From the Desk of Sarah Peed
I have a confession to make: this is my favorite time of the year. I know that a lot of people love December for the snow (depending on where you are), epic light displays, and holiday cheer, but those aren’t the reasons I’m a fan. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of that stuff, too! But the thing that really makes my holiday is giving books as gifts.
People assume that since I work in publishing, the presents I give must exclusively be books. In actuality, I only give books as gifts once or twice a year because I want to match up the perfect novel to the right person. I take book recommendations very seriously, so I thought I’d share a few of my holiday picks and reasoning with you.
From this point on, all members of the Peed clan need to stop reading.
Trapped by Kevin Hearne
I got my dad hooked on Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles awhile back, which made my choice for him easy. The latest installment, Trapped, came out at the end of November; a copy of that, coupled with the news that we’ve just signed books 7-9 in the series, will be the perfect gift. If you have a Hearne fan in your life, or someone who enjoys fun, fast-paced urban fantasy and mythology, this is the series to give!
Embassytown by China Miéville
The best books for my mom are the meaty, literary novels that nestle their way into your brain and stay there for days, months, years, and lifetimes. If there’s one author that can latch onto your grey matter, it’s China Miéville. His science fiction novel, Embassytown, tells the tale of humans and an alien race coexisting in a nonviolent but nonetheless uncomfortable arrangement—until a new group of humans arrive on the scene and throw a wrench in the works. With his stylistic elegance and masterful storytelling, Miéville has created a fantastic work for your literati.
Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel
For my little sister, who is a YA book fanatic and the hopeless romantic of the family, I’ve gotten Dearly, Departed and Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel. It has all the components of a great YA fiction: compelling star-crossed lovers, thrilling adventures, and zombies. Zombies? Zombies. If you know a reader who needs a fresh take on a great love story, these books are the way to go.
Whispers Under Ground by Ben Aaronovitch
My other sister is a bit more no-nonsense and enjoys both crime procedurals and fantasy tales. The best choice, therefore, was Ben Aaronovitch’s Midnight Riot, Moon Over Soho, and the latest, Whispers Under Ground. The series follows a rookie London cop who finds himself apprenticed to the last wizard in England, and it’s been called a perfect blend of CSI and Harry Potter. I could not have found better books for my sister, and for all your Law & Order-loving friends and relatives, I highly recommend them.
There you have it: my picks for holiday book gifts. I hope they’ve been helpful for those of you who are still struggling over what to give your loved ones, and I also sincerely hope that my family heeded my warning about not reading further!
Let me know what books you’re giving your friends and family in the comments!
Happy Reading and Happy Holidays,
Associate Editor, Del Rey