Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Best Book Bets - Xmas Edition

The Literary Bookie's Best HOLIDAY Gift Giving Book Bets! 
(3 times fast!)
Alas, this  this not a top ten list, per say, the bookie will mention a few highlights of the year at the end of the month for no other reason than publishers aren't dropping books between the holidays and the bookie would like to take some time to read the books generously given during the holidays.
Holidays? Holidays?? What kind of war on Christmas rhetoric is this?
Holidays, as in Holy Days, be they Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, Kwanzaa, Festivus, New Year's... the list goes on!  If you celebrate any two then just chill out and enjoy the goodwill of the season. All cultures read books, all cultures are moved to be better by books, in fact a country found the seeds of freedom this year from one girl's passion for books and the education they bring. (Malala, You Go Girl!) As long as we use the power of books for good, not for throwing, burning or hating one's fellow man, it's all good (as in Good Book.)
In that spirit the Bookie has compiled a list of previously reviewed titles for every adult on your list. May this take the stress out of your shopping. 
Books: one size fits all and you don't need batteries.
(for more detailed suggestions of the following titles, refer to older posts.)

NEXT WEEK: Children/Teens Holiday Gift-Giving Lists
12/18- New Best Bests for the month
12/25- Literary Bookie's Best of 2012 

 BIG books of the year for the serious Bookie on your list.

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman 
CLOTH. A man returns from war to live on a barren island with his steadfast wife, just when they face never having a child a dead body and a live child wash up on the shore.
The Dog Stars by Peter Heller
CLOTH. This novel is the compassionate side of distopian fiction shows that our humanity survive at the end of the world.
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain
CLOTH. Do to a viral video of them in combat Dallas and Billy Lynn return from Iraq as media darlings. What follows is tragic-comic as they are dragged through the gris mill of pop culture.
The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling
CLOTH. This laudable adult novel has the same British sense of place and people that warmed us to the cast of characters at Hogwarts tells of a buried family secret .
Shout her Lovely Name  by Natalie Serber
CLOTH. This collection of short stories captures the loving, yet often-times contentious, relationship between mothers and daughters.
Telegraph Avenue  by Michael Chabon
CLOTH. Pop goes the literature in this culture clash of the musical obsessions celebrating the search for personal vision, the very thing that bonds us. 
Hologram for a King by Dave Eggers
CLOTH. A wickedly insightful tale of a business and family man who goes to Saudi Arabia to save his family from foreclosure and the fallout of the American recession. 
The Round House by Louise Erdrich
CLOTH. The National Book Award winner, A humorous, yet tragic tale of a boy who investigates his Objibwe mother's past to discovers his roots and learns to transcend the past you must embrace the present.
Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver
CLOTH. Struggling with life and love in rural squalor Dellarobia comes upon a smoldering fire that can free her her from the isolation of her life.
The Forgiven by Lawrence Osborne
CLOTH. Western opulence and destitute survival clashes when a well-to-do man kills a Morocan local in a drunken accident.
Gold by Chris Cleave
CLOTH. Olympic track cyclists compete for more than just the gold medal, but for the riches only family and friendship can provide. 
Winter of the World by Ken Follett 
CLOTH. He takes the same mastery he has for suspense and applies it to this continuation of The Century Trilogy.
Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian 
CLOTH. Bohjalian pulls deep from his family’s emotional well as he shares the events of the Armenian genocide. 

BIG list of Mysteries, Thrillers, Suspense, and the like. 
Live by Night by Dennis Lehane 
CLOTH. From prohibition streets of Boston to the world of crime in Florida's Ybor City one man becomes a prohibition’s Tony Montana. 
The Other Woman  by Hank Phillippi Ryan 
CLOTH. Jane Ryland uncovers a combination of shady political cover-ups and a serial killer motives, a perfect combination ratcheting up the odds to an unexpected climax.
 Gone, Girl by Gillian Flynn 
CLOTH. Flynn has the knack for getting into the minds of the twisted, here she trumps herself, taking the missing spouse formula and turning it inside out.
The Other Woman’s House by Sophie Hannah
CLOTH. A  horrendous crime scene has all evidence of it removed moments afterwards, was it real, or madness?. 
The Care and Feeding of Exotic Pets by Diana Wagman   
CLOTH. A single mom is kidnapped by a deranged man who's obsession is his pet iguana; a psychological chess game.
Sutton by J R Moehringer 
CLOTH. A boy Brooklyn-bred with a tough Irish soul he becomes a legend, number one most wanted, but at what cost?
Broken Harbor by Tana French 
CLOTH. A police officer questioning his years on the force fears becoming the very beast he hunts.
The Lincoln Letter by William Martin 
CLOTH. Treasure hunters search for the elusive Lincoln diary, the President's inner most thoughts could help throw an election. 
The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro 
CLOTH. An art student makes a deal to copy a Degas from the Gardner Museum heist. Who's deceiving whom?
 Jimmy The Stick by Michael Mayo  
CLOTH. A man builds is career in the speak easy business is tied to the Lindbergh baby kidnappings, tries to leave his life of crime to no avail.
The Cutting Season by Attica Locke 
CLOTH. While investigating a murder in Dixie more than the fate of a dead girl is unearthed. 
 Phantom  by Jo Nesbo 
CLOTH. Back in the drug-addled streets of Oslo a man fights the ghosts of his past.
The Black Box by Michael Connelly 
CLOTH. 18th time round and Bosch is still one of the best. Post King beating L.A. is the backdrop but sometimes the greatest danger isn't on the streets.
Valley of Ashes by Cornelia Reed 
CLOTH. Crime journalist, now domestic goddess-in-training battles between an arsonist's rage and her maternal instincts.  
Boston Noire 2: The Classics  edited by Dennis Lehane 
CLOTH. 14 tales filled with New England flavor and draped in the shadows of Boston's back streets. 

