Gift List

2006 Gift List, Part 3
December 14, 2006

Now the moment I’ve been waiting for — my personal favorites of 2006. I’ve read a lot this past year — a book a week, usually — and if I make it past the first chapter, I think they’re worth reading. Some of them stay with me, and I hope you’ll love them too.

Every Secret Thing, the debut novel by Lila Shaara, defies categorization, but I’d go with thriller, mystery, love story, detective novel, with one of the most unusual heroines I’ve ever met.

A Tale of Two Sisters by the perfectly British Anna Maxted kept me company during a difficult month over the summer and made me laugh hysterically when I wasn’t sobbing. Thanks Anna.

The Bowl is Already Broken by Mary Kay Zuravleff. Art, drama, life, death and Asian art, set in my home city of Washington DC at the thinly disguised Sackler Gallery of the Arts, my absolute favorite museum. Maybe my favorite book of the last year.

2006 Gift List, Part 2
December 7, 2006

Speaking of creepy, let’s spend some time with the spunky gal. She is often a detective of some sort, and she is usually loose in the big city. The writing  can be cute, but some of the books were outstanding, and your girlfriends — who I am sure are all spunky — will love them.

In Harley Jane Kozak’s Dating is Murder, Wollie Shelley is an LA based cartoonist who accidentally solves a big crime with the help of her totally hot stalker. Okay, he’s obviously not really a stalker.

In Daniella Brodsky’s Velvet Rope Diaries, Anna Jackson overcomes wearing last year’s Mark Jacobs shoes to a trendy New York club (the horror!) and becomes a hot columnist — I particularly liked this one.

And spunky Heaven is paired up with dreamy Brady in Caprice Crane’s Stupid and Contagious, set on both coasts, narrated by both characters, and a whole lot of fun.

2006 Gift List, Part 1
November 30, 2006

It’s back like a truck stop waitress with fresh coffee, the Second Annual Fiction Nation gift list!

Lots of really wonderful books this year, and I think we can come up with something for everyone on your list — unless they don’t read — and then, are they really your friends?

Let’s start with a dark, gritty, violent noir novel — perfect for this season of giving! Charlie Huston’s Already Dead turns the vampire story sideways and kicks it hard in the ribs, and introduces a great anti-hero in Joe Pitt, undead detective.

For the lover of lush romantic historic fiction with lots of longing gazes but not much to make you blush — Mom — Beneath a Marble Sky by John Shors is the story of the building of the Taj Mahal, that monument to eternal love.

Let’s not forget your goth niece with the facial piercing. She’s really a nice girl, and so is new writer Sara Gran, whose monumentally creepy Come Closer tells of demonic possession and was like a cold finger on my spine.

I’ll have more suggestions for your gift list as we get closer to Zero Hour — and if you get them for yourself, that’s okay too.  Happy Reading!