Some old and new reads to stuff your Christmas stockings with

By DEVON GOHDE
On November 29, 2021

Photo courtesy of Mel Poole, Unsplash.

Have a bookworm or casual reader in your life? Unsure on what to get them during the holiday season? Here's a list of suggestions of old and new good reads to give the book lovers in your lives.

 

“My Best Friend’s Exorcism” by Grady Hendrix (2016)

Abby and Gretchen have been inseparable since childhood. The best friends have been through everything from school bullies to Gretchen's overbearing parents, but after one summer night, Gretchen begins to act strange, and Abby soon learns a demon has taken over Gretchen's soul. Abby will stop at nothing to save Gretchen but is their friendship stronger than a demon?

Filled with 80’s songs and plenty of scares, “My Best Friend's Exorcism” is perfect for the horror movie lover in your life.

 

“The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Nighttime” by Mark Haddon (2003)

Christopher John Francis Boone knows every country's capital and every prime number up to 7,057. He hates the color yellow and being touched. He loves animals, especially his neighbors' dog, Wellington. When Christopher sadly finds Wellington dead under suspicious circumstances, he embarks on a quest to find the murderer.

This story will pull you in with its opening lines. Christopher is a fantastic narrator and will captivate the ones in your life who enjoy an inspirational and touching story.

 

“As the Crow Flies” by Melanie Gillman (2017)

Queer 13-year-old Charlie Lamonte, who is questioning her belief in God, is spending a week at a Christian youth backpacking camp. Charlie is the only black girl at the all-white camp, and soon she can't help but poke holes in the beloved stories attached to the camp. Beloved stories that have no regard for people like her or her new friend Sydney.

This is Gillman’s second all-colored-pencil graphic novel, the art is beautiful and Charlie's journey and internal dialogue will have the ones close to you laugh and cry from beginning to end.


 

“Nothing but Blackened Teeth” by Cassandra Shaw (2021)

A bridal party spends the night in a Heian-era mansion where the body of a bride and the girls sacrificed to keep her company reside in the walls. A perfect place for the thrill-seeking group of friends. But as a night of fun and drinks spirals into a night of terror, narrator Cat and her friends soon learn the bride with the blackened smile is looking for her next companion.

For the fans of Japanese horror, this book is the perfect quick read and is a creepy mind-bending haunted house story.

 

“The Southern Reach Trilogy” by Jeff VanderMeer (2014)

“Annihilation,” “Authority” and “Acceptance” make up this series. Area X has been cut off from society for decades by a secret agency named Southern Reach. The trilogy follows a biologist who is sent on an expedition and the employees of the Southern Reach. As more information is revealed, the question is raised, how much longer can Area X be contained?

Page-turning and filled with so many twists and turns, this trilogy is the perfect gift for the science fiction fans in your life.

 

“This One Summer” by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki (2014)

Rose and her parents have been going to Avago Beach every summer since she was a child. It is her oasis, and Windy, her summer friend, is always there. But this summer is different. Rose's mom is distant, her parents keep fighting, and soon Rose and Windy find themselves invested in a tragedy in the making involving the local teenagers.

Beautifully written and illustrated, cousins Jillian and Mariko Tamaki tell an honest, heartbreaking and authentic story of growing up.

 

“Kids of Appetite” by David Arnold (2016)

Vic has never felt more alone since his father's sudden death. After a chance meeting with a close group of friends, Vic joins them, and soon they embark on a journey to spread his father's ashes. Along the way, he and street smart Mad learn an important lesson on love, death, and family.

Beautifully written but also tragic and hilarious, David Arnold's second novel is perfect for the adventure seekers you love.

 

Hopefully, this list will help you while holiday shopping this year. Please don't forget to support your local bookstores and other small businesses this holiday season as well.

Happy holidays and happy reading!

 

dgohde@ramapo.edu

 

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