Devil In Silver  by Victor Lavalle
CLOTH. Masterfully told tale of Pepper who finds himself wrongly convicted of a crime and sent to a mental institution where the devil roams the halls.                            
Little Star by John Ajvide Lindqvist, trans. by Marlaine Delargy
CLOTH. A  terrifying new vision. A baby found in the woods is raised her in a basement eventually finds herself a American Idol type competition. Then there’s hell to pay.

This Book Is Full of Spiders: Seriously, Dude, Don’t Touch It 
by David Wong 
CLOTH. The zombie apocalypse in the media is all hype. What is really happening makes zombies seem like puppy dogs. Gut wrenching and funny. 
(St Martins)
 The Twelve by Justin Cronin
CLOTH. Sequel to the epic, The Passage. Man-made vampire killing machines hunt a diverse group of people who's paths cross. Wonder where did they come from, now you'll know. Nothing sparkles here.
 Your House Is on Fire, Your Children All Gone by Stefan Kiesbye 
CLOTH. Sometimes children's games and tales of long ago are based on horrible truths. One village’s legacy is awakened. 
The Colony by A.J. Colucci 
CLOTH. Normal size but pissed off killer ants infest NYC. Classic creature feature premise gets under your skin big time.
 Motherless Child by Glen Hirshberg 
CLOTH. The Whistler who take two mothers and transforms them into blood suckers. Now begins an intense battle between maternity and monster.
 A Book of Horrors edited by Stephen Jones 
ANTHOLOGY, CLOTH. A new compendium of stories by a cross section of contemporary masters. A welcome addition to any horror lover's library.        

Some Kind of Fairy Tale by Graham Joyce
CLOTH. Fairy tale for adults, a 15 years old girl returns home 20 years later claiming she was taken away by fairies. 
Something Red  by Douglas Nichols 
CLOTH. Real characters being thrown into a fantastical world of ninja monks and battling knights and a well paced menace in the dark of the woods keeps the pages turning.
Oryx and Crake  by Margaret Atwood
CLOTH. In a post-plague world, be the last of their race and the last romantic triangle in existence battle corporate overlords and technological wastelands.
City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte 
CLOTH. Beethoven’s Immortal Beloved leads to a portal of hell, sex with ancient dwarves, time-bending drugs? A book that defies category, how about funny, spooky, historical romance?

Sailor Twain: Or: The Mermaid in the Hudson 
by Mark Siegel 
GRAPHIC NOVEL. A haunting epic of American mythology. A tale of a steamboat captain rescues a mermaid in peril grows into a personal tale of love, longing and purpose.
Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm 
edited by Philip Pullman
CLOTH. R-imaging of the world of Grimm by the author of the stellar IR fantasy epic, The Dark Materials. handles the brother's work with the reverence it deserves. Grisly moral tales tweeked for a new generation.
Albert of Adelaide by Howard Anderson 
CLOTH. Albert, duck-billed platypus, is the narrator of this touching tale of friendship and self discovery.
Skagboys by Irvine Walsh
CLOTH. This sequel to Trainspotting is both repugnant and captivating, possessing all the magnetism of a car wreck.

The Fifty Year Sword by Mark Z. Danielewski 
CLOTH. From the twisted mind that brought usHouse of Leaves, an adults Halloween story told with his signature experimental tale telling. 
(Jonathan Cape)
LoveStar by Andri Snaer Magnason 
CLOTH. star-crossed lovers is a future world run by REGRET buck the system find themselves at odds with convention. God is now an app and proper consumer will be cared for.
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan 
CLOTH. A tech designer decides to work at a bookstore that is not what it seems,  a Matrix powered by words.

Keyhole Factory by William Gillespie
TRADE PAPERBACK.  Breaks convention and allow the words to weave meaning between the letters. This is kaoes theory writing about the end of days. 
 Novels about the human condition with an otherworldly twist!

(Reagan Arthur)
The Snow Child by Eowin Ivey 
TRADE PAPER. A Childless couple wrestle with the existence of a girl found in the woods the day after they made a of snow. 

The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D. by Natalie Bernier
CLOTH. A trunk of a friend’s journals reveals the mystery of just who her friend really was and concealed truths.

You Came Back by Christopher Coake
CLOTH. The owner of an old house, formerly that of a grieving father tells him that it is haunted by the ghost of his lost son. A story of shared grief and parental love.

