The 2013 Washington Independent Review of Books Holiday Gift Guide

  • by Shanna Wilson
  • December 9, 2013

Perfect presents for the bookworms on your gift list.

The 2013 Washington Independent Review of Books Holiday Gift Guide

Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton.

Based on the popular Tumblr blog of the same name, Stanton covers miles of urban streets to find the storied humans who inhabit them. His new book, featuring the best of the blog, is a glorious slice of colorful New York City.

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena: A Novel by Anthony Marra.

A man, a child, and a doctor fight for survival amid an unforgiving Chechen landscape of war and devastation. As striking as the conflict itself, Marra’s impressive prose is haunting. (Read a review here.)

Dear Life by Alice Munro.

The Nobel Prize-winning author’s latest collection of stories spans generations across the Canadian landscape. As always, her trademark lies in illuminating the astonishing experiences of everyday life. (Read a review here.)

Aimless Love by Billy Collins.

Combining four collections of old poems with new work, two-time U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins writes with an exquisite ability to rhapsodize mornings, window views, cities, desires, and lives.

This is the Story of a Happy Marriage
by Ann Patchett.

Twenty-two essays on the writer’s life, including her childhood in Tennessee, early career moves, marriages, friendships, and the opening of her independent bookstore in Nashville. (Read a review here.)

Thank You For Your Service by David Finkel.

In this sequel to his award-winning The Good Soldiers, David Finkel follows a group of men and women home from Iraq as they attempt to re-integrate into a society to which they can no longer relate. (Read a review here.)

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.

Theo Decker goes from the art world of Park Avenue to Amsterdam—and from lost to found—in this sweeping 700+ page novel.

The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer.

A group of East Coast friends meet at summer camp and wind up entrenched in one another’s lives and histories for good. Wolitzer explores the juxtaposition of jealousy and loyalty that accompanies relationships between old friends and lovers. (Read a review here.)

The Illusion of Separateness by Simon Van Booy.

Six interconnected stories spanning nearly a century depict all the ways we live apart, yet remain linked to each other through random acts, experiences, and choices. (Read a review here.)

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Race, illegal immigration, socio-political differences, and cultural mores all are bound up in the story of a Nigerian woman’s journey to becoming her truest self. (Read a discussion about Americanah here.)

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