12 Books on Our Literary Wish Lists This Year
All year, we’ve been sharing lists of books we love in hopes that you’ll find a great new book for your nightstand, or for your “to be read” list. Of course, behind the scenes, we’re keeping our own TBR lists—and they seem to grow exponentially. During the holidays, if our friends and family ask us what we’d like for as gifts—the answer is often a book we’ve been eyeing. Here are a few of the books that we’re really hoping for. Hint, hint!
2The Devil in the White City
On Elizabeth’s wish list
As days grew shorter and nights colder I (naturally) began listening to more podcasts and watching documentaries about a cheery subject: serial killers. I’m excited to curl up with THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY because of Erik Larson’s fantastic eye for character, storytelling, and impeccable research in his true-crime investigation into the serial killer who haunted the 1893 World’s Fair. Cocoa and killers go well together, right?
5The Collected Stories
On Stuart’s wish list
Every year at Christmas I ask for one fat book that I will keep on my nightstand year-round and sort of pick at. I’ll read a few chapters here and a few chapters there sprinkled throughout my routine reading. I more often than not turn to the Everyman’s Library editions for my selection since they are so well curated. This year I’m asking for THE COLLECTED STORIES OF MAVIS GALLANT. It weighs in at one thousand pages, so I’m sure it will last me all year.
On Erica’s wish list
I’ve spent a lot of time this year thinking about my future—the kind of life I want to live and what a well-spent life looks like. But considering my life has necessitated a deeper processing of my own mortality, and that of those close to me. So, I’ve taken to reading about life and death—and learning new ways to appreciate each day and the time I get to spend with the people I love. I would quite like to read GRATITUDE by Oliver Sacks next.
On Julianna’s wish list
I’m a sucker for historical fiction, and more so when an author is ambitious enough to assume the voice of a famous (or rather, infamous) figure. In this novel, Joyce Carol Oates reimagines the life of Norma Jeane Baker, known to the world as Marilyn Monroe, as she rises and falls in the Golden Age of Hollywood. I’ve been quite obsessed with old movies and the “You Must Remember This” podcast lately, so it seems like a perfect holiday fit.
On Tolani’s wish list
Confession: I watched the Oscar-nominated movie “The Pianist” and dubbed it my all-time favorite long before I even knew it was ripped from the pages of the harrowing yet inspiring memoir of Polish pianist Władysław Szpilman. Because I love a rich tale about the resilience of the human spirit, I put the DVD on my wish list years ago. This year, I'd love to read Szpilman's story—in his own words—about surviving underground in Nazi-occupied Poland.
10News of the World
On Amy’s wish list
As a lover of American history, thanks in large part to watching the nine VHS tapes of Ken Burns’s “Civil War” over and over again, I would love to get this novel for Christmas. This post-civil war fiction takes place in Texas and follows a surly aging Captain as he escorts a rebellious young girl back to her family. It sounds like the unlikely but heartwarming match ups in PAPER MOON and TRUE GRIT, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it!
On Kerry’s wish list
Few things interest me as much as New York City’s history and with a nurse for a sister, it’s only natural that I would be intrigued by New York City’s iconic hospital. From being the home of the nation’s first nursing school to becoming a metonym for all psychiatric hospitals, Bellevue obviously has a storied history—and it’s one that I have little knowledge of, even though it remains an essential place for patients in New York City today. David Oshinsky won a Pulitzer Prize for his last non-fiction work, POLIO, and I have no doubt that BELLEVUE will be fascinating, evocative, and beautifully written.
On Erin’s wish list
Emma Donoghue is one of my favorite authors, so it’s taken every bit of my self-restraint to wait for the holidays to get a copy of her new book. In THE WONDER, a nurse is called to a small Irish village to observe the “miracle” of a girl said to have survived without food for months. Donoghue has already proved to be a skilled and remarkable writer in ROOM, FROG MUSIC, and SLAMMERKIN, giving me confidence that her newest novel will be another amazing read.