10 best books to give people who love to read
Not sure what to get the bookworms in your life this holiday season? Fear not, we've got you covered! Here are our top 10 best books to give as gifts this year. Scroll down to get all the literary inspiration you'll ever need!
1. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
This book is for anyone who loves the city and anyone who loves love. Narrated by the heart-wrenchingly wise young girl Francie Nolan, this book tells the story of growing up in the slums of Williamsburg and being the only daughter of two people so hopelessly in love that they're miserable. Francie weaves a tale that is both poignant and wonderful; she shows us that life is hard, but that life is sweet, too.
2. The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
Meg Wolitzer so perfectly captures ordinary human emotion in this novel that you'll wonder if she's living inside your own brain. She tells the story of a group of gifted, talented and creative friends who met at art camp one summer. Together they experience everything -- love, loss, career success and old age. Wolitzer illustrates the power of friendship in this book, showing that true friends can overcome anything together, even when some of them become rich and famous for their craft, while others give up their art for more 'practical' ways to make ends meet.
3. Just Kids by Patti Smith
Every New Yorker must read this book. Actually, every person on the planet should read this book. Completely autobiographical, the now-famous rockstar Patti Smith writes about her youth, her beautiful friendship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, her struggles as a starving artist in New York City, hungry for inspiration and actual sustenance, and she writes about love. Smith is quite possibly one of the most courageous women of our time -- someone who never gave up on herself or her dreams and never tried to be anything she was not. She writes with such self acceptance about a younger self most of us would try to push into the corners of our minds, and she reminds us of what is important in life: authenticity, passion and love.
4. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
The Secret History tells the story of a group of uniquely intelligent college students in New England who, inspired by their charismatic professor, seek to live lives outside the ordinary. Too smart for their own good, the novel turns into a bit of a psychological thriller as they test the boundaries of what their minds can and can't do.
5. The Vacationers by Emma Straub
This book follows the disjointed Post family along with their extended family and friends on a celebratory trip to the island of Mallorca in a last-stitch effort to spend quality time together before their youngest daughter leaves for college. The trip, however, does not go according to plan, and the vacation takes a turn for the worse, exposing secrets, lies and humiliation for everyone. Beautifully written, Straub's characters are honest and flawed, but despite how real it all is, readers will be transported nonetheless.
6. The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
Following Madeleine's graduation from Brown in the 1980s, she finds herself in a less-than-ideal relationship with a young man too smart for his own good. Having written her senior thesis on the love stories in classic literature, Madeleine analyzes her own love story and finds her thoughts wandering to an old friend. Smartly written as only Jeffrey Eugenides can do, you'll find yourself enraptured by each character's wit as well as their own confusion with how the real world works.
7. The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
This is quite simply one of the best gifts you could ever give someone. Sweet and emotional, this book tells the story of an old man and a young woman half a world away, both on a quest to heal broken hearts, and how their paths cross is quite striking -- she is named after a character in a book that he wrote years before, about a woman he once loved.
8. Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
One of Fitzgerald's best works, this novel is set on the French Riviera in the 1920s and follows the tragic relationship between actress Rosemary Hoyt and Dick and Nicole Diver. While it was at one time Fitzgerald's most popular book, today it's less widely known, so it's perfect for your friend who loved The Great Gatsby.
9. State of Wonder by Anne Patchett
State of Wonder tells the remarkable tale of a strong, woman scientist studying the abnormal fertility patterns of an Amazonian tribe. In true Anne Patchett fashion, the novel explores the fine line between exploration and attachment, offering her characters moral conundrums to wrestle with -- and readers will certainly do the same.
10. Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
Historian Erik Larson beautifully weaves together the intricacies of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair and the story of the serial killer who lured women to the city's biggest attraction. Larson combines historical fact with a compelling narrative to create a total nail-biter you won't be able to put down, despite it's length.
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