Holiday Picks from WBW Staff
The eager readers of Weller Book Works would like to share some of their favorite books of the year with you, all ideal for holiday giving.
Seay's prose, pacing and proportioning might be perfect. The writing in The Mirror Thief feels so natural that I practically tumbled into each of these intertwined worlds and eras. His word choice is so correct, I felt I was living his characters in real time. The Mirror Thief enchanted me Vegas to Venice, page one till the end. - Tony
The wild mustang has from very early on become a symbol, not of greatness or strength like Paul Bunyan, but of Independence. Writers like Zane Grey created a mythos that included the White Stallion, which became embedded in the American Culture. This book also fits well in our area: we are surrounded by the hostile and vacant areas the mustang calls home.Wild Horse Country wraps up with what may seem like an idealistic solution but one that might be feasible under new bureaucratic guidelines. Phillipps travels to remote Montgomery Pass, Nevada. There, a researcher has realized that the numbers have remained steady, due to the existence of mountain lions. Natural predation has kept the herd in check.
Honestly Ben - Bill Konigsberg
Honestly Ben is a marvelous young adult novel about a bright farmboy who wins a scholarship to an elite eastern private school for boys. While there he is confronted by the dilemmas of personal integrity, academic honesty, and sexual preference -- among others. How he deals with those problems makes for delightful reading. - Bruce
If compassion is the ultimate subtext of the Holiday Season, then Jenny Erpenbeck, who grew up in East Germany and experienced the nationwide embrace of Reunification, has written an impeccable Holiday novel. Go, Went, Gone is the story of a retired university professor who reinvigorates his own life through a deepening involvement with African refugees, whose former lives have been erased more thoroughly than his own. José
This is the new authoritative history of what has become known as the Donner Party. Wallis maintains perspective, cultivates context, and interweaves the tale seamlessly with first-hand accounts. It's more than an exposition on survival cannibalism, though that is covered extensively, it's about the overwhelming drive of Americans to uproot themselves in the search of something better, despite all costs. - Stephanie
This is the perfect title for any Shakespeare lovers out there, as well as fans of historical fiction in general. I also like it because the author is my girlfriend's mom. "Let me not to the marriage of true minds. Admit impediments." ~ Sonnet 116. - Lane
The thief, young, arrogant and irreverent, is taken out of prison by the court's Magus on a cross-country mission to steal a king-maker relic. But Gen isn't about to go quietly and this character-driven tale evolves into a thrilling, political, and mysterious intrigue in an Ancient Greece-like land, complete with a pantheon of Gods. The latest in the series came out this year, but start with The Thief! - Morgane
Eleanor Flood is the most natural parts of us all embodied: insecure, off-kilter, and struggling to find joy in her life. A wealthy Seattle artist, mother approaching middle age, increasingly distant wife, and daughter of an alcoholic single father, Eleanor is overwhelmed and wondering if the aspirations she built her life around will ever be actualized. Wrought with everyday rumpus, Eleanor's story is relatable, heartfelt, hilarious, and satisfyingly concluded in Semple's gratifying yet realistic style. - Lila Ann
Being a fan of non-fiction, I rarely encounter such an exciting read. The Lost City of the Monkey God is a real-life adventure involving the new technology "Lidar", used to scan the triple-canopy rainforest of Honduras, revealing ruins and artifacts of a lost civilization. Explorers encounter buzzing insects, torrential rain, poisonous snakes, howling monkeys and a bizarre infectious disease. I read it, gave the book to my dad; he read it, and passed it on to his father: so it has been enjoyed by three generations of my family.
Franken may improve your opinion of some politicians. Ted Cruz will not be one of them. - Tim
This is my favorite book of 2017. It is an erudite and informative chronicle of the Russian Revolution of 1917, but it is written in enthralling prose and is never dry. It's the perfect gift for the smart, savvy people in your life; maybe you yourself are among those people! - Holden
You don't have to love Tolkien to enjoy this story of a boy who loved dragons, but if you do it's pure magic. This biography follows Tolkien through each formative event that led to the writing of his first "English folktale", our beloved Hobbit.- Emma
Fend off winter blues with Eleanor Davis's compilation of graphic shorts, How to Be Happy. Absurdly comical and strangely tender, her characters explore some familiar human paradoxes and arrive at curious insights that strike home. The exquisite style and vibrant colors of Davis's illustrations add to the unique aura and charm of her work. This book is a real gem. - David