Looking for some last-minute present inspiration?
Well, you’re in luck because Isabel Quattlebaum has you covered with her top picks of good reads, which coincidentally double up as very good gifts!
Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
This is one of my favorite books of all time. It’s definitely the funniest one I’ve ever read. Lawson’s memoirs starts with her childhood in rural Texas and follows her through her adult life. She works through her bizarre upbringing with her taxidermist father and moves on to her goth young adult years and her struggle with social anxiety. She doesn’t shy away from the embarrassing moments in her life, and her stories literally had me laughing aloud. Let me put it this way, if you thought your life was awkward, at least you didn’t get your arm stuck in a cow during high school like this author. Or mistaken a marriage proposal for a murder attempt. Or had to protect the corpse of your dog from a flock of buzzards with a machete. This book is delightful weird and insanely funny.
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Beautifully written with a florid prose that sets the scene in great detail, this novel set in France in World War II is a must read. The book follows the separate stories of a blind girl in Paris and a young German boy drafted into the Nazi