A Well-Read Woman: Books That Make Great Gifts

December 17, 2013

As another December flies by in a whirl of holiday parties and cheer, it’s the perfect time to look back at the books that have captured our imagination this year. Whether it’s for you or another well-read women in your life, for curling up by the fire, making the most of a long flight, or savoring a day on the beach, check out some books we loved in 2013.

Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage by Alice Munro
True to form, Munro’s collection of short stories achieves the depths of character that bring a narrative alive—and brought her a Nobel Prize in Literature this year. What other endorsement would you need to share this with the most remarkable women in your world?

Wild by Cheryl Strayed
We’re passionate about fearless women, and Cheryl Strayed proves with this memoir that she is just that. Full of heart and daring, Strayed’s solo journey into the wilderness—and healing—is inspiration for every woman to look inside and find her strength. It’s no wonder Oprah (another one of our favorite fearless women!) picked this book to relaunch her book club.

Fear of Flying by Erica Jong
It has been changing women for 40 years… and no, we aren’t talking about the wrap dress this time, but Jong’s classic first novel about a woman on the all-important hunt for freedom.

The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. by Adelle Waldman
A young female writer creates a young male character who happens to treat women somewhat dubiously. And is a writer living in contemporary Brooklyn. Sound like something a girl you know might go for? We thought so. But Waldman’s real triumph is creating a novel that can equally enthrall readers who have never heard of “Girls” or “Frances Ha.”

The Circle by Dave Eggers
Eggers returns with the tale of a young woman facing a spectacular opportunity: working at a powerful social tech company of the (not so distant?) future. But suspense takes over when her life becomes truly entangled with the company’s agenda. This engrossing read is perfect for making a long flight fly by!

The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
A story crossing the borders of India and America, and filled with family, intimacy and the paths that lead us to different lives, The Lowland is brought to life by the masterful storytelling of the Pulitzer-winning Lahiri.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
From the woman who brought us The Secret History and The Little Friend–Tartt has given us one novel a decade, and has made every one count. Smart and suspenseful, The Goldfinch is the  story of a boy left haunted when he survives the accident that takes his mother’s life. The book moves from Park Avenue to Las Vegas to the underground art scene, which the narrator is drawn to by the one reminder of his mother: a mysterious painting of a bird. At 784 pages, start this one the minute you leave for the holidays–you won’t be able to put it down!

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