33 Authors on the Books They’d Give Family Members for Jólabókaflóð

The authors of your favorite books reveal the reads they'd give their family members for the holidays.

family

Much as you may wish to disown the toxic relatives who appear at the holiday dinner table, you’re largely stuck with the people with whom you share your DNA. But with any luck, you are also blessed with at least one kindred spirit in the clan—better still if that family member is a reader, for as Napoleon Bonaparte wrote, ““Show me a family of readers, and I will show you the people who move the world.” Whether it’s a sibling who was your shelter from the storm of childhood or a parent who instilled in you a love of reading, these people are your true life-long loves. Here, 31 authors recommend the books they will be giving their family this year for Jólabókaflóð.

 

A Little Book on Form by Robert Hass

“I will be in Iceland this Christmas where I have been taking part in jólabókaflóðið since 1986 as an author and as a customer from an early age. On Thorlaksmessa, December 23rd, I will join the masses in packed bookstores in downtown Reykjavik—Eymundson or Mal og menning—where I’ll undoubtedly buy some of the local offerings for the family—poetry, biography, cookbooks, fiction—before heading home for the final Christmas preparations. But I will also be taking some books with me from here which my wife and I have bought as presents to ourselves. A Little Book on Form by Robert Hass, whose poetry I have always enjoyed, will be in our luggage together with The O. Henry Prize Stories of 2017, edited once again by the able Laura Furman. I expect the short stories will go well with the ptarmigan, which I’ll be making on Christmas Eve, whereas Hass’s book on form could be an excellent companion to Christmas Day’s smoked leg of lamb.” —Olaf Olafsson, author of One Station Away

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Jacob Asleep by Klaus Merz 

“I always feel a bit embarrassed to give books as a present. You can finish a bottle of wine in an evening, flowers wither away by themselves, but a book takes time and I know that all my friends work a lot and have little time. So if you give the wrong book you’re stealing their time. That’s why I love to present thin books. I’m not a nationalist when it comes to books, but for once I’ll recommend a Swiss writer, Klaus Merz, who writes novels as thin as you can wish. His novel or novella Jacob Asleep is so thin (80 pages in the German edition) that in the English edition it was paired with two others of his. The book is called Stigmata of Bliss and was published by Seagull Books. Jacob Asleep tells the story of Klaus Merz’s childhood in a baker family with a brother that suffered from a hydrocephalus [fluid in the brain]. But, what might sound like a sad story is a book full of beautiful and touching moments. You can tell that Klaus Merz is also a poet; his language is dense and playful. When I love a book I like to give it to everybody. And quite a few people have already received Jacob Asleep from me. But not my mother, I think, who is a bit older than Klaus Merz but has told me stories from a world not so different than that of his youth.” —Peter Stamm, author of Agnes

 

Florine Stettheimer: Painting Poetry by Stephen Brown and Georgiana Uhlyarik

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“Can you give gifts to the dead? I hope so. Florine Stettheimer: Painting Poetry is my pick to lay right next to my mother’s urn, with maybe a cup of coffee and a piece of Mandelbrot. The book’s filled with gorgeous, exuberant paintings of psychological insight, whimsical audacity, cheerful eccentricity and bone-deep determination. Stettheimer received one bad review and never showed her work in public again—but she kept painting. Stettheimer has been described as “an haute outsider” and as a “rococo subversive”, ways of being which my mother, a writer who stopped writing, adored and admired. The perfect gift for the art-lover, the outsider-lover, the feminist, the family black sheep and all artists.” —Amy Bloom, author of White Houses

 

Grendel by John Gardner

“For the holiday season, which celebrates the mysterious virgin birth of a male child, I would give my mother a copy of John Gardner’s Grendel. I have actually given her a copy of the book before although I doubt she remembers. We all get busy, especially mothers. Even Grendel’s horrible beast-mom, who cannot speak and lives in an underwater cavern with an entrance full of “firesnakes” and whale genitalia, seems busy. Moms get busy, moms get moody, moms make mistakes because they are human. Even Grendel’s monster-mother has a touch of sad, ancient humanity to her character, though it rarely comes through; she cares for her son: the sad, broken creature that she made not only through birth but through rearing and her own kind of care. I think Grendel is the classic mother-son novel and a wonderful bit of existentialism in the form of a remediated mythology told from the “villain’s” point-of-view. Plus, tell me there is something better to read around a hearth? Poor Grendel. But also, poor mom. Always, poor mom.” —Timmy Reed, author of Kill Me Now

