You are all buying books for gifts, right? Good. Well, here’s a book meme that will give you some shopping ideas.
1. Name five books that you read this year that would make excellent gifts.
a) The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison. It’s so well-paced and unpredictable. It’s a prickly story of a marriage gone awry—and dangerous. Insidious.
b) Unlikely Destinations: The Lonely Planet Story by Tony and Maureen Wheeler. Perfect gift for someone whose passion is travel. It’s a memoir but also a vast armchair travel book of the world.
c) The World of Yesterday by Stefan Zweig. For lover of European literature. A man’s heartfelt memoir to a bygone era that had shaped him as a person. It’s poignant to read about how Hitler’s seizure of power represents the absolute, nightmarish opposite of every value Zweig believed in.
d) The Novel Bookstore by Laurence Cosse. A creative novel about a bookstore that would only sell “good literature.” Members of an elite bookstore’s clandestine selection committee are assaulted. It invokes the debate of what superlative work in the literary sphere constitutes.
e) Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges. Just read it, he will blow your mind.
2. What’s your favorite holiday book?
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. In recent years I have taken up with mysteries. Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie is also a favorite.
3. Tell us about your fabulous local book store.
San Francisco is blessed to have many local bookstores. One is Aarvark Books, an older joint with great selection of used books, especially fiction. They have a beautiful residence orange tabby, Owen, who always comes sit on my lap while I browse.
4. What book would you like to see made into a movie?
It’s already happening, and I’m very excited: The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison.
5. When you go book shopping for other people, do you buy yourself a book too?
I never walk out of the bookstore empty-handed. There’s this running list of books to be acquired in head.
6. Which author do you wish would write faster because you can hardly wait to read more from them?
Gillian Flynn. I absolutely love the way she builds up suspense and tension in her books.
7. What author did you discover in 2014 that you think everyone should read?
Mark Pryor is a relatively new comer in mystery/thriller genre. I discovered his book just cold turkey. The books are all set in Paris (how can you resist?) with the chief of security at the US Embassy as the lead.
8. What book did you read as teen that you hated, but then loved when you reread it as an adult?
It’s a tie between Great Expectations by Charles Dickens and Walden by Henry David Thoreau.