Holiday Books Gift Guide: Fascinating fiction to give and get this holiday season
Inspired by stories Chabon was told by his grandfather on hisdeathbed, this beautifully-wrought novel tells the story of a relationship that spans the 20th century.
The latest book from the author of “The Alchemist” looks at the last days of Mata Hari, the famous Dutch dancer and alleged double agent.
Peter Ho Davies
HoughtonMifflin Harcourt, $27
This novel comprises four loosely related sections about the Chinese American experience told through the eyes of an immigrant, an actress, a hae-crime witness and an adoptive father-to-be.
The Whole Town’s Talking
Random House, $28
The “Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café” author’s new novel is set in a small Missouri town with a cemetery that might be haunted.
The latest comic mystery from the king of gonzo Florida noir involves a beautiful scam artist, the star of a Cajun-themed reality show and a lovelorn, cynical ex-detective.
The Last Wolf & Herman
László Krasznahorkai, translated by George Szirtes and John Batki
New Directions, $15.95
Two long stories by the postmodernist Hungarian author: one about a frustrated writer given a terrible assignment, the other about a conflicted game trapper.
A Gambler’s Anatomy
After a psychic backgammon hustler starts losing his vision and his luck, he returns to his former hometown of Berkeley to undergo experimental surgery.
Thus Bad Begins
The latest novel from the celebrated Spanish author follows a Madrid college student who takes a job working for a film director with a mysteriously troubled marriage.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25
Set in mid-20th century Jerusalem, the Israeli author’s novel tells the story of three unlikely acquaintances: an elderly man, a biblical scholar and the daughter of an influential Zionist.
The “Bel Canto” author returns with a novel about two families that become intertwined in California and how an affair affects the lives of the next generation.
Today Will Be Different
Little, Brown, $27
The comic author’s follow-up to “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” takes place during one crazy day in the life of a Seattle animator and her quirky family.
Blue Rider Press, $27
Part love story, part dark fairy tale, Silver’s novel is about a girl who is born a dwarf and later undergoes difficult and mysterious bodily transformations.
Penguin Press, $27
The fifth novel from the author of “White Teeth” follows two childhood friends who aspire to be dancers; their dreams work out very differently.
The Complete Madame Realism and Other Stories
Tillman has made a career out of gleefully ignoring genre boundaries, and her new collection of essays/stories explores art, television, culture and more.
A Gentleman in Moscow
Five years after the Bolshevik Revolution, a former aristocrat is sentenced to life imprisoned in a luxurious Russian hotel, where he gains insights into the world and himself.
The Underground Railroad
The winner of the 2016 National Book Award for Fiction, this widely praised novel tells the story of Cora, a slave who escapes a 19th entury Georgia plantation via an underground railroad.
12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days
Grove Press, $24
The edgy author (“Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit”) continues the British tradition of writing funny, spooky stories for the Christmas season.
No Man’s Land
Grand Central, $29
Baldacci’s latest thriller brings back Army investigator John Puller; this time, he’s trying to solve the mystery of his mother, who disappeared 30 years ago.
His Bloody Project
Documents Relating to the Case of Roderick Macrae
Graeme Macrae Burnet
This unlikely finalist for the prestigious Man Booker prize is a thriller, told through fictional documents, about a mysterious murder in small-town Scotland in 1869.
After two boys from rich families are kidnapped, one is located 10 years later, leading investigators to try to figure out what happened to the other child.
The Wrong Side of Goodbye
Little, Brown, $29
Now a private eye, former LAPD detective Harry Bosch is hired by a dying billionaire desperate to find out what happened to his long-ago lover and their unborn child.
A Florida judge is accused of profiting from a Mafia-run casino on Native American land, and lawyer and investigator Lacy Stoltz is on the case.
Small Great Things
An African-American nurse is ordered by hospital management not to touch the newborn child of a white supremacist couple; when the infant’s heart stops, she’s forced to make a tough choice.
The Kept Woman
William Morrow, $27.99
A Georgia investigator looking into the case of slain ex-police officer realizes there may be another victim — a woman who lost a significant amount of blood and then disappeared.
A LaLa Land Addiction
St. Martin’s Griffin, $15.99 paper
Antoinette’s novel continues the story of Bleu, a young woman from Michigan who moves to Los Angeles, only to be undone by an addiction to crack cocaine.
Eve Langlais, Kate Douglas and A.C. Arthur
St. Martin’s Griffin, $16.99 paperback
This anthology of three paranormal romance novellas focuses on sexy werewolves and other humans with the ability to metamorphose into dangerous animals.
Paris for One and Other Stories
Pamela Dorman Books, $25
This centerpiece of this romantic short-story collection from the author of “Me Before You” features a young woman who makes the most of her solo vacation in France.
Sci-fi / Fantasy
FSG Originals, $13 paperback
The English comic book author’s latest is a short thriller about a burned-out futurist whose nature retreat is upended after a man mysteriuosly disappears.
The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy
Karen Joy Fowler, Ed.
Mariner, $14.95 paperback
This year’s installment of the annual anthology contains stories by Charlie Jane Anders, Ted Chiang, Kelly Link, Sofia Samatar and also Salman Rushdie.
A Newsflesh Novel
Readers looking for escapism might want to check out this thriller about journalists covering a presidential campaign amid a zombie apocalypse.
The Fifth SeasonEvery Age Must Come to An End
Orbit, $15.99 paperback
This epic fantasy novel, about a continent wracked by disastrous climate change, received rave reviews from critics as well as a 2016 Hugo Award.
The Selected Short Fiction of Ursula K. Le Guin Box Set
Ursula K. Le Guin
Saga Press, $59.99
This box set contains two books, each more than 700 pages, from the beloved fantasy legend: one featuring her short stories, the other featuring her novellas.
Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu
The final volume in the Chinese novelist’s "Remembrance of Earth’s Past" trilogy finds Earth in an uneasy détente with the hostile planet of Trisolaris.
The Wall of Storms
Saga Press, $29.99
The sequel to the well-reviewed "Grace of Kings," this fantasy epic tells the story of an emperor who must find a way to keep his land united after a sudden enemy invasion.
The latest from the Canadian translator and poet is presented in an unusual format: a box containing individual chapbooks, which readers are invited to explore in whatever order they choose.
The Rain in Portugal
Random House, $26
The popular former U.S. Poet Laureate’s new book is a droll, whimsical and moving collection of almost 50 new poems.
Everything We Always Knew Was True
Copper Canyon Press, $16 paper
The seventh collection from Wyoming-based poet Galvin is a plainspoken and sometimes tragic look at the people and landscape of the American West.
Graywolf Press, $16 paper
This debut collection from New York state-based poet Kelly, longlisted for the 2016 National Book Award, focuses on interactions with animals, some real, some mythological.
Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery of Realities’ Red Dress Code
New & Selected Poems
Persea Books, $29.95
This collection by the noted African American poet is a retrospective of her bold, socially conscious work as well as a selection of newer poems.
Pacific Standard Time
Ugly Duckling Presse, $18 paper
Born and raised in Venice, having lived in Bolinas and Santa Cruz, poet Opstedal’s hard-nosed work is saturated with imagery of the California coast, surf culture and the Pacific Ocean.
Grove Press, $15 paper
More than 60 new poems from Ryan, the Pulitzer Prize winner and former U.S. Poet Laureate known for her accessibility and wit.
Graywolf, $16 paperback
A finalist for the 2016 National Book Award, this electrifying debut collection from Sharif uses the language of war in Iraq and Afghanistan to examine its human cost.
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