Holiday Book Recommendations

During the holidays, there are finally enough extra hours in our days to sit back, relax and enjoy a good book. With all of the options, where do you begin? If you’re like me, you already have a stack awaiting you. If you’re not, then here are some ideas in case you’ve been having an urge to read something new.

The first novel that I recommend is “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Read it in high school? Didn’t like it? Give it another try. It’s a popular classic for a reason.  If you haven’t read it, let me fill you in a bit. Imagine long pearls, flapper dresses, headbands with a single feather and men in white button-downs partying until dawn. Now that you are there, meet Nick Carraway, who takes us through the story of Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan.

Gatsby is a millionaire with a mansion who hosts wild parties, while Daisy, a cousin of Nick, re-meets Gatsby and rekindles their love connection. But guess what? Daisy is married! What will happen between the two? You are just going to have to read it to find out. I don’t think you will be disappointed with the epic ending that awaits you.

The second novel I’d recommend isn’t a classic like “The Great Gatsby,” but more of a contemporary novel. “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Diaz is filled with culture, family and heartbreak. The story follows Oscar, an overweight outcast, and his family. Every other chapter is a story of one of his family members, their personal history and the present. Each story is tied to one another, creating a beautiful story overall. The family, being Dominican, offers great insight to the culture and history. The family is said to be cursed for reasons that will be explained in the novel as it progresses. The plot is intricate but well worth the read. In the end you will feel as though you’ve just stepped out of the best movie of your life.

The final book that I recommend is Dana Spiotta’s “Eat The Document.” Like Diaz’s, this novel’s plot is an intricate one — multiple stories from multiple points of view. You will meet a young woman on the run after radical activist friends accidentally kill someone in a bombing that was supposed to make a political statement. The protagonist, her lover and her friends are able to escape and go into hiding, having to change their names, careers and even keep secrets from their families.

The story follows their individual lives, the challenges they face with hiding from the authorities and dealing with their own guilt. The story is so complex and beautiful that it’s difficult to give it a description that does it justice without giving away any major plot points.

This too will hold your attention and have you walking away feeling like you finished a great piece of literature.