 

Lawless by Diana Palmer

“I would give my mother a signed copy of Lawless by Diana Palmer, because she is my mom’s favorite author, and I’d love to let her escape for an afternoon.” —Christina Lauren (Christina Hobbs), author of Roomies

 

Persuasion by Jane Austen

“I would give a special edition of Jane Austen’s Persuasion to my sister, because it is her favorite and my sister is my favorite.” —Christina Lauren (Lauren Billings), author of Roomies


The Breaks of the Game by David Halberstam

“I would gift The Breaks of the Game by David Halberstam to my little brother. He’s a basketball fan and this book is a great read for any fan of the game and its history. Halberstam was a meticulous reporter and gifted storyteller and Breaks follows the Portland Trail Blazers in the 1979-80 season, offering a lens into the highs and lows of their year. The book also reaches macro levels of social exploration, examining the league’s racial makeup, while it strives for greater popularity in America.” —Jonathan Abrams, author of All the Pieces Matter

 

Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong

“This year, I think I’ll give my mom Rachel Khong’s Goodbye, Vitamin. When the book came out, a lot of people noted its quirk, and its heart, and its humor, but what I felt throughout was this throbbing sadness for how little control we each have over our own lives. Which doesn’t mean we can’t influence things as we go along—but there are other forces at work as well. My mom’s had some health problems over the last few years, and my sister and I have been there as best as we can, but there’s always more to do. Goodbye, Vitamin made me realize that, at some point, that just starts to be the case, and it’s never not the case again. Until it’s finally and fully not—which will be worse. Anyway, these are the kinds of things my mother and I like to talk about.” —Colin Winnette, author of The Job of the Wasp

 

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

“I would give A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles to everyone I love. It’s not just the best book I read this year. It’s one of the best I’ve ever read. I’m pretty sure it will be viewed as a classic in the years to come.” —Blake Crouch, author of Dark Matter


Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

“The first thing my sister and I do when we greet each other after months apart is fall into each other’s arms for a long, warm, perfect hug. For the holidays I’d love to give my sister this feeling even when we’re miles apart. Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman is paper and ink, but as soon as a reader opens the cover and leaps into the complicated, passionate and enchanting world of the Owen sisters, they find themselves locked in a cozy embrace for hundreds of pages. Even through difficult turns of events, the sisters’ fierce loyalty and Hoffman’s spellbinding writing means there is always happiness at the end of the road even if the route there is twisty. I would gift Practical Magic to my sister and then read my own battered copy for the ten thousandth time with her.” —Rebecca L. Brown, author of Flying at Night


Love, Nina by Nina Stibbe

“I’d give my cousin Stella the glorious Love, Nina by Nina Stibbe. It’s a nanny’s letters to her sister, while she looks after two children in 1980s Primrose Hill. Stella and I grew up in the same part of London around the same date, in similarly bookish homes, and reading it really took me back to our childhood. Nostalgia aside, it’s a lovely portrait of sisterly closeness—which I was lucky to have with my cousin, not having a sister myself. Nina is the perfect sparky narrator, quirky and sparky but not grating. I think Stella would find her letters as funny and cheering as I did.” —Francesca Hornak, author of Seven Days of Us


Fifth Business by Robertson Davies

“Most of my friends and relatives are writers, which means the holidays are almost always filled with books. When my mother was still alive—and she herself was a writer—she’d always give me a few books, which oddly she’d sign, and which she’d read first, so you’d get the book and it would already be dog-eared and would smell a bit like Marlboros. I still have most of them. My brother, also a writer, tends to give me a few books every year that he thinks I’ll like, or that he liked. I give my sisters books that I like that I think they’ll like, but then they usually say something along the lines of, “Oh, great, another Elmore Leonard novel.” One year during the holidays, my wife bought me every single Denis Johnson book—this was when I was starting out as a writer and I’d fallen in love with Jesus’ Son and decided I had to have every word he’d written in our home—but we were so poor back then that this was a real investment, so when I opened up my gifts and found Angels, Fiskadoro, and Resuscitation of a Hanged Man et al., I couldn’t believe it. Books can be such a wonder when you’re hungry for them. Of late, I’ve been thinking a lot about consequences—good and bad—of other people’s actions, how ripples happen in life, and you never quite know when they might hit the shore; but also about hope, and about people’s ability to change, so for this holiday season I think the book I would give to friends and family alike is Fifth Business by Robertson Davies. To be the instrument of change, but not the change itself. A wonder of wonders.” —Tod Goldberg, author of Gangster Nation

