Monday, December 14, 2020

BUY THIS: Books Make Great Gifts.

 Nearly every year I post a gift guide that's all books because I am old fashioned and I think books make great gifts. I tend to read (and gift) mostly novels, because that's what I like the most - a good story. I've talked about most of these on the blog already, but here is a selection of my favorite books from the past year or so:

Longbourn by Jo Baker
This is one for Jane Austen fans! Longbourn is a servant's retelling of Pride and Prejudice though, really, Longbourn is just the setting for a totally separate story while the action from Pride and Prejudice is happening in the background. It's really quite satisfying and I loved the writing.

News of the World by Paulette Jiles
I read this last year and was floored by how GOOD it is.  It's a post-civil war novel about an elderly widow who's tasked with returning a young orphan to her family after she was "rescued" from the Indian tribe who kidnapped her. The writing is beautiful and the characters are compelling. It's an adventure tale, suspenseful but also touching.  (PS. I know that the movie version just came out and while I love the casting of Tom Hanks, I can tell from the trailer that they've changed the story. Please read the book first. 

Paris for One and Other Stories by Jojo Moyes 
Jojo Moyes is one of my go-to writers for when I need a comforting, easy read. This is a book of short stories, though the main story, Paris for One, is length and the rest are easy to dip in and out of. If you miss traveling like I do, check this one out. 

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
This is not a book for everyone but it was, by far, the best thing I read this year. It's in parts a love story, a fantasy novel and a mystery, with several different narratives. It's also a book for people who love books! It's weird and sometimes goes to places that you're not sure you'll come back from, but somehow all makes sense in the end. This is a great story to really fall into and I didn't want it to end. 

The Ocean and the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Another fantasy novel, surprise! I read this a few years ago on my friend Kate's suggestion because she thought I'd like it. And really, you can trust Neil Gaiman for a really good story. This one is a dark fairy tale that focuses on memory and the powerlessness of childhood. 

I Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith
A classic! Definitely read this if you haven't already. My mother gave me for my birthday years ago and I re-read it every so often because it's just fantastic. It's the adventures the Mortmains, and eccentric family living in genteel poverty in a decaying castle during the 1930s. Hijinks ensue and there's a really good dog as well. 

That's all I've got for today! Some of my other favorite books can be found here and here.


  1. I believe I have you to thank for my "discovery" of Jenny Colgan, who is immensely satisfying and also prolific. You might also like Katie Fforde, who does British romantic comedy very well, especially her earlier novels. I thought she got a little bland with the last few, but that is just me.

    1. Oh, thank you! I found one of the early ones on the library site and downloaded it.

  2. The Starless Sea is the only book I have ever finished reading and immediately turned back to the beginning and started over! Amazing. I assume you've already read Night Circus? I actually think you may have been where I first heard about it, now that I think about it...

    1. I haven't actually read Night Circus yet! I keep downloading it and forgetting about it.


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