2 A.M. at The Cat's Pajamas
All the action in this novel takes place on the night before Christmas Eve in Philadelphia, when three disparate characters are all motivated by hope—nine-year-old Madeline dreams of one day becoming a jazz singer; her fifth-grade teacher Sarina, still stinging from her divorce, anxiously awaits a dinner party where she will be reunited with an old flame; and Lorca, owner of legendary jazz club The Cat’s Pajamas, desperately wishes he can find the money to save his venue in time. Seeking love, music and their individual hopes, it’s a night all three of them will never forget.
Fates and Furies
This much-buzzed-about book from Lauren Groff is a must-read for any fiction lover. The dual-narrative is brilliantly rendered and tells the fascinating story of a married couple. The writing is gorgeous and poignant while the story is mysterious with plenty of twists and turns that result in an ending no one will see coming.
The Little Paris Bookshop
The quintessential book for book lovers, this story introduces readers to Monsieur Perdu, a literary apothecary who, from his floating bookshelf-cum-barge, prescribes novels to customers to heal the hardships of their lives. However, heartbroken Monsieur Perdu is the only one who cannot find solace in his books until he sets off on a journey that re-starts his joie de vivre. A novel that truly captures the restorative power of reading.
No matter how many titles are hailed as The Next “Gone Girl”, there is only one Gillian Flynn. For anybody on your list who is looking for her signature inky black humor and acidic social commentary, look no further than her latest short story. Originally published in a George R. R. Martin compendium, this gripping tale is small in stature but chock-full of creeping dread.
A Brief History of Seven Killings
On December 3, 1976, just days before the Jamaican general election, seven gunmen burst into reggae singer Bob Marley’s house and opened fire, wounding Marley, his wife and a host of others. Insufficient details about the incident were released at the time; Marlon James’ Man Booker prize-winning novel is an exploration of what happened, who did it and why, and how the events shaped an entire culture.
A Little Life
Nominated for a National Book Award, this sweeping novel follows four friends as they leave their Massachusetts college campus and settle in New York City. Willem, JB and Malcom’s orbit rotates around Jude, a razor-sharp litigator with an acerbic dark side that lingers from childhood trauma. An expansive and profoundly moving novel that explores the magnetic power of friendship and love.
‘Tis the season…to shop for everyone on your list. And, we may be biased, but we think the best gifts to give—and receive—are books!
Read It Forward is making your holiday shopping a cinch this year. We’ve curated seven different gift guides chock full of books that will thrill everyone you know: the foodie in the family, the creative thinker, the fiction devotee, the adventurous spirit, the former class clown, the ultimate fan (of podcasts, history, rock ‘n roll…you name it) and the sci-fi lover who’s already purchased their movie tickets for Stars Wars: The Force Awakens. All you have to do is swing by your local independent bookstore and shop ’til you drop.
The Fiction Lover is beguiled by a good novel. Whether it’s a tale about a fellow book lover struggling to juggle all the balls in her life, a searing, interior look at a marriage, speculation about the attempted murder of a Reggae great or the new definition of the American coming of age story, these ten books will keep the bookworm in your life captivated well into the new year.
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What are you giving the fiction lover in your life this holiday season? Help expand our gift guide with your recommendations below!
Curated by the Read It Forward editorial team, illustration by Jane Mount of Ideal Bookshelf.