Every year, my Christmas list is compiled of books, with a few other things added in. It’s the Christmas season again, and so I have compiled my list of the top 10 books Santa (or my family and friends) could bring me.
1. The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman
I borrowed Practical Magic from a friend in high school, and then bought Water Tales and Green Angel and devoured those. Hoffman has this gift for telling a story so beautifully, I consider it prose and poetry all wrapped up into one. With layered meanings behind every phrase, Hoffman weaves her stories so that when you read them, you’re taken on a deep, emotional journey that leaves its mark on you. I saw a copy of The Dovekeepers earlier this year in the airport and almost bought it, but I had no room in my carry on.
2. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
I read this book in college, borrowing it from the school library’s fiction section. This is a vampire novel without being one of the ones going after the fad these days. It’s a story about Vlad the Impaler, the legend of Dracula, and a young woman’s search for the truth of her family’s past. The book takes you to Istanbul, Budapest and Eastern Europe, with vivid descriptions. I liked it a lot, and would love to see it on my shelf.
3. The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde
I love Fforde’s Thursday Next series, which I was given the first one of by my aunt and uncle (who were always happy to give me books). (See an older blog post that gives you more details on why I love Fforde’s novels as much as I do.) His dry humor and pun-filled prose keeps me entertained for hours. It helps you take life a little less seriously, which – in my opinion – is something everyone could use these days. As I am also a fan of fantasy involving dragons, I’m pretty sure I would enjoy this book.
4. The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
I’m pretty sure if you haven’t heard of this book, you’ve been living under a rock. As a fan of the Harry Potter series, having picked the first one up in junior high and following it closely up through the seventh book and eighth movie, I think I have to pick up this book and read it eventually. Anyone who writes a series like that can’t just write that and disappear.
5. The Winter Palace: A Novel of Catherine the Great by Eva Stachniak
I love historical fiction. I love it not only for the story, but also because I love learning about history. While I have read a lot of fiction about the Tudors and Elizabethan England, I’m always looking for other historical fiction that stands out to help me learn something new. Of course, I’ve heard of Catherine the Great of Russia, and I’ve read some good reviews of this novel.
6. Enigma by Robert Harris
I enjoyed Pompeii and Imperium. I have Fatherland and Archangel on my shelf, waiting to be read. I would like to add this novel as well. As the daughter of a man who enjoyed watching and reading anything on World War II that he could find, it seemed, I believe I would like this novel. “You can get at a truth as a novelist in a way that you can’t as an historian,” Harris said. “I think you can bring things alive, the sense of fear, prickly fear, the sweat, the smell of the place.” I like that about him as an author, and I would like this book on my shelf.
7. Déjà Dead by Kathy Reichs
I am a fan of both the Bones television series, and I read the first of Reich’s Virals series earlier this year. I would like to start reading the Temperance Brennan series that launched the TV series. I am also a fan of criminal forensics genre books (read this blog post from April to see one of my favorite series), along with other similar television shows (Criminal Minds, NCIS, CSI (before Grissom left), etc.), so this series should definitely be one that’s on my shelf.
8. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
A story about a young girl who steals books because she finds them irresistable … I couldn’t imagine a better tagline, as if the person who wrote it wanted to target just me. No, but really, the story is set in Nazi Germany, and the main character learns how to read from her stolen books. Goodreads says it is “an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.” I would like to see if it really is. Also, as I said, my father was big into WWII history, so that intrigues me as well. I hate the idea of the Nazis (or anyone, for that matter) banning or burning books. Not everyone knows that the Nazis did that (unless you’ve seen the one Indiana Jones movie).
9. The Artemis Fowl series by Eion Colfer
Okay, I know this is several books, but I enjoyed the four I read so much, I want to read the others. Since they were my younger brother’s books, I can’t exactly just steal the four I’ve read from him, can I? They’re about a criminal mastermind who is also a teenager. It’s a good series for boys to read, too, for those parents out there shopping for books that boys would enjoy. These are also filled with that British humor I love, and they’re just enjoyable as you read them. I would settle for one of the books from the series, and I can add as time goes on.
10. Inheritance by Christopher Paolini
Another series off of my younger brother’s shelves, I have yet to read the fourth and final book in this series. I would love to. This series has everything I look for in a fantasy series: imagination, a true epic journey, a hero who has to grow to become something bigger than life and face many doubts and fears along the way. My younger brother is also a fan of this series.
What are the books on your wishlist this Christmas?
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