There are many things to be thankful for this holiday season, but today we’re taking a moment to reflect on our gratitude for those special books we’ve read that have made an impact on our reading lives. Join us in the celebration and think of the book that you are most thankful for and, if you haven’t read them already, add one or all of these unforgettable stories to your reading list. You’ll thank us.
Jen is thankful for:
Tarnished City by Vic James
“I’m so thankful that Tarnished City is coming soon because the first book in the trilogy—Gilded Cage—ended with a cliffhanger!”
The captivating dystopian trilogy that began with Gilded Cage continues. In a modern Britain where magic users control wealth, politics—and you—an uprising has been crushed. In its aftermath, two families will determine the country’s fate. The ruthless Jardines make a play for ultimate power. And the Hadleys, once an ordinary family, must find the extraordinary strength to fight back.
Abi Hadley is a fugitive. Her brother, Luke, a prisoner. Both will discover that in the darkest places, the human spirit shines brightest. Meanwhile, amid his family’s intrigues, Silyen Jardine dreams of forgotten powers from an earlier age.
As blood runs in the streets of London, all three will discover whether love and courage can ever be stronger than tyranny.
How do you choose when you can’t save everyone?
Kelly is thankful for:
Saints for All Occasions by J. Courtney Sullivan
“I’m thankful for Saints for All Occasions because the characters feel so familiar, it’s like spending time with the people you love.”
A sweeping, unforgettable novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Maine, about the hope, sacrifice, and love between two sisters and the secret that drives them apart.
Nora and Theresa Flynn are twenty-one and seventeen when they leave their small village in Ireland and journey to America. Nora is the responsible sister; she’s shy and serious and engaged to a man she isn’t sure that she loves. Theresa is gregarious; she is thrilled by their new life in Boston and besotted with the fashionable dresses and dance halls on Dudley Street. But when Theresa ends up pregnant, Nora is forced to come up with a plan—a decision with repercussions they are both far too young to understand.
Fifty years later, Nora is the matriarch of a big Catholic family with four grown children. Estranged from her sister, Theresa is a cloistered nun, living in an abbey in rural Vermont. Until, after decades of silence, a sudden death forces Nora and Theresa to confront the choices they made so long ago.
Sydney is thankful for:
The Mothers by Brit Bennett
“I’m thankful for The Mothers because it provides an atypical perspective on your typical coming-of-age novel, ultimately allowing you to reflect on the impact you have on your own relationships.”
A dazzling debut novel, The Mothers is a surprising story set within a contemporary black community in Southern California about young love and a big secret in a small community.
Nadia Turner, a rebellious, grief-stricken, seventeen-year-old mourning her own mother’s recent suicide, takes up with Luke Sheppard, the local pastor’s son. They are young; it’s not serious. But the pregnancy that results from this teen romance—and the subsequent cover-up—will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth. As Nadia hides her secret from everyone, including Aubrey, her God-fearing best friend, the years move quickly.
Soon, Nadia, Luke, and Aubrey are full-fledged adults and still living in debt to the choices they made that one seaside summer, caught in a love triangle they must carefully maneuver, and dogged by the constant, nagging question: What if they had chosen differently? The possibilities of the road not taken are a relentless haunt.
Elizabeth is thankful for:
Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown
“I’m thankful for Braving the Wilderness because Brené Brown offers the perfect message for our times!”
“True belonging doesn’t require us to change who we are. It requires us to be who we are.” Social scientist Brené Brown, PhD, LMSW, has sparked a global conversation about the experiences that bring meaning to our lives—experiences of courage, vulnerability, love, belonging, shame, and empathy. In Braving the Wilderness, Brown redefines what it means to truly belong in an age of increased polarization. With her trademark mix of research, storytelling, and honesty, Brown will again change the cultural conversation while mapping a clear path to true belonging.
Chelsea is thankful for:
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
“I’m thankful for Homegoing for its beautiful and important storytelling that traces the lineage of two half-sisters born in Ghana in the eighteenth century through colonization and slavery, the Civil War and Jazz Age Harlem, all the way to their ancestors who meet in present-day.”
Ghana, eighteenth century: two half sisters are born into different villages, each unaware of the other. One will marry an Englishman and lead a life of comfort in the palatial rooms of the Cape Coast Castle. The other will be captured in a raid on her village, imprisoned in the very same castle, and sold into slavery.
Yaa Gyasi’s extraordinary novel illuminates slavery’s troubled legacy both for those who were taken and those who stayed—and shows how the memory of captivity has been inscribed on the soul of our nation.
Maureen is thankful for:
The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis
“I’m thankful for The Wolf Road because it is one of the most beautiful and impactful books I’ve come across in years.”
Elka was just seven years old, wandering lost and hungry in the wilderness, when a solitary hunter took her in. In the years since then, he’s taught her how to survive in this desolate land where civilization has been destroyed and men are at the mercy of the elements and each other.
But the man Elka thought she knew has been harboring a terrible secret. He’s a killer. A monster. And now that Elka knows the truth, she may be his next victim.
Armed with nothing but her knife and the hard lessons Trapper’s drilled into her, Elka flees into the frozen north in search of her real parents. But judging by the trail of blood dogging her footsteps, she hasn’t left Trapper behind—and he won’t be letting his little girl go without a fight. If she’s going to survive, Elka will have to turn and confront not just him, but the truth about the dark road she’s been set on.
Erica is thankful for:
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
“I’m thankful for Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine because of its ability to be both hilarious and heartwarming.”
Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.
But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.
Smart, warm, uplifting, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is the story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes the only way to survive is to open your heart.
Miriam is thankful for:
Night + Market by Kris Yenbamroong and Garrett Snyder
“My first real job was waiting tables at a family-owned Thai restaurant in Boston. I’m thankful for that early real-world introduction to the cuisine and appreciate Yenbamroong’s attempt to honor his grandparent’s authentic home cooking.”
If you love to eat Thai food, but don’t know how to cook it, Kris Yenbamroong wants to solve your problems. His brash style of spicy, sharp Thai party food is created, in part, by stripping down traditional recipes to wring maximum flavor out of minimum hassle. Whether it’s a scorching hot crispy rice salad, lush coconut curries, or a wok-seared pad Thai, it’s all about demystifying the universe of Thai flavors to make them work in your life.
Kris is the chef of Night + Market, and this cookbook is the story of his journey from the Thai-American restaurant classics he grew eating at his family’s restaurant, to the rural cooking of Northern Thailand he fell for traveling the countryside. But it’s also a story about how he came to question what authenticity really means, and how his passion for grilled meats, fried chicken, tacos, sushi, wine and good living morphed into an L.A. Thai restaurant with a style all its own.