A great book is a gift that never goes out of style. Reduce your holiday shopping stress by picking up one of these seven books for every type of person on your list.
J. K. Rowling, Illustrated by Jim Kay
With the release of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” and the film “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” the Harry Potter universe is alive and thriving. This beautiful hardcover edition is a must-own for anyone who loved the original series, or a great way to introduce kids to the series for the first time. With 100 illustrated scenes by Jim Kay, you can watch the story unfold before your eyes. And if the Harry Potter fanatic in your life already has a copy, then pick up the illustrated edition of “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” which came out in October.
Paul Kalanithi was 36 and a rising neurosurgeon when he was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. Suddenly he went from learning how to save lives to confronting his own mortality. Kalanithi passed away in 2015 while writing this memoir and his wife worked to get it published posthumously. This book of Kalanithi’s musings on the meaning of life when he knew the end was very near has already sold hundreds of thousands of copies so far this year and would be a great gift for any reader in your life.
The story follows two men during a major rebellion: Kuni Garu, a bandit who suddenly finds himself rising up the military ranks, and Mata Zyndu, a fearless warrior. The two become friends while fighting the rebellion, but once the emperor is overthrown, they end up on opposite sides of the fight as they disagree on the best way to rule the kingdom. The world created by Ken Liu is rich, filled with complex characters, and heavily influenced by Chinese folklore and the Han Dynasty. This book is great for the “Game of Thrones” fan looking for a new, complicated world to dive into.
Brian K. Vaughan, Illustrated by Cliff Chiang and Matthew Wilson
Four 12-year-old girls witness a dangerous but spectacular event that changes everything. The comic is set in the 1980s and is filled with cool-toned images that nail the nostalgia and the feeling of growing up and out of childhood. This comic is perfect for the “Stranger Things” fan in your life who wants more of the ‘80s nostalgia with a sci-fi twist. The first volume ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, so consider gifting Volume 2 at the same time in case your reader devours the entire thing Christmas morning.
A multi-generational family story, “Homegoing” begins in the 1700s with two half sisters, Effia and Essi, who are born in different tribes in Ghana and do not know that the other exists. Effia marries a prominent Englishman and slave trader, while Esi is sold into slavery and taken with hundreds of others from the Gold Coast to the United States. The story moves down the family tree and follows the two lines as they separate and struggle with warfare, slavery and discrimination. Yaa Gyasi expertly covers 300 years of family history and shows how the decisions made by one person can have ripple effects farther than they could ever imagine.
“Sleeping Giants” opens with a girl named Rose, who while riding her new bike through her neighborhood falls into a hole and directly onto a giant, metal hand. No one seems to know where this hand came from or how it got into the ground. Rose grows up to become an extremely successful physicist and is determined to figure out the mysteries behind this giant hand. This book is compulsively page turning and you’ll spend every page wondering the truth about this metal hand, what it can do, and if there are more pieces left to find. Give this to anyone who loved “The Martian” (the movie or the book).
Detective Antoinette Conway is not very popular amongst the other detectives in the Murder Squad. She doesn’t play well with others and there is now a campaign to try to get rid of her. Conway and her partner Stephen pull a case that at first looks like a basic lovers’ tiff, but they soon realize there’s more going on. Is this just another chance for the squad to push her out or is there more to the case? Tana French is the master of the modern mystery novel, crafting deep, complex characters who lead the way. Though “The Trespasser” is the fourth book in her Dublin Murder Squad series, each book follows a different detective, so it’s not necessary to read the series in order. However, if your gift recipient hasn’t read French before, you can’t go wrong with her first novel, “In the Woods,” either.
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