 

Annals of the Former World by John McPhee

“I would give my wife John McPhee’s Annals of the Former World. She’s an even bigger wine nerd than me—which also means she’s a big geology nerd—and no one talks dirt and rocks, and explains their importance, like McPhee. Annals is, of course, the story of America told through geological time, and not only does it put in perspective our current short-time view of the country, it also is a master demonstration of that wonderful McPhee ability to locate where each detail should live in an intricate and immense work. Wine only enters McPhee’s world tangentially, although his New Yorker piece “Season on the Chalk,” about the calcareous band running under England straight to Champagne, remains a classic of wine and soil. And within Annals, it’s only the “Assembling California” section (also its own book) that’s in any way vineyard proximate. But that manner of seeing the world in epochs and ages, rather than years, is essential to understanding the meaning of wine terroir—and so much else that surrounds us. As a stocking stuffer, I might toss in Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, because it’s under-read these days and it’s worth everyone revisiting how fast intellectually accepted truths can change.” —Jon Bonne, author of The New Wine Rules

 

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Homegoing tells the story of four centuries in one 300-page book. Two sisters are separated, one sold into slavery in America, and one left in what is now Ghana. We learn the history of both countries as we learn their fates and that of their children and their children’s children’s children. It is sprawling and epic but tightly focused on individual people and what happens to them because of choices made by other people, sometimes during their lifetimes, sometimes hundreds of years ago. I finished this book a year and a half ago, and it resonated with me so much that I’ve thought of it almost daily since. So many chapters of this book made me think so much about myself and my story, and how I got to where I am today. It especially made me think about the generations of my family, most of whom I’ve never even heard of, who worked to get me here. In giving this book to my grandmother, I hope that when she reads it, she’ll tell me stories of her life, and of the life of the great-grandmother I knew, and the great-great-grandmother I didn’t, and other ancestors of mine who made me who and what I am today.” —Jasmine Guillory, author of The Wedding Date

 

Waiting for Snow in Havana by Carlos Eire

The first time I read Carlos Eire’s stunning memoir, Waiting for Snow in Havana, I was sitting on a tour bus in the DMZ in South Korea, but part of me wasn’t there at all—I was time traveling, back to the days when I would sit in my grandparents’ living room and listen to their stories of Cuba. I’d picked up the book to pass the time on the long journey through South Korea, never expecting that I would feel such a strong connection to my own family, Eire’s lyrical prose conjuring an instant sense of belonging and understanding. From the first line to the last, I was utterly consumed by Eire’s memories of his childhood in Cuba. There was something so poignant about reading a book that dealt with Cuba—a country that had experienced a terrible schism—while in South Korea, another country where families had been divided by war. The themes of Eire’s experience living through the Cuban Revolution and fleeing Cuba during Operation Peter Pan were both universal and deeply intimate. I would—and have—gifted my family and friends this book, so they can experience the beauty of Eire’s writing, and his profound ruminations on Cuba and exile. I’ve already purchased a Spanish language copy to share with my grandfather this holiday season. —Chanel Cleeton, author of Next Year in Havana

 

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

“Nearly a decade after reading Garth Stein’s The Art of Racing in the Rain, it is still the novel I would gladly wrap up in festive yuletide paper and give to someone I love. There is no other book I know of quite like this one. The story is told from the first-person point-of-view of a dog—yes, a dog. Enzo, an insightful pet narrating the story in the twilight hours of his life, has made a study of humanity by observing how we live. This book has everything that makes a book wonderful because it’s about everything we humans care about—and fear, hate, adore, laugh over, and long for. When I finished it, in tears, it was after midnight but I ran downstairs anyway and threw myself on our sleeping yellow Lab. I kept saying, “You’re such a good dog, you’re such a good dog.” Luke was pretty old then and didn’t raise his head, but he thumped his tail like the great companion that he was and just let me love on him. You don’t have to be a dog-lover to fall in love with this book, and you don’t even have to believe that our pets are capable of having such eloquent thoughts; the writing is so good, you’ll be carried away by it. Even the first line is masterful: “Gestures are all that I have; sometimes they must be grand in nature.” It’s not a book about a dog, really. It’s a book about us.” —Susan Meissner, author of As Bright As Heaven

