Posted by Book Mavens on December 17th, 2010
There’s something for everyone on our annual list of favorite books. Happy Holidays!
For Adults: Fiction
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
A touching story narrated by a dog named Enzo who believes he
will be reincarnated as a human. Enzo pours his exceptional
spirit into this book as he shares his experiences with the reader.
Bill Warrington’s Last Chance by James King
The Bricklayer by Noah Boyd
The Confession by John Grisham
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
An epic tale with themes of family, travel, drama, love, loyalty, mystery, history, patriotism, racism, all bundled up in one powerful story. Reading this seems like a guilty pleasure you don’t need to feel guilty about.
Father of the Rain by Lily King
A Fierce Radiance by Lauren Belfer
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morten
Ghosts of Belfast by Stuart Neville
Half a Heart by Rosellen Brown
Hollywood Hills by Joseph Wambaugh.
Honolulu by Alan Brennert
The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa
Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman
Innocent by Scott Turow
Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
The Leisure Seeker by Michael Zadoorian
The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall
What’s a man to do when the economy tanks and you have a family to support – four wives and 28 children, to be precise? Even if you think a fundamentalist Mormon tragicomic novel isn’t really your thing, the unique and quirky characters in this book will stay with you for a long time.
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson
Matterhorn: A novel of the Vietnam War by Karl Marlantes
Perhaps one of the greatest novels if not the greatest novel about the Vietnam War. Marlante’s writing reveals the raw brutality and painful experiences of terrified Marines involved in a pointless war.
The Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson
The New Yorker Stories by Ann Beattie
One Day by David Nicholls
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
It reminds me of the absolute innocence of young love – so full of naïve passion, fear and the inevitability of harrowing pain.
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
Postmistress by Sarah Blake
Red Hook Road by Ayelet Waldman
Rescue by Anita Shreve
Rich Boy by Sharon Pomerantz
Room by Emma Donoghue
The Royal Ghosts: Stories by Samrat Upadhyay
A Secret Kept by Tatiana de Rosnay
Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell
Author is acclaimed author of Black Swan Green and Cloud Atlas. Dense, literary, rewarding.
Tinkers by Paul Harding
Beautiful “luminous” writing. A story within a story within a story.
For Adults: Memoir and Biography
Beyond Belief by Josh Hamilton
Escape by Carolyn Jessop
How Did You Get This Number? by Sloane Crosley
Promise Me by Nancy C. Brinker
The Pursuit of Happyness by Chris Gardner
The Long Run by Matt Long
Lost Boy by Brent Jeffs
Making Toast by Roger Rosenblatt
Nomad by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Open by Andre Agassi
Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern
Talking to Girls About Duran Duran by Rob Sheffield
Growing up is tricky. Getting girls to talk to you is even trickier. A quick and funny memoir about an 80s childhood dominated by overbearing sisters and a deep love of pop, including the titular band, this is a great choice for your favorite music lover.
True Compass by Ted Kennedy
For Adults: Non-Fiction
At Home by Bill Bryson
Bloody Crimes by James Swanson
Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
The Boys of the Dark by Gaby Fisher
The Fiddler in the Subway by Gene Weingarten
What if an illustrious violin virtuoso played anonymously in a crowded metro station? Would you stop for the beautiful music if you didn’t know the musician was famous? The surprising answer is revealed in just one of the masterful essays in this collection from the two-time Pulitzer winner. A perfect gift for any reader: One page will make you laugh, and the next will break your heart.
Game Change by John Heilemann
The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America’s Childhood by Jane Leavy
Let’s Take the Long Way Home by Gail Caldwell
God I loved this book – a tribute to friendship, dogs and the “hole in your heart” pain of losing a friend.
My Teenage Werewolf by Lauren Kessler
That First Season by John Eisenberg
Unbroken by Lauren Hillenbrand
Zeitoun by Dave Eggers
The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin by Josh Berk
Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
Believe the hype – read it now before the movies come out!
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
The Kids Table by Andrea Seigel
What does it take to move up to the grown-up table: Having a boyfriend – or maybe stealing one from your cousin? A great choice for those soulful young readers who may just be wiser than their adults.
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
Two boys meet on a cold night in Chicago. They are both named Will Grayson, but they could not be more different. Touching, hysterically funny, and featuring the most entertaining supporting character in recent memory (the fabulous Tiny Cooper,) this book will open your heart and mind.
Zombies vs Unicorns edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier
That’s right: this book will solve the most important question known to man: Which is better – zombies or unicorns! The best writers for young adults contribute to this rollicking (and surprisingly touching) collection of short stories.
For Little Kids
Can You Make a Scary Face? by Jan Thomas
How to Clean Your Room in 10 Easy Steps by Jennifer LaRue Huget
Little Yoga by Rebecca Whitford
One by Kathryn Otoshi
The Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood
A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip Stead
Starring the Boss Baby as Himself by Marla Frazee
That Cat Can’t Stay by Thad Krasnesky
We Are In A Book! by Mo Willems
For Big Kids
Alchemy and Meggy Swan by Karen Cushman
Best Friends Forever by Beverly Patt
Can You Make a Scary Face? by Jan Thomas
Countdown by Deborah Wiles
Emmaline and the Bunny by Katherine Hannigan
First Light by Rebecca Stead
Guys Read: Funny Business by Jon Scieszka
Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper