Updated: Jan 25
December 14, 2021
When it comes to picking out bookish gifts for family and friends, our local booksellers have got you covered. We’ve rounded up their top picks from 2021 in this holiday gift guide for the special bookworms in your life.
Ashley Warlick and Susan Williams, M. Judson Booksellers
“Once Upon A Wardrobe” by Patti Callahan
Logically-minded Megs is a math student at Oxford when her 8-year-old brother George falls sick. His dying wish is for her to ask the great C.S. Lewis where the idea for “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” came from. What follows is not so much an answer as a journey through a great imagination. This is one of those novels that’s good for anybody who loves the magic and the wonder of storytelling. BUY THE BOOK
“Capote’s Women” by Laurence Leamer
Author and social butterfly Truman Capote was friends and confidantes to a bevy of elite New York women he called his Swans. This is the story of how and why he let his fascination with the spotlight get the best of him, and his famously unfinished autobiographical novel, “Answered Prayers.” It’s just the kind of dishy literary history we love to read when the nights get long and television gets boring.
“Fluffy McWhiskers Cuteness Explosion” by Stephen W. Martin, illustrations by Dan Tavis
Meet Fluffy — an adorable kitten. So adorable, in fact, that anyone who sees her will spontaneously explode into balls of sparkles and fireworks. It’s hard to make friends when no one can even look at you. In desperation, Fluffy moves to a deserted island and makes a friend! This clever and quirky book is all about finding friends who accept you for who you are. Children will be charmed and adults won’t mind reading it aloud over and over and over.
“A Place to Hang the Moon” by Kate Albus
“A Place to Hang the Moon” is the tale of three orphaned siblings who are evacuated from London during the blitz to live in the countryside with the secret hope of finding a permanent family. William, Edmund and Anna discover enemies, friends, compassion, the most wonderful librarian ever, and the power of books in their search for a forever home. Like hot cocoa on a winter day, this book will leave the young reader in your life smiling.
Sharon Purvis, Hub City Bookstore
“The Parted Earth” by Anjali Enjeti
“The Parted Earth,” a Hub City Press title, was one of my favorite books of the year, putting a human face on a slice of history that we here in America don’t know very much about if we know anything at all: the Partition, which divided India from Pakistan, and Hindus from Muslims. It’s a love story, a coming-of-age story, a family identity story — and it is simply beautiful.
“The 1619 Project” by Nikole Hannah-Jones
On the subject of difficult history, Nikole Hannah-Jones’ “The 1619 Project” expands the award-winning New York Times Magazine series into a book-length exploration of the ways in which the legacy of slavery continues to exact a painful toll from African Americans. I listened to the podcast version of her original series and have been looking forward to this book.
“Cloud Cuckoo Land” by Anthony Doerr
Anthony Doerr’s new book is sweeping and ambitious and gorgeous, with interwoven storylines set in 15th century Constantinople, present-day Idaho and an interstellar spaceship. Tying these disparate threads together is the love of books and the written word, and Doerr’s knack for creating complicated but sympathetic characters is again on display here, as it was in his Pulitzer Prize-winning “All the Light We Cannot See.”
“Welcome to Dunder Mifflin” by Ben Silverman and Brian Baumgartner
For pure fun, fans of The Office will love digging into “Welcome to Dunder Mifflin: The Ultimate Oral History of The Office.” Actors, creators and crew talk about the creation of characters, development of story arcs, behind-the-scenes tidbits and more. Brian Baumgartner, who played Kevin on the series, and Ben Silverman, a producer, conducted hundreds of interviews with everyone connected to the series to provide fans with this delightful guide to the beloved TV show.