Books make amazing gifts—they’re not perishable, and you don’t have to worry about versions, sizes, or colors. If you give any of the following books, the recipients will owe you. Bigtime. Oh, there are so many! How do I decide? Here are some of my true loves from this year.
You want to get your hands on Martha Moody’s SHARP AND DANGEROUS VIRTUES, just released this fall. Set in 2047 in Dayton, Ohio, it is mesmerizing. In response to food and water shortages, the U.S. government has developed a successful agricultural area—known as "the Heartland Grid"—just north of the city. The Grid and its valuable human and agricultural resources are now being threatened—or possibly, seduced—by a multinational enemy force, and all of America feels threatened, too. I heard Martha read from this two summers ago at the Antioch Writers’ Workshop and was so taken, I thought it would kill me to wait for this book’s release! Obviously it didn’t kill me...and it was well worth the wait!
THE SALT GOD’S DAUGHTER by Ilie Ruby for any woman on your list. The Huffington Post called this novel a “…a lyrical, luxuriantly mystical meditation on being female.” The gorgeous imagery and exquisitely drawn characters haunt me still.
FALLING TOGETHER (but you can’t go wrong with any of her work!) I fall head over heels for all of her characters, but this protagonist—Pen Calloway—takes the cake for embedding herself in my heart. A book about our deepest human connections, and study in life long friends looking at the truths about who they were before and who they are now. You’ll want to read everything she’s ever written (if you haven’t already). I’m such a fangirl that I can’t help but mention how thrilled I was to get to have coffee with Marisa in NYC two summers ago. She’s lovely and wonderful in “real life,” as well as being a kickass author who makes my Christmas shopping so easy.
GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn. This is dark, twisted fun. I find that, reading as a writer, it’s rare that I’m truly surprised anymore. Something about a third of the way through this novel made me say “Holy shit!” aloud, totally alone, (well, except for the cat in my lap who looked up in alarm). I was so delighted and enthralled to be genuinely startled by a plot twist. But I tell you what: Flynn did it to me that drastically two more times before that book’s end. It’s fantastic, delicious suspense.
FLIGHT BEHAVIOR would make an excellent gift for any literary book lover. I haven’t read it yet, but you can’t go wrong with Kingsolver. Most of you know she’s my very very very favorite (and meeting her last year was a dream come true—the photographic evidence has a place of honor on my fridge). I’ve read everything else she’s written multiple times.
Remember, if you’re in the Dayton area and thinking of buying one of my own novels as a gift, please please email me and I’ll happily make arrangements to personalize it for you however you like. katrinakittle (at) gmail.com
If you’re in another state, please check out the wonderful bookstore Saturn Booksellers in Gaylord, MI. They have all my titles, already signed, and will ship anywhere!
Shop your local, independent book stores!
Happy Holidays & Happy Reading!