Literary Gifts for Everyone on Your List

Giving the right book as a gift tells the recipient that you really know them and understand them. We’ve assembled a few new releases for the people on your list.

For Organizational Junkies that want to start the New Year right…

Organize Your Way by Katie and Kelly McMenamin. Organization isn’t one-size-fits-all. Different people need different solutions. Fortunately, Katie and Kelly McMenamin—the organizing gurus behind PixiesDidIt!® have found the key to making organization stick, with strategies that work for every personality.  Whether you’re OCD or a little less fastidious, Katie and Kelly will help you discover your organizational style, using unconventional approaches or sticking to what already works.

For Female Crusader and Memoir Lovers…

The Icon Hunter by Tasoula Hadjitofi.  This powerful memoir is torn from the pages of Tasoula’s life as she and her Greek Cypriot family lose everything during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. Hundreds of ancient Cypriot churches are destroyed, their contents looted and all signs of her Greek Cypriot culture erased as if it never existed. As a refugee, she wants justice. And then fate intervenes in the form of an archbishop and a dubious art dealer in search of redemption.  Even as unspeakable personal tragedy strikes, she never gives up her search knowing the special place these antiquities hold in the hearts of Orthodox Christians.

For Women’s Fiction and Historical Novel Enthusiasts…

Have You Met Nora? by Nicole Blades. She’s blossomed from wealthy surgeon’s beautiful daughter to elegant socialite to being the top fashion stylist in the country. And Nora Mackenzie is only days away from marrying into one of New York’s richest, most powerful families. But her fairy tale rise is rooted in an incredible deception—one scandal away from turning her perfect world to ashes.  What no one knows is that Nora is the biracial daughter of a Caribbean woman and a long-gone white father. Adopted, Nora found that “passing” as a white woman could give her everything she never had. Every golden opportunity she seized and every deception she worked kept that powerless, forgotten girl forever in the past.  Now, an ex-classmate has returned to her life and threatens to reveal Nora’s secret. Running out of choices, Nora must decide how far she will go to protect a lie or give up and finally face the truth.

Amy’s Story by Anna Lawton. Amy, full name America, is an Italian native who has managed to create her own American dream in New York City. She runs her late American father’s publishing company and has become an established publisher in her own right.  Headstrong and inspiring, her success story intertwines with her childhood friend Stella’s story, whose unfinished memoir Amy is editing to get it published.  Stella is more reserved and cautious and it is her story that readers follow as she immigrates from Italy to the U.S.  Her journey runs parallel to major American historical events — the Vietnam War, student protests and the Kent State shooting, the birth of radicalism and feminism, presidential elections and assassinations, immigration, the Watergate scandal — through career achievements and setbacks, and a heartbreaking love story at its center.   Lawton weaves a beautiful historical narrative, from 1967 to 2011, that features a cast of fascinating characters from Amy and Stella’s lives, including the young, determined immigrant couple in the early 1900s.

For Mystery, Thriller and Noir Readers…

Need You Dead by Peter James. Roy Grace, a creation of the CWA Diamond Dagger award winning and New York Times bestselling author Peter James, faces his most mysterious case yet. Lorna Belling, desperate to escape the marriage from hell, falls for the charms of another man who promises her the earth. But, as Lorna finds, life seldom follows the plans you’ve made. A chance photograph on a client’s mobile phone changes everything for her. When the body of a woman is found in a bath in Brighton, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is called to the scene. At first it looks an open and shut case with a clear prime suspect. Then other scenarios begin to present themselves, each of them tantalizingly plausible, until, in a sudden turn of events, and to his utter disbelief, the case turns more sinister than Grace could ever have imagined.

