Daily Archives: December 20, 2012

The Jolly Librarian Recommends Books for Giving

It is better to give than to receive, so the Jolly Librarian has some recommendations for the book lovers on your list:

  • For the introvert: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. This book gives introverts their due, showing how their contributions are undervalued but necessary. 
  • For those who appreciate the quirkiness of life: The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson. Okay, this book was probably also on my list last year. But any person who hasn’t read this beautifully-written novel about a family of performance artists is missing out!
  • For the history buff: Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow. I had probably the least intellectual response possible after reading this book: “Thomas Jefferson was kind of a meanie.” (And I immediately bought a biography of Jefferson to see how he appears when he’s center stage in a book of his own.) It’s always a good thing to read a biography to remind yourself that history is never as neat as textbooks (and certain politicians) try to make it.
  • For the mystery lover: A Question of Identify by Susan Hill. If you like British mystery series, the Simon Serrailler ones are a good choice. This is the latest in the series, but you might want to start with the first: The Various Haunts of Men. Just a warning: do not read them one right after the other in a short period of time. Hill is an author unafraid to pile up her protagonists with all sorts of tragic events. You’ll need a break.
  • For those who want to revisit the classics: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. There’s love. There’s adultery. And since it’s a Russian novel, there’s a little philosophy as well. It should be on everyone’s list.