We’ll have a few boutique book-gifting guides this season, but this one right here is THE official Last Bookstore Holiday Catalogue, curated by a ragtag band of book professionals.
Oh, hey – you can now ORDER books from us through our brand new on-line store. Just click on the book title.
My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent
Stephen King called it a masterpiece. You will, too, as you become immersed in the world of Turtle, a young fourteen-year old girl fighting to survive her father’s shadow. This book isn’t for the faint of heart; it reveals an often dark and dangerous world. But if you gather your courage, you’ll find yourself in a master storyteller’s capable hands. If Liane Moriarty and Stephen King had a literary love child, this would be it.
Waiting for the Punch by Marc Maron & Brendan McDonald
Marc Maron and his producer have distilled hundreds of episodes of his “WTF” podcast into a hybrid oral history of pop culture and anecdotal self-help book. Perfect for podcast fans who don’t have 1000 hours of listening time to spare.
Sourdough by Robin Sloan
Sloan’s sophomore novel occupies the same kind of slightly magical world that his debut, Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore, did. Sourdough takes readers into a world occupied by computer programmers, bread bakers, and the cutthroat competition to get into the best farmers’ markets in San Francisco. It’s a delightful read, perfect for techies and artisans alike.
Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado
Machado fuses metafiction with surrealism, erotica, and horror to create a wildly innovative commentary on the female body. These are soulful, scary, subversive stories that identify and reclaim a womanhood that’s been missing or ignored in contemporary literature for way too long.
The Future is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia by Masha Gessen
To understand America’s political turmoil, one must explore the turmoil of what Gessen calls “The Post-Communist Mafia State.” The Future Is History follows the upended lives of ordinary Russians battling sham elections, assassinations, war, and persecution of sexual minorities: the tools of Putin’s authoritarian regime.
Catalina by Liska Jacobs
Former TLB staffer turned full-time writer Liska Jacobs wrote this stunning debut. Elsa, the protagonist, spends a “lost” weekend doing everything she can (drugs, booze, sex, and more!) to forget a recent turn of events, dragging her companions into the vortex of her destruction.
Nomadland by Jessica Bruder
A fascinating look into a world few see or notice, it feels like a companion to Barbara Ehrenreich’s classic Nickel and Dimed. Bruder takes readers into the world of the “houseless,” contemporary traveling nomads who live in their trailers, vans, trucks, or cars and who chase seasonal work around the US.
After the Flare – Deji Bryce Olukotun
This fast-paced story, set a bit in the future, is part mystery, part techno-thriller. Can Nigeria’s National Space Research and Development Agency, working with their Indian colleagues, rescue a stranded astronaut? Can our protagonist, an ex-NASA, African-American – always encouraged by his mom to dip into his African heritage but now feeling quite out-of-place – unravel the baffling disappearance of one of his workers? Add ancient tribal magic (or is it just physics?), Boko Haram, politics, fascinating but totally convincing biotech, a surprising use of music, and you’ve got some killer sci-fi.
Dear Martin by Nic Stone
A searing, brutally honest look at systemic racism, Dear Martin tells the story of a black teen who begins writing “letters” to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., trying to make sense of the hard-to-swallow truths about “equality” in modern America. A strong, evocative, and extremely timely must-read.
Things I’m Seeing Without You by Peter Bognanni
This book is about death, but don’t let that scare you off. Tess, the protagonist, is dealing with the death of a loved one, and returns home to live with her father who is trying to make a living in the death industry. The clearheadedness with which Bognanni and his characters deal with death and its impacts make this book even more about life.
The Breathless by Tara Goedjen
This book has a Southern Gothic setting, a murder witness with amnesia, and suspense, suspense, suspense. This mystery-thriller is atmospheric and addictive, a page-turner that will keep you up all night to finish reading. It’s definitely a good read for the cold winter days!
Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Three different girls, three different time periods. This YA historical fantasy is both evocative and heartfelt. I felt so much emotion while reading this book. It makes for a great gift and read for the holiday season.
The Doldrums and the Helmsley Curse by Nicholas Gannon
The Doldrums was one of my favorite books of 2015, and I’m thrilled to see Gannon return with another story about Archer Helmsley. These books are full of adventure (only fitting when the Helmsleys are famous adventurers) and illustrations to charm even the most reluctant reader. Do a favor for a child you love, and pick up both books as gifts!
The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser
The titular Vanderbeekers have mere days to convince their neighbor and landlord to renew the lease on their brownstone, the only home the five Vanderbeeker children have ever known. They embark on a series of plans to convince him that they should keep their house, and the tight-knit community around them helps, in a show of love and friendship. A perfect gift for the holidays!
Crown: Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes & Gordon C. James
This beautifully illustrated book is a paean to the joy and swagger that comes from a trip to the barbershop for Black boys of all ages. With nods to artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat and prose that sends the reader straight to the feelings these fresh cuts evoke, it’s a perfect book for children (and adults!) who know just how good a fresh cut feels.
Malala’s Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai & Kerascoet
A delightful book about the power of hope as seen through Malala’s life story. The youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner shares her story in a way that even the youngest readers can appreciate, broadening their perspectives to understand that life can be vastly different for people across the globe, but hope and determination are the same everywhere.
So that’s our official holiday catalogue. It’s not as thick as the IKEA catalogue, but no assembly required. Of course, we also have gift cards, and – once again – our freshly constructed on-line store RIGHT HERE. Though we’d love to see you in person, if changing out of your jammies just seems like too much right now, then you can still support your local indy book shop.
Happy Holidays, lovely book people.