaking story of families striving toward a better life in one of the twenty-first century’s great, unequal cities.
One Shot at Forever: A Small Town, an Unlikely Coach, and a Magical Baseball Season by Chris Ballard
In 1971, a small-town high school baseball team from rural Illinois playing with hand-me-down uniforms and peace signs on their hats defied convention and the odds. Led by an English teacher with no coaching experience, the Macon Ironmen emerged from a field of 370 teams to represent the smallest school in Illinois history to make the state final.
Devine Intervention by Martha Brockenbrough
A romantic comedy about a terrible guardian angel who fails to protect his teenage charge.
Chomp by Carl Haaisen
When the difficult star of the reality television show “Expedition Survival” disappears while filming an episode in the Florida Everglades using animals from the wildlife refuge run by Wahoo Crane’s family, Wahoo and classmate Tuna Gordon set out to find him while avoiding Tuna’s gun-happy father.