–Read It!– Nicole Says…Books Make Perfect Gifts

By Nicole McManus

The holiday season is upon us, which is the perfect excuse to stock up on books for your friends and family.Below are some suggestions that everyone is sure to love.

For the historical fiction fan:

A Bend in the Stars, by Rachel Barenbaum

This is not a typical World War I book. Rachel Barenbaum weaves a fantastic tale of love, science, destiny, and survival. Two Jewish siblings living in Russia are forced to make tough decisions in order to help their family escape the Czar’s impending war. However, the sister, Miri, is an incredibly talented doctor who is about to become a surgeon, despite facing backlash in the male-dominated field. Meanwhile, her brother is a brilliant scientist determined to disprove Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Told from various points of view, this is fascinating story for all to read.

Similar suggestion: My Name is Mary Sutter, by Robin Oliveira (A midwife wants to become a surgeon, during the Civil War.)

For the lover of all things Lowcountry:

Riverside Blues: A Gullah Tale, by Tracy Bailey

This coming-of-age novel, will sweep readers back into time. Set in South Carolina in the 1950s, Mabeline must find her path, as she relies on the history of her Gullah ancestors. Tracy Bailey’s writing is so vivid that readers will feel they are reading and seeing a movie at the same time. This book can easily be swallowed up in an afternoon, or slowly savored as a nightly read. Once readers have finished this book, they will be hoping the author will publish another one soon.

Similar Suggestion: Cigar Factory, by Michele Moore (Charleston’s history)

For the truly obsessive reader, who loves books about books:

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, by Kim Michele Richardson

This is a book for book lovers. It is also a book that will inspire you to conduct research after reading it. If a reading group selects this book, be prepared that members will want to discuss it long before the scheduled meeting. Cussy Carter has a blue tint to her skin, which leaves her feeling isolated. However, when she takes a job as a member of the Pack Horse Library Project in Kentucky, she meets a wide-range of people. As her confidence grows, she is able to confront those who have treated her poorly. This story proves just how important a novel can be…. Whether it provides knowledge or a mental escape, books truly are a perfect gift.

Similar suggestion: The Giver of Stars, by JoJo Moyes(Five different women sign up to work for the mobile library system, through the WPA program.)

For the all-things-thriller fan:

Shamed, by Linda Castillo (Kate Burkholder #11)

Despite this being book number eleven, this is an excellent stand-alone mystery. Once started, readers will not be able to put this one down. Kate Burkholder is chief of police, and a former member of the Amish community. When a grandmother is murdered and a young girl is missing, it takes everything in Kate’s wheelhouse to solve this crime, in hopes of bringing the young girl home. However, secrets keep piling up, and families may be destroyed once the truth is finally revealed.

Similar Suggestion: Murder in Plain Sight, by Marta Perry (Book 1 in the Amish Suspense series)

About this writer

  • Nicole McManus

    Nicole McManus loves to read, to the point that she is sure she was born with a book in her hands. She writes book reviews in the hopes of helping others find the magic found through reading. Contact her at ariesgrlreview.com.

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