The Measure of the Moon by Lisa Preston.  When eight-year-old Greer Donner falls off his horse in the Washington wilderness, he braces himself to face the long hike home alone. But screams pierce the darkness, and he stumbles upon a dead-end road where a man is beating a woman—nearly to death. In a moment of courage, he stops the assault, but he’s left to face the man, who turns his wrath into an ominous threat: if the boy ever reveals what he has seen, his family will pay the ultimate price. The secret Greer now carries begins his emotional unraveling.  In Seattle, Gillian Trett is a photographer with a troubled marriage and a childhood she’s trying to forget. Domestic tension mounts when her husband’s stepsister arrives. Desperate for a distraction, and a way to advance her career, Gillian throws herself into uncovering the history behind an old man’s Holocaust photo of boys in a forest. The mysterious children and the truth behind the scene haunt her—she can’t let go of the image, or of her own shadowed past.  Then a horrifying revelation entangles Gillian’s path with young Greer’s. The boy and the woman, separated by a generation and a hundred miles, each confront the terrible power of harbored secrets—not only to eclipse the truth but also to illuminate the dark, unknown dimensions of their loved ones and themselves.

River at Night by Erica Ferencik. Erica Ferencik spent years in comedy clubs alongside Louis CK, Bill Burr, and Paula Poundstone and even sold some jokes to David Letterman as Erica Bobone.  Her debut novel is the polar opposite of what you’d expect from a writer with comedic chops. Set against the harsh beauty of the Maine wilderness, The River at Night is a nonstop and unforgettable thriller by a stunning new voice in fiction.  Winifred Allen is stifled by her soul-crushing job, devastated by the death of her beloved brother, and lonely after the end of her fifteen-year marriage.  When her three best friends decide to trade the beach for a thrilling white water rafting trip in Maine for their annual girls’ trip, she signs on despite her misgivings.

For YA Fantasy Fans…

The Hawkweed Legacy and The Hawkweek Prophecy by Irena Brignull.

In The Hawkweed Legacy author Irena Brignull—the award-winning screenwriter of The Boxtrolls, Come Together, Skellig, and the recent adaptation of the beloved classic, The Little Prince—returns to the enchanting world she created in her acclaimed debut novel, The Hawkweed Prophecy.  With film and television rights snapped up, this series is sure to be on everyone’s radar.

The Hawkweek Legacy picks up where The Hawkweed Prophecy left off, following Poppy Hooper and Ember Hawkweed in the aftermath of a stunning reveal: the two girls were switched at birth because of a centuries old-prophecy that foretold that one of the girls was destined to be Queen of the witches. Reeling from the truth and struggling to make sense of it all, the girls find comfort in different ways, Poppy by fleeing her fate to Africa and Ember by settling into a new normal: a non-coven life with Leo, a boy that is bound to the girls in ways neither of them can yet understand. When both the young women, the young man they love, and the contested throne are threatened, a plan is put into motion that may just destroy everything they know and cherish.

For Mental Health Sufferers, Supporters and Advocates of all ages…

Night Shift by Debi Gliori.  Fighting dragons is one way of fighting depression. This book is another.  Through stunning black and white illustration and deceptively simple text, author and illustrator Debi Gliori provides a fascinating and absorbing portrait of depression and hope in Night Shift, a moving picture book about a young girl haunted by dragons. The young girl battles the dragons using ‘night skills’: skills that give her both the ability to survive inside her own darkness and the knowledge that nothing—not even long, dark nights filled with monsters—will last forever.  Drawn from Gliori’s own experiences and struggles with depression, the book concludes with a moving author’s note explaining how depression has affected her and how she continues to cope. Gliori hopes that by sharing her own experience she can help others who suffer from depression, and to find that subtle shift that will show the way out.

For Literary Translation Lovers…

Happy Dreams by Jia Pingwa, translated by Nicky Harman.  After a disastrous end to a relationship, Hawa “Happy” Liu embarks on a quest to find the recipient of his donated kidney and a life that lives up to his self-given moniker. Traveling from his rural home in Freshwind to the city of Xi’an, Happy brings only an eternally positive attitude, his devoted best friend Wufu, and a pair of high-heeled women’s shoes he hopes to fill with the love of his life.  In Xi’an, Happy and Wufu find jobs as trash pickers sorting through the city’s filth, but Happy refuses to be deterred by inauspicious beginnings. In his eyes, dusty birds become phoenixes, the streets become rivers, and life is what you make of it. When he meets the beautiful Yichun, he imagines she is the one to fill the shoes and his Cinderella-esque dream. But when the harsh city conditions and the crush of societal inequalities take the life of his friend and shake Happy to his soul, he’ll need more than just his unrelenting optimism to hold on to the belief that something better is possible.