Tis the season for end-of-year best-of lists, and while I’m quite happy to endorse many of the critic’s favorites this year, it may be that you don’t know your last-minute giftees quite well enough to give them A Little Life or Fates and Furies or The Wake (excellent, but . . .).
Herewith, in no particular order, five 2015 releases sure to please:
Patricia Park, Re Jane: A modern take on perennial favorite Jane Eyre, this smart, funny novel is a must-read for any fans of Charlotte Brontë and modern retellings on your list.
Kathleen Jamie, The Overhaul: For the poetry fan who hasn’t read this Scottish poet and who craves a well-turned image and a gorgeous landscape. (Check out “The Whales,” part of which I have tattooed.)
Anthony Marra, The Tsar of Love and Techno: For anyone who loved A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, aficionados of the short story, or anyone who wants to be transported to a different time and place. (Bonus pick for fiction aficionados: Kitchens of the Great Midwest, by J. Ryan Stradal)
Helen Macdonald, H is for Hawk: For anyone who hasn’t read this year’s must-read memoir yet, a gripping blend of writing about grief, literature, and goshawks. (Bonus memoir recommendation: Hold Still, by Sally Mann)
Sarai Walker, Dietland: For feminists, proto-feminists, and anyone who is utterly exhausted by the fat-shaming and the dreaded “have you lost weight?” questions (twins, aren’t they?) that always seem worse around the holidays.
And you, Dear Readers? What are your last-minute book recommendations?