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August 1, 2022

Best books to gift in 2022

If you're on the search for a new great read, these are the best books to add to your must-read list. They can take you to another place, transport you to another time, or even help level up your business. Whether you're shopping for yourself or a friend, you can't go wrong with any of these picks. From children's books to biographies, there's something on this list for every kind of reader. 

 

The book behind a splashy new movie

"Where the Crawdads Sing" by Delia Owens

 

This North Carolina-grown narrative follows young "Marsh Girl" Kya Clark, who gets caught up in a conflict and world she didn't know existed, having grown up isolated and entirely self-reliant. 

 

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A 1960s coming-of-age story

"Daisy Jones & The Six" by Taylor Jenkins Reid

 

This novel brings you deep into the world of Los Angeles in the late '60s, where Daisy Jones is discovered as a rising star amid a fast-paced world of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll.

 

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A veggie-packed recipe book

"Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London's Ottolenghi" by Yotam Ottolenghi

 

This vegetarian cookbook is one of the most popular by cult-favorite London chef Yotam Ottolenghi. It provides delicious recipe inspiration for your favorite produce all year long, from crunchy cabbage salads to warm and comforting braises. 

 

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A glamorous beach read

"The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo" by Taylor Jenkins Reid

 

This book is full of Hollywood glamour, scandal, and intrigue, as we uncover the story of icon Evelyn Hugo through the eyes of budding magazine reporter Monique Grant. 

 

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A deep and complex memoir of healing

"What My Bones Know: A Memoir of Healing From Complex Trauma" by Stephanie Foo

 

This deeply touching personal memoir tells the often swept-under-the-rug truth about suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder as a woman who looks like she has it all together to the outside world.

 

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A story that won't have you underestimating animals again

"Remarkably Bright Creatures" by Shelby Van Pelt

 

This novel follows the beautiful relationship between a grieving wife and mother and a giant Pacific octopus at the aquarium where she works. Together, the two work as detectives to solve the mystery of Tova Sullivan's son's disappearance.   

 

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An empowering call for justice for the most vulnerable

"Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption" by Bryan Stevenson

 

This memoir tells the inspiring story of how the author founded the Equal Justice Initiative to defend the poor, wrongly accused, and other vulnerable members of the American justice system. It shines a humanizing light on the lives affected by an unjust system and the arc of a promising young lawyer's career. 

 

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A thrilling Irish mystery

"The Guest List" by Lucy Foley

 

This page-turner tells the tale of a wedding with plenty of messy, tangled history behind it. Experience it through the eyes of various party guests, including the bride, a plus one, the best man, the wedding planner, the bridesmaid, and the body.

 

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A new way to build healthy habits

"Atomic Habits" by James Clear

 

Anyone with goals can learn from the clear, actionable framework James Clear supplies in this self-help book. Readers love the science-backed approach and easy suggestions to improve daily habits. You'll learn how to better your health, relationships, career, and life satisfaction.

 

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A funny and light-hearted pick-me-up

"Anxious People" by Fredrik Backman

 

This easy and enjoyable read brings you into a cramped real estate showing full of characters who suddenly find themselves in a life-or-death scenario. In a comedy of errors and miscommunication, you'll find yourself laughing out loud and falling in love with each of the apartment's occupants.  

 

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An insightful backstory behind a beloved A-lister

"Greenlights" by Matthew McConaughey

 

You'll learn all about Matthew McConaughey's childhood, start in Hollywood, and career peaks and valleys in this book. It's heart-wrenching, laugh-out-loud funny, and gives you a deep appreciation for what it takes to succeed in Hollywood. 

 

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A young adult story of love, change, and growth

"All My Rage: A Novel" by Sabaa Tahir

 

This young adult novel follows an arranged couple's move from tragedy-stricken Lahore, Pakistan, to Juniper, California. Follow the new generation as they tackle the burden of looking different from their classmates in a small town while caring for aging parents and a struggling family business. 

 

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A time-traveling saga

"Sea of Tranquility: A Novel" by Emily St. John Mandel

 

This post-apocalyptic science-fiction epic spans centuries and lives, with a nice sprinkling of magic throughout. You'll have no trouble escaping into Mandel's beautiful, frightening and all-encompassing world with this page-turner of a novel. 

 

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A devastating tale of friendship

"A Little Life" by Hanya Yanagihara

 

Don't be put off by the page count of this hefty volume. You won't be able to put it down once you get caught up in the fascinating, rich, and heart-breaking lives of four college classmates. Follow their journey as they struggle to survive in New York City, despite harrowing childhood trauma, fraught relationships, and crises of identity. 

 

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A dark New England college drama

"The Secret History" by Donna Tartt

 

Enter the wealthy, boozy, and mysterious world of a group of classics students at an elite Vermont college, where morality is too easily lost and the wrong decisions are too easily made. 

 

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A story about fated love

"Normal People" by Sally Rooney

 

A lot changes between secret high school lovers Connell and Marianne between secondary school and college, and even more in the years post-graduation. That is, all except for their magnet-like attraction toward each other. This story uncovers how strong their love is and how much they are willing to sacrifice for each other. 

 

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A shocking true crime page-turner

"All the Lies They Did Not Tell: The True Story of Satanic Panic in an Italian Community" by Pablo Trincia

 

This tells the true story of the Devils of the Bassa Modenese, a notorious investigation into Satanic Panic in the late nineties in Italy, where over a dozen children had to be moved to protected locations to escape abuse.  

 

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An of-the-moment novel about strife in higher education

"The Devil and Webster" by Jean Hanff Korelitz

 

This novel tells the story of the generational and social divide that develops between a liberal arts college president and her student body when a new and mysterious pupil joins the class.

 

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An uplifting story about women uniting across generations

"She's Up to No Good" by Sara Goodman Confino

 

Grandmother Evelyn accompanies newly divorced granddaughter Jenna on a coastal road trip, during which the matriarch shares much about their family's history and her love story. 

 

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A story about seeing into the future

"The Tree of Knowledge" by Daniel G. Miller

 

Albert, the central character in this novel, learns that he can see what's coming as he works to uncover a murder mystery on a college campus with a few unlikely teammates.

 

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An adorable children's book to inspire bravery

"Sir Ladybug" by Corey R. Tabor

 

This cute graphic novel is full of laughs for all ages. Join the gallant Sir Ladybug on quests to rescue his buggy friends from predators. Author Corey R. Tabor is a Caldecott Medal Honoree. 

 

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A vibrant Mexican cookbook

"Mi Cocina: Recipes and Rapture from My Kitchen in Mexico: A Cookbook" by Rick Martinez

 

If the photos alone don't draw you in, the flavor-packed recipes will have you hooked. This is a go-to book for anyone who craves straight-from-Mexico flavors at home, such as Salsa Blanca and Frijoles de Olla. 

 

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A shocking history behind opioid use in America

"Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty" by Patrick Radden Keefe

This well-researched book recounts the secrets, cover-ups, and bitter disputes that riddled the Sackler family as they built their family business, Purdue Pharma. It details the shocking business practices that have had a resounding impact on the American healthcare system. 

 

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An expose of social forces in America

"Under the Skin: The Hidden Toll of Racism on American Lives and on the Health of Our Nation" by Linda Villarosa

 

Linda Villarosa presents disturbing statistics and deeply personal stories about what it means to be a black woman in the current American healthcare system and the forces that must be stopped to open the door for progress and equality.  

 

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A graduate-level class on Russian literature

"A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life" by George Saunders

 

In this fascinating exploration of Russian writing, celebrated author and professor George Saunders turns his Syracuse University class on Russian short stories into a digestible yet highly educational read.

 

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A new take on an epic tale

"The Song of Achilles" by Madeline Miller

 

This beautifully written novel puts a new, adventurous spin on the well-known tale of Homer's "The Iliad," centered around the legend of Achilles and the Trojan War. Madeline Miller is also the bestselling author of "Circe." 

 

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A touching father-daughter story with a sci-fi twist

"This Time Tomorrowby Emma Straub 

 

A  New York Times bestseller, Straub's novel follows a 40-year-old who magically travels back in time to her 16th birthday. As she attempts to do things differently to make the future better for her and her dad, she questions what it means to be truly happy and successful.   

 

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An approachable autobiography for younger readers

"Becoming: Adapted for Young Readers" by Michelle Obama

 

Michelle Obama's best-selling autobiography is now available in a more accessible form that speaks directly to young people about life. Most notably, Michele Obama asks readers, "Who are you, and what do you want to become?"

 

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A story about opposites who attract on vacation

"People We Meet on Vacation" by Emily Henry

 

Poppy and Alex couldn't be more different: a wild child and a homebody, respectively. They're best friends who live miles apart and go on a one-week trip every summer, but this time, Poppy is determined to be honest about her feelings before it's too late.

 

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A sinister political thriller

"A Gambling Man" by David Baldacci

 

Archer is searching for a fresh start in 1950s California and lands in a new role as the assistant to a talented private eye and former FBI agent. The first case is a sinister one that involves well-connected politicians, a dirty mayoral race, and plenty of brothels, drugs, and secrets in a corrupt town.

 

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An insightful read on thoughtful perspectives

"Karma: A Yogi's Guide to Crafting Your Own Destiny" by Sadhguru

 

In this meditative book on karma, Sadhguru helps readers transform from fearful "passengers" into confident "drivers" who can navigate their destinies. It emphasizes living within each moment and freeing oneself from unhealthy cycles and ensnarements.

 

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A lyrical picture book by a presidential inaugural poet

"Change Sings: A Children's Anthem" by Amanda Gorman

 

Lauded as a modern "musical journey," this book is a dazzling read with beautiful lyrics and rhythmic illustrations. Gorman's evocative words convey to young readers that they have the power to be agents of change, both in the community and the world.

 

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A bestselling indie novel

"Under the Whispering Door" by TJ Klune

 

Poor Wallace didn't expect to be ushered out of his funeral by a reaper, and that's not the end of his afterlife troubles. He has one week to crossover with help from Hugo, a humble tea shop owner, but Wallace isn't ready to bow out from life without a bang — and hilarity ensues.

 

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A gripping biography about a Nobel Prize winner

"The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing and the Future of the Human Race" by Walter Isaacson

 

This deep-diving biography explores the exciting life of Jennifer Doudna, Ph.D., winner of the 2020 Nobel Prize in chemistry for her work developing CRISPR, a gene-editing technology. It chronicles her ground-breaking discovery and personal experiences along the way.

 

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A unique Thai-inspired fusion cookbook

"The Pepper Thai Cookbook: Family Recipes from Everyone's Favorite Thai Mom" by Pepper Teigen

 

When Pepper Tiegen moved from Thailand to the United States at age 10, she had to get creative with new ingredients and recipes from her homeland. Now decades later, she shares some of her most-loved recipes, ranging from succulent Chicken Larb to colorful mock-papaya salad.

 

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A historical fiction novel set in World War II

"Surviving the Forest" by Adiva Geffen

 

Set in World War II, this story follows Shurka, a young Jewish woman in Poland whose fairy-tale life gets turned upside down when she's forced to flee her house and hide from the Gestapo. She and her family escape to the thick, dark forest and find themselves battling for survival.

 

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A new YA fantasy thriller

"Vespertine" by Margaret Rogerson

 

Young Artemisia is training to become a Gray Sister, but an attack by possessed soldiers changes everything. She discovers something extraordinary about herself that might be powerful enough to save those around her from unspeakable evil.

 

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A book about complicated humans

"Beautiful World, Where Are You" by Sally Rooney

 

Driven by the intricacies and nuances of friendships, relationships, and sex, this much-anticipated Sally Rooney novel captures what it is to be connected to someone. The dialogue is perpetually honest, both among characters and between the narrative and its readers.

 

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A rare collection of a late rocker's life works

"The Collected Works of Jim Morrison" by Jim Morrison and Tom Robbins

 

This definitive anthology of Jim Morrison's body of work included poetry, journals, transcripts, lyrics, and even rare photos. Immersive and introspective, it shares unique insight into Morrison's creative process.

 

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A collection sharing true tales of immigration

"Alien Nation" by Sofija Stefanovic

 

This 36-story collection includes true stories of the immigrant experience, ranging from refugee camps in Gaza to the journey of an Intersex activist who dreams of meeting Oprah. Described as a tribute to cultural diversity, each story touches the heart differently.

 

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A motley crew gets into post-apocalyptic trouble

"The Last Kids on Earth and the Doomsday Race" by Max Brallier

 

In this seventh installment of the graphic-novel-series-turned-Netflix-Original, the crew embarks on a road trip toward the mysterious Tower. But as they journey through Mallusk City, they encounter allies, foes, and very complicated circumstances.

 

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A compelling account of growing up as an Asian-American 

"Crying in H Mart" by Michelle Zauner

 

In this powerful memoir about growing up as a Korean-American in Eugene, OR, Zauner explains how she held onto culture through good, oral tradition and self-discovery. The story is described as "lyrical and honest," with candid meditations on adulthood experiences.

 

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A delightful celebrity memoir about food and family

"Taste: My Life Through Food" by Stanley Tucci

 

Tucci's memoir gives a unique glimpse into the stories that drove the recipes behind "The Tucci Cookbook" and "The Tucci Table." Not only is it witty and intelligent, but Tucci also sprinkles savory details around the memoir that leaves fans hungry for more.

 

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