Love, Anthony  by Lisa Genova 
CLOTH. A woman uses in writing therapy discovers that the voice of her protagonist may the former owner's autistic child who had passed away.
Unsaid by Neil Abramson
TRADE PAPER. A dead wife narrates this tale of the man left behind, the mystical bond between humans and animals. and how they can bring out the best of us.
Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks
CLOTH. A boy with Asperger’s clings to his imaginary pal Budo while the real world tests his existence.  "Just believe."
(Harper Collins)
Sacre Bleu; A Comedy D'Art by Christopher Moore 
TRADE PAPER. Moore is an outrageous satirist, taking his subjects to their intellectual extreme. The perfect book for art lovers, humor lovers, literature lovers, even just plain ol’ lovers.
Lost At Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries by Jon Ronson 
TRADE PAPER. From the man that brought us the addictive Pychopath's Test and the funniest pasts of All Things Considered, comes this world-wide memoir, call it investigative humor, call it fringe dweller archeology, I call it the funniest thing I've read in years.
What in God's Name? by Simon Rich
CLOTH. Heaven is incorporated, God’s CEO and is burnt out. Two angels must make two socially inept characters fall in love or it’s the end of the world. 
Lionel Asbo; State of England  by Martin Amis 
CLOTH. What if the bully amongst bullies, as nefarious and sin-consumed as a criminal can be, wins the lottery. 
Fobbit by Davis Abrams 
CLOTH. A soldier who avoids combat by remaining at a Forward Operating Base (FOB) presents this generation’s Catch-22.Funny and infuriating.

How Music Works by David Byrne
NONFICTION/CLOTH. Brainchild behind The Talking Heads defines the mechanics and pathos of music. Part intellectual discussion on the influence of music, part entertaining autobiography of a Renaissance man.
Bruce Springsteen and the Promise of Rock 'n' Roll by Marc Dolan
NONFICTION/CLOTH. This 500+ page document is the definitive take on this American legend in music.The drop outs dream of stardom, the politics and passion that drives him, and more minutia than even the biggest Juice fan could hope for.

The Pleasure Groove: Love, Death, and Duran Duran: A Memoir
by John Taylor
NONFICTION/CLOTH. Not only a tell-all memoir, a snapshot of an instant in pop culture history where post-glam/anti-punk New Wave was all the rage. Read with your mix tape on your Walkman and enjoy the ride.


Wild; From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail  
by Cheryl Strayed

NONFICTION/CLOTH. Account of a trek across the Pacific Crest, not a tale of do or die, a metaphor for finding meaning on the walk of life.  
 A Wilderness of Error: The Trials of Jeffrey MacDonald by Errol Morris 
NONFICTION/CLOTH. After a 20 year investigation of the MacDonald murder case, the documentary film giant who freed a man with his film Thin Blue Line again comes to the defense of an innocent man.
Dearie; The Remarkable Life of Julia Child by Bob Spitz 
NONFICTION/CLOTH. Julie Child’s joie de vivre comes through in the biographer's affectionate style presenting as a vanguard, a women constantly searching for individuality. Bon Apetit!
(Random House)
Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic by David Quammen 
NONFICTION/CLOTH. Forget monkey attacks, horse kicks and bear maulings, it’s the bugs carrying god knows what that we need to worry about. This alarming study reads like a Michael Critchton novel.
Conning Harvard by Julie Zauzmer & Xi Yu 
NONFICTION/CLOTH. The Harvard cheating scandal and the man behind it; an Ivy league Bringing Down the House.

Talking Pictures edited by Ransom Riggs 
NONFICTION/CLOTH. This collection of lost photographs captures inspirational emotions in faded sepia, an arty PostSecret.
Dreamland; Adventures in the Strange Science of Sleep by Davis K. Randall 
NONFICTION/CLOTH. As entertaining as it is enlightening, more about the ramifications of dreaming than dream interpretation. Alarming, humorous, insightful revelations.
My Ideal Bookshelf 
edited by Thessaly La Force, illus. Jane Mount 
NONFICTION/CLOTH. If you are an avid reader, the books you cherish define you. Authors and celebrities pick their favorites.
Killer Show; The Station Nightclub Fire, America’s Deadliest Rock Concert by John Barylick 
NONFICTION/CLOTH. The tragedy of The Station niteclub fire and the subsequent legal battle and the devastation of all who lived through it.

Buddy: How a Rooster Made Me a Family Man 
by Brian McGrory 
NONFICTION/CLOTH. An urban professional finds himself in a relationship that comes with a petting zoo of dogs, cats, kids and a rooster named Buddy who has a chip on its shoulder. First  despising him, he comes to emulate him. Marley and Me with feathers.
The Writer's Toolbox; Creative Games and Exercises for Inspiring the 'Write' Side of Your Brain by Jamie Kat Callan
NONFICTION/BOX Its a book, its a game, its a great gift for fellow writers. What better way to shatter writer's block that making it a game. Book and Exercises made to jolt your Muse awake. Voila!

No comments:

Post a Comment