 

Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King

Sleeping Beauties is such a nuanced, textured, and heartbreaking take on the issues women face on a daily basis, presented in King’s viscerally terrifying way. The blend of horror, fantasy, and dystopia is perfectly handled, and the emotional gut-punch is unreal—this book made me cry on a plane because it got so much so right. I would give it to my mother, and also every other woman I know, because every single one of us would earmark or underline the hell out of this book. And have a drink with Evie Black.” —Lana Popović, author of Wicked Like a Wildfire

 

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid’s Tale has been my favorite book since I read it in college. My mom and I were recently talking about it, and she told me she has never read it. My mom and I always give each other books for gifts (we are both huge readers!) and I definitely want to give her a copy this year.” —Jillian Cantor, author of The Lost Letter

 

Poor Cook by Caroline Conran

“I left South Africa at age 20 with a friend from university to study further in France and the two of us had had a wild and wonderful year 6000 miles from home, starting without knowing a single person on the European continent. One thing we never did was cook—in those days in France, you could live perfectly well and cheaply eating in cafes. The following year we went our separate ways, Annabel to Vienna and I to London. I rented a bedsit on my own and suddenly realized I needed to cook to live. An English friend of my mother’s gave me Poor Cook by Caroline Conran and it transformed my life—I discovered the joy of cooking. Apart from the marvelous recipes using the cheapest ingredients, Conran’s wit made the whole thing fun. Now I’ve given the book as presents to each of my children, as they moved out and started families of their own. —Lu Spinney, author of Beyond the High Blue Air

 

Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat

“When I was a bookseller, everyone on my list received a book. Now, I try to diversify my gift-giving, but it’s still such a pleasure to give books: to bequeath Dory Fantasmagory to a six-year-old kid or Ghettoside to an L.A native or . . . or . . . the list goes on! This year, for Jólabókaflóð, I’d like to give the cookbook Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat to my husband. This is sort of a cheat because we actually already own an advance copy of this book, but we need the real thing, a hardcover with the glossary and page numbers and the introduction by Michael Pollan. And I’m dying to have the beautiful, color illustrations by Wendy McNaughton! Samin Nosrat’s food writing and recipes are accessible and joyful and intuitive. Also? Her recipe for broccoli rabe is genius. Buy it for someone—hopefully someone who feeds you!” —Edan Lepucki, author of Woman No. 17

The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen

“This question comes up every year, though, I admit, I was not familiar with Jólabókaflóð. But books certainly are my number one choice in gifts, and why not? After all, no one has a CD player anymore. What’s left? Socks? I’ll stick with books. This year, I’ll probably give Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Sympathizer to my father. It’s an immensely sarcastic look at the Vietnam War and its aftermath. My mother will likely get a book by Daphne du Maurier, and for my brothers, I’ll try to find something about the post-World-War-II world order, they both like to read about recent history. Everyone else will have to make do with a copy of my own book, I’ve got plenty of them lying around!” —Emanuel Bergmann, author of The Trick


Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor by Lisa Kleypas

Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor by Lisa Kleypas is a perfect gift for the holiday! Lisa is a wonderful writer whose stories steal your heart and you remember them long after the last page. Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor was made into a TV movie for the Hallmark channel and renamed “Christmas with Holly.” It will leave you full of joy and holiday cheer! —Christine Feehan, author of Leopard’s Blood

 

