Sure, we’ve got books on our minds this time of year but we also can’t stop thinking about the yummy holiday foods we get to enjoy. Like the juicy plot twist of an obsessive thriller, or the tantalizing backdrop of an engrossing historical novel, or the scrumptious love story at the center of your favorite feel good read—food has the ability keep us coming back for more. Here at Off the Shelf, our brains are working overtime coming up with books recommendations you’ll devour and dreaming about the treats we’ll devour at the holiday dinner table. So, here’s a list of our favorite holiday foods with a side of book recommendations.
Who can forget this collection of raucous stories about Christmas traditions and mishaps? From "Christmas Means Giving," with its competitively generous neighbors, to "Front Row Center for Thaddeus Bristol," Sedaris' mock serious review of a grade school Christmas pageant. Holidays on Ice is a full bounty of entertaining stories about Christmas, Halloween, secret Santas, and the difficulties of explaining the Rabbit of Easter to the French. Read it for a laugh this holiday.
This warmhearted love letter between a granddaughter and her grandmother explores big emotions with wisdom and charm.
Moore’s takes on marriage in her famous collection are sharp, funny, and full of the kinds of revealed truths that leave you shaking your head with surprise and recognition. -Scott O'Connor
Owen King (We’re All in This Together) calls author Kevin Wilson, “the unholy child of George Saunders and Carson McCullers.” With his novel, The Family Fang, the Shirley Jackson Award-winning author of Tunneling to the Center of the Earth comes through in a BIG way, with a funny, poignant, laugh-and-cry-out-loud (sometimes at the same time) novel about the art of surviving a masterpiece of dysfunction. Meet The Family Fang, an unforgettable collection of demanding, brilliant, and absolutely endearing oddballs whose lives are risky and mischievous performance art. If the writing of Gary Shteyngart, Miranda July, Scarlett Thomas, and Charles Yu excites you, you’ll certainly want to invite this Family into your home.
One of my desert island books, THE LEOPARD is not so much a novel as a eulogy for a way of life and a Sicily that was already lost by the time Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa was writing. Simply beautifully written (and translated), this is a book everyone should read.