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.
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