Whether you plan to spend February 14 making goo-goo eyes at your honey bunny or privately mumbling about how it's the worst holiday of the year, Valentine's Day can be the best day to show your female friends (or Mom!) how much you care. And if they are readers, we have some specific book suggestions:
If she liked Gone Girl or The Girl on the Train – Give her Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough. This thriller hit shelves only a few weeks ago and already has readers taking sides over its controversial ending.
If she has an entrepreneurial mind-set – Give her The Upstarts by Brad Stone, about the rise of Airbnb and Uber. Stone spotlights not just the clever decisions but the many mistakes the companies made during their drive to become global brands.
If she likes graphic novels – Give her Monstress by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda or Bitch Planet by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro. Because when real women rebel, they don't do it while wearing tiny latex bikinis.
If she liked The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead – Give her Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, a powerful contemporary novel by the author of My Sister's Keeper that tackles uncomfortable truths about racism in our daily lives.
If she liked Wild by Cheryl Strayed – Give her Tales of a Female Nomad by Rita Golden Gelman. At the age of 48, while her personal life is falling apart, Gelman leaves her posh life in Los Angeles to become a nomad, relying on the hospitality of others as she opens herself to new ways of living. While this is an older book, its insights still resonate.
If she likes new experiences or being at the front of a trend – Give her Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur. We editors debate about whether poetry is having a comeback moment, but what's clear is that everyone absolutely loves Milk and Honey, a fresh, sometimes raw, always candid book that, as all great poetry does, widens your vision and cracks opens your heart.
If she liked The Nightingale or All the Light We Cannot See – Give her Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. Surprising historical details and an unlikely friendship between two very different women make this one of my favorite works of World War II fiction. And I dare you not to cry.
If she pours a mean cocktail or wants to learn how - Give her The Canon Cocktail Book by Jamie Boudreau. The not-so-colorful cover belies the mesmerizing and sometimes whimsical recipes inside from this award-winning bar. The Campfire in Georgia cocktail? 1,000% wow.
If she still loves the magic of Harry Potter – Give her Rick Riordan's Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer. It's funny but swings a dark edge. It's no spoiler to reveal that the main character is a homeless teenager who dies in the first few chapters, but, huzzah, he makes it Valhalla, where he is revealed to have special powers and an uncertain destiny.
What books are you giving for Val — or Gal — entine's Day?
You might also like:
- It's a Good Time to Read Something a Little Different
- Don't Worry. Read Yourself Happy
- Therese Anne Fowler on the Much-Misunderstood Zelda Fitzgerald and "Z: The Beginning of Everything"
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