Guapa by Saleem Haddad

For Jólabókaflóð, I’d give out copies of the recent novel Guapa, by Saleem Haddad, which chronicles a pivotal day in the life of a young gay man in an unnamed Arab country, right after his grandmother discovers his secret. This bold, generous, lyrical, nuanced, ambitious, and entirely gripping novel explores big questions about the cost of truth, the evolution of culture in a globalized age, and the ripple effects of repression and revolution. Through achingly vivid characters, Haddad traces the connections between personal and political liberation with exquisite precision and humanity. I’d give this beautiful novel out to any loved one seeking nourishment for the soul in tumultuous times. —Carolina De Robertis, author of Radical Hope: Letters of Love and Dissent in Dangerous Times

 

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

“I would give my husband, John, a copy of Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders. John doesn’t have a lot of time to read for pleasure and so he is particular about what he picks up. The subject matter, Abraham Lincoln, will appeal to him; plus it just won the Man Booker Prize, has been extremely well-reviewed, and has great word of mouth.” —Greer Hendricks, author of The Wife Between Us



A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking

“For Jólabókaflóð, I would gift a loved one Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time. By trade, I’m a fiction writer, and my degree is in English literature. However, I have long been fascinated by physics and astronomy and explanations of the universe around us. Stephen Hawking’s book, which has been popular for decades, lays out for the non-physicist the ideas, experiments, and theories of general relativity, time dilation, the Big Bang, and many other aspects of the cosmos. Excellently written, with Hawking’s dry sense of humor coming through, it is a book to treasure and to dip into for years to come.” —Jennifer Ashley, author of Death Below Stairs

 

Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart

“I have gifted several of Mary Stewart’s romantic suspense books in the past. They are just so wonderful. It’s nearly impossible to pick a favorite. But I would probably choose to gift Nine Coaches Waiting because it so swiftly reels the reader in, and I know my sister and all of my sisters-in-law would simply devour it, as I did. You can’t help but put yourself in Linda’s shoes as she struggles to acclimate to her position as the governess in a French chateau to the sweet nine-year-old Philippe, matches wits with the boy’s shadowy Uncle Leon, and waltzes with his handsome roguish cousin Raoul, all while trying to figure out who is trying to kill the boy and claim his inheritance. It’s so delightfully Gothic and thoroughly engrossing.” —Anna Lee Huber, author of A Brush with Shadows

 

Counternarratives by John Keene

“I gave John Keene’s Counternarratives to my lover/wife/ecstatic brain who I live with and also to the friend in Paris who helped make our baby. I gave it to my father-in-law who lives in D.C. and would like to give it to my brother, who is drifting between a tiny island on the U.S./Canada border and the world of music, which is everywhere. John Keene teaches at Rutgers, where I also used to teach, but on a different sprawling New Jersey campus than mine. If I were still teaching there, I would read it with my students and they would tell me that they already know about it: getting weird, translation and the impossibility of translation, migration, colonialism, the abyssal legacy of many slaveries. I want to keep giving it as much as possible to whoever will take it and even those who won’t—because the idea of producing counter-narratives is necessary now, for our bodies, as necessary as pumping blood.” —Jess Arndt, author of Large Animals

 

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

“My maternal grandmother was such an inspiration. Born in a small town in 1906, and a resident of Ohio for her whole life, she believed in equal rights for every American and fought hard in her local community to champion women, the LGBTQ+ community, and civil rights. She was also a lifetime reader and adored how books expanded her world. She died seven years ago, so she never got the chance to read Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah, a book I know would have made her laugh and cry, that would have challenged her, and made her nod with recognition. I dedicated my novel June to her, and I would give her Americanah in the same spirit, because, like her, I believe that books are one of the few gifts that make our worlds bigger.” —Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, author of June

 

The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund De Waal

“We’re six siblings in my family and my younger sister is a good reader, so when I give her presents, they are always books. For example, La Conejo con Los Ojos Ámbar or, The Hare with Amber Eyes. De Waal was not a writer, he was a pottery craftsman, and my sister is a craftswoman. It’s a really good book for her because it talks about working with the hands and the sensation of building and making with your hands. At the same time, this book is very beautiful, about very small pieces of art called “netsuke” in Japanese, about this collection, these pieces of pottery. So, she could find many reasons to enjoy it. The process is so clear and simple, no effects, just beautiful words printed on the page.” —Jesús Carrasco, author of Out in the Open


One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

“When I was in college, a professor teaching Latin American Fiction handed me a book that allowed me to see the world differently, yet, at the same time, gave me permission to become more connected to the place I had grown up. The book was One Hundred Years of Solitude, by the Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez. At the time, I was just a young student, experimenting with my own writing. My family and I had returned to the States only a handful of years before, after having lived in Italy throughout my childhood. I’d grown up in Southern Italy, way off the beaten path, in a place where generations had lived for centuries. It was often bleak, yet riddled with stories of the past—of men who had gone off in search of a better life, only to return after a few months; a place where the ghosts of the past weighed heavily on everyone’s shoulders and often prevented them from moving forward. I had always wanted to write about them, their trials and tribulations, their loves and disappointments, their wins and losses, but had been told no one would want to read about them, as such insignificant people, given their insignificant lives, could never catch anyone’s eye. That is, until my professor handed me One Hundred Years of Solitude. The book tells the story of the Buendía family, whose patriarch, José Arcadio Buendía builds a mythical and fictional town he names Macondo. Together with his wife, José and his family leave their home in order to search for a better life elsewhere. The book follows seven generations of his offspring as they find themselves at the crossroads of many historical events in Colombia. But, aside from its historical element that spoke to me, the themes of the book dealt with ghosts of their past, and how those metaphorical ghosts now interfered with their present. The characters fight for better lives in a world full of religious symbolism, family lore and loves, gossip, and mystical experiences. Although taking place in a completely different part of the world, the book brought to my mind the people I had known and grown up with, those whose lives were not small at all, despite all I had been told; and those who I might perhaps write about one day.” —Roseanne Montillo, author of Fire on the Track

 

Pet Sematary by Stephen King

“The book I would give as a gift for Jólabókaflóð is Pet Sematary by Stephen King. And I would give it to my wonderful partner of seventeen years, Neil. He’s not read much Stephen King (amazing I’m still with him, really!) and he recently asked me for recommendations. I immediately thought of this one. It’s a controversial choice. King himself has said he never wanted the book to be published because ‘it spirals down into darkness’. With most of King’s novels, there’s a happy-ish resolution. But not this one. There is a terrible inevitability about the book. You know where it’s going but can’t help following that awful, grim path. Now I have a little girl, I find the questions it raises about life, love, and death even more terrifying and heart-breaking. It’s probably my most re-read King novel (there’s a nod to it in The Chalk Man). But I’ll be buying Neil his own copy. He’d have to pry the 80s’ original from my cold, dead hands!” —C.J. Tudor, author of The Chalk Man

Istanbul and Beyond by Robyn Eckhardt

“I would like to give a book to my mother who just moved from the house where she had lived and worked for almost 50 years. As she moved into a 2-bedroom apartment, she needed to say goodbye to many dear things including most of her’s and my father’s impressive book collection (which was donated to local antiquarians). For her new fresh collection, I want to give her Istanbul and Beyond, by Robyn Eckhardt (photographs by Dave Hagerman) because it’s a beautiful travel guide as well as an amazing cookbook. I hope it will give my mother new inspiration in the kitchen as well as inspire her to keep traveling and discovering new things.” —Johanna Kindvall, author of Smorgasbord

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman

“I would give My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman, to my sister. I read this book over the summer, tucked away in my backyard. I can’t stop chatting about this story; In fact, I’m eager to read it all over again. Both the story and writing were magical. How Backman weaved together an imaginary world with the hurting, very human, one we live in is quite genius. There is something special about a grandparent/grandchild relationship—the unique, and often instantaneous, bond coupled with the journey of getting to know the people they were before we existed. In this story, the grandmother, who is rather crazy, leaves apology notes for her “different” granddaughter to deliver to those she has wronged in her past. In the process, these letters end up being clues for the granddaughter to piece together. It’s made me think about the clues my loved ones, in their own ways, have left behind and how their stories very much affect my own. This novel was enchanting and endearing. Perfect to read tucked away on a cold winter’s day.” — Trina McNeilly, author of La La Lovely

 

 


Featured image: Elsa Jenna

About Guinevere de la Mare

Guinevere de la Mare

Guinevere de la Mare is a writer based in San Francisco and the founder of Silent Book Club, an international network of book lovers who host introvert happy hours in more than 40 cities. Her first book, I’d Rather be Reading (Chronicle Books), is a love letter to books and readers.

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