Now that we are in the middle of the holiday season (where did the time go…), here are a few recommendations on books for everyone in your life. Whether it’s a coworker, spouse or friend, we have an idea that will wow each of these people in your life!
For a coworker…
Doctors and Friends by Kimmery Martin
Picture this – you’re a doctor on a trip with your best girlfriends from medical school in Spain. You hear about a new virus that could be cause for concern but, eh, you brush it off. Lo and behold – it turns out to be the next pandemic. Artiovirus sweeps the world and becomes one of the deadliest and most contagious diseases of the century. Sound familiar? Very unfortunately, yes. You might be wondering – why in the WORLD would I read a book about a pandemic whilst in a pandemic? And why would I give it to a coworker? Well. Here’s the interesting part. This book was written prior to COVID-19, based on an ER’s doctor’s imagination and experience. Not only is it interesting that this book was written before our own current pandemic, but seeing all the dynamics between the doctors, nurses, CDC and government is fascinating. It might not be the most uplifting book but it shows a lot about the importance of people’s work and their relationships at their jobs – in this case, a life or death situation. It’s an interesting read that is perfect for anyone who you have a working relationship with!
For a friend…
Ghosts by Dolly Alderton
Ugh. This book stole my heart. It’s about a thirty-something British cookbook author who meets the love of her life through a dating app, falls head over heels and then a few months in…she gets ghosted. He disappears out of absolutely nowhere and Nina is left to pick up the pieces. For those of you who are not familiar with ghosting (lucky…), it means that the other person stops responding to you all together with no explanation. Hence, they become a “ghost” in your life. This is a fantastic romantic-comedy that shows the power of friendship during a time like this – the ultimate heartbreak. Getting ghosted by your serious significant other…can you imagine? I hope not. Ghosts is a beautiful story that shows that if you have the right friends and love for yourself, you can truly make it through anything. It’s a great gift for any pal in your life, especially around the holidays.
For a significant other…
A Woman of Intelligence by Karin Tanabe
If you’re a woman and think that you have it hard now…let’s pretend that it’s the 1950s and you’re trying to be an independent woman with a career. I don’t think so. Katarina Edgeworth is trying to change that narrative in A Woman of Intelligence. Katarina, a former UN employee, gets recruited by the CIA to do undercover work for them but there’s just one problem – she has a husband who works full-time as a doctor, two young boys and no career to lean back on. How could she possibly become a spy? This book is great for significant others to share with each other because it’s about finding your identity within a family or partnership. Katarina lost her identity when she became a mother and she’s trying to find it again – although it’s not easy, especially during this era, she fights through to bring together a semblance of who she used to be. It’s an inspiring read for any couple because it shows that you can always find yourself – even if you’re a “we”.
For a family member…
Dial A for Aunties by Jessie Q. Sutanto
Dial A for Aunties was probably one of my favorite books this year. It’s about Meddelin, or Meddy, and her Asian family, her mother and 3 nosy aunts, figuring out how to cover up a murder while working the biggest wedding of their life. Easy? Not at all. This book had me actually laughing out loud at some of the ridiculous family dynamics. I’m Persian so I understand the big, loud, probably-too-interconnected, family dynamic but, even if you can’t relate personally, you will get a kick out of this storyline. It’s a romantic-comedy mixed in with a murder mystery that has a plot twist that…you will not see coming. It’s a fantastic book for anyone in your family – especially those Aunties!
For a child…
The Spineless Porcupine by Aiden Yang
Have you ever felt like an outsider? Mattie sure has. She is the first spineless porcupine to be born into her clan and she gets banished immediately. Forced to fend for herself, Mattie eventually joins a circus and meets a friend, Preston. Preston has also been shunned in the past for his appearance and immediately bonds with Mattie about finding a better life. What Preston and Mattie don’t realize is that their differences are truly their superpowers – it’s what makes them special and important! The Spineless Porcupine is a perfect book to teach children about inclusivity and embracing your differences. I learned a lot of inspirational life lessons from this book as an adult, and children would benefit just as much. If your child or a child in your life is a bookworm, grab The Spineless Porcupine for them!
What’s Mine and Yours by Naima Coster
Naima Coster weaves a beautiful story about love, family and betrayal in her book, What’s Mine and Yours. Gee and Noelle are elementary school friends that separate and find their ways back to each other in alarmingly different circumstances. Goodreads, put it best: “On one side of the integration debate is Jade, Gee’s steely, ambitious mother. In the aftermath of a harrowing loss, she is determined to give her son the tools he’ll need to survive in America as a sensitive, anxious, young Black man. On the other side is Noelle’s headstrong mother, Lacey May, a white woman who refuses to see her half-Latina daughters as anything but white. She strives to protect them as she couldn’t protect herself from the influence of their charming but unreliable father, Robbie.” Both Gee and Noelle’s stories will touch your heart but rip it out at the same time. It’s a beautiful and harrowing story about what makes people truly your family. It’s an engaging read for any age – perfect for anyone!
No matter who it is in your life, one of these books will be a great addition to their TBR. Let us know your favorite holiday reads in the comments below!