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January 13, 2015

Top Ten Novels to Gift in 2015

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The holidays may be over, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to forget the spirit of giving. Books make fantastic presents, not only because they're a way to share a personal part of yourself with another person, but also because they bestow upon their readers an adventure and characters who will, hopefully, stick with them for a lifetime. So whether you’re preparing for a birthday, anniversary, or just a surprise present for the reader in your life, give the gift of a whole world in 5.5 x 8.5 casing. In no particular order, here are 10 novels that may become new favorites this year:

1. STATION ELEVEN by Emily St. John Mandel
Gift is the word: A 2014 National Book Award finalist, this novel has been newly released in large print, following its original September publication. STATION ELEVEN is an eerie dystopian tale that follows a Hollywood star and a collection of actors who roam the Midwest, and focuses on the relationships that connect them across decades. First a heart attack, then a virus, cause disbanded settlements --- which together make up the violent society of a drastically altered world.

2. WOMAN WITH A GUN by Phillip Margolin
Gift is the word: Phillip Margolin, one of the masters of mystery, has written another haunting thriller, this time based on a photograph. Stacey Kim, a young novelist, decides to investigate the image of a woman dressed in a wedding gown, holding a six-shooter. She discovers the lady is Megan Cahill, photographed by Kathy Moran, and suspected of killing her husband but never proven guilty. Kim can’t help but become drawn further into the case, intent on solving it once and for all...

3. WHEN BOOKS WENT TO WAR: The Stories that Helped Us Win World War II by Molly Guptill Manning
Gift is the word: For the historian and book lover, this bestseller discusses the 1943 publishing industry and librarians’ campaign to send free books --- 120 million small, portable paperbacks --- to American troops. The soldiers, thankful for the distraction (especially while facing an enemy intent on banning and burning books throughout the war) wrote to authors, citing their works as their only escape from the awful trenches.

4. DOCTOR WHO: 12 Doctors, 12 Stories, Slipcase Edition
Gift is the word: Don’t worry if you missed this in time for Christmas and the release of the latest Doctor Who episodes on demand! This slipcase gift edition of theDoctor Who novel series, written by 12 of the most famous fantasy sci-fi authors of this generation --- Eoin Colfer, Malorie Blackman, Michael Scott, Marcus Sedgwick, Philip Reeve, Patrick Ness, Richelle Mead, Alex Scarrow, Charlie Higson, Derek Landy, Neil Gaiman and Holly Black ---combines all of the adventures of the Doctors in one beautifully designed package.

5. THE INFINITE SEA by Rick Yancey
Gift is the word: Cassie Sullivan is, she believes, the sole survivor of the end of the world. Aliens --- known as the Others --- have wiped out earth in a series of catastrophic events known as Waves. What she doesn’t realize is that she isn't as alone as she thinks, and soon she's closer than she ever thought possible to the fifth and final Wave. This second novel in the groundbreaking 5th Wave series is told from the alternating perspectives of various characters, whose lives become increasingly intertwined in a dying world where the only rule is to survive.

6. HERE by Richard McGuire
Gift is the word: Complete with full-color illustrations throughout the book, this story of one buildings’ experience is perfect for any architecture or sci-fi fan. McGuire takes readers through the events of hundreds of thousands of years (including past, present and future) with one stipulation: all the events take place in one corner of one room.

7. THE LOST (Witch & Wizard) by James Patterson and Emily Raymond
Gift is the word: The final installment in the beloved Witch & Wizard saga, this novel completes the journey of Whit and Wisty Allgood. Even though they believe their adventure is over after defeating the evil dictator, The One, the siblings are threatened once again. This time, though, the crime of another magical villain has turned popular opinion against those who possess magic.

8. ESSAYS AFTER EIGHTY by Donald Hall
Gift is the word: Donald Hall has lived an incredible life. As a former poet laureate and a winner of the National Medal Arts, you’d think he would feel accomplished enough by age 80. Not so, and this new collection of essays is told from what he calls the “unknown, unanticipated galaxy” of very old age. Between examining his past and facing his present, he discusses the one thing that still drives him: his writing.

9. THE STRANGE LIBRARY by Haruki Murakami
Gift is the word: From internationally beloved author Haruki Murakami, comes a shorter tale than usual, this time following a young boy imprisoned in a library of horrors. Murakami originally wrote the story in 2008, and finally, as of this December, it has become available in English. For fans of the fantastical and often melancholic writer, this newest establishment is a must-read.

10. THE WALL by H.G. Adler
Gift is the word: H.G. Adler, who has previously written about his experiences in the German camps during the Holocaust (including THERESIENSTADT 1941-1955, an almost 1,000-page-long examination of the camps), finishes another trilogy of novels with this last installment. Here, Adler tackles the guilt of surviving and the unforgettable trauma of the past.