Books make great gifts– but what to buy for whom can be a daunting question. We decided to round up some of our selections from this year and make suggestions based on the personalities of your friends, family members, and other folks who would enjoy these wonderful stories.
One of the most popular novels of the year, this would be a perfect gift for your mom, your sister, or any woman who loves a heart-rending story of loss and redemption. According to our readers, this was one of their favorite novels, not only of this year, but of all time.
This story is perfect for someone who has overcome something hard this year– illness or divorce or loss of some kind. A story about starting over and celebrating life, and about the friends who come alongside us as we do. Come to think of it, it’s also a great book to give a good friend.
This novel proves that beauty can come from betrayal and that hope can come from loss. Lyrical and aching and infused with such an honest glimpse at love and marriage, it was a novel that stayed with us long after we finished. Dozens of our book clubs read this novel and asked each other one of the hardest questions a person can ask, “How long do you hold on to hope?” Also, it has one of the prettiest covers EVER. (Because lets be honest, we ALL judge books by their covers—good news in this case because it delivers!)
Got a friend who loves historical fiction? Who loves a good debate? Who likes to think? This book fits all three qualifications. While this book was one of our more… unsettling choices this year, it was also a book that will make you question what you think you know about the main character…and about yourself.
How do you make peace with the life you’ve lived? How do you finish that life well? This story would appeal to anyone who’s had a family member touched by Alzheimers. Or someone who just likes to laugh. Or who likes quirky characters and a look at small town life. It contains deep issues wrapped in a charming package, and has one of the most beautiful end of life scenes ever written (in our opinion).
Kim holds a special place in our hearts because she’s the only author (so far) who came for a month and then hung around to help us out. She’s been running our new blog network for us, and doing a bang-up job. Her debut novel, The River Witch would make a good gift for anyone who would enjoy a story that delves into the rich heritage of both the GA coast and the people of the Appalachian mountains. And if you’ve got someone in your life with a heart for helping children, she’s sure to embrace the story of little Damascus, who forms a life-changing relationship with Roslyn as she seeks shelter and solace on Manny’s Island GA.
Want to give someone a coastal NC vacation but can’t afford to rent them a beach house at Sunset Beach? This story is the next best thing– and much kinder on your budget. A good story for the artist in your life, or someone who’s lost a loved one and needs a little dose of hope that life will, eventually, go on.
This story is for that woman in your life who is reinventing herself– or who is moving away from someone else’s shadow. It would also make a great gift for that friend who is a Dancing With The Stars fan. Or for anyone who just loves a fun story and quick read. It’s a story of new beginnings and what it really looks like to find yourself.
I can picture this book packaged with a few of Meryl Streep’s dvd’s as a fun gift, maybe with the promise of a monthly Meryl Streep movie club meeting of your own! A light, fun look at three women whose lives are changed by gathering together to watch her movies, this is for anyone who loves movies, Meryl or Maine.
We love Sarah around here and can guarantee that a gift of any of her books will be loved by most any woman in your life. This is an engaging, page-turning story about a freak May snowstorm, a missing child, and two grieving mothers linked by the snow and the child. Your friend will be turning the pages to find out just how they’re linked.
This book, endorsed by Pat Conroy and embraced by book clubs nationwide, made numerous end-of-year lists as a “best book of 2012.” It’s Southern fiction at its best, but doesn’t stop there. A bit historical. A bit women’s fiction. And a lot literary. This is a novel that builds to a slow boil in your heart and leaves you with a passion for people who are, in fact, just figments of the author’s imagination. A rare feat indeed, and one that Michael Morris pulls of seamlessly.
About Marybeth Whalen
Marybeth Whalen is the co-founder of She Reads, mother of six, and life-long reader. She is also the author of two novels with a third out in July: The Mailbox, She Makes It Look Easy, and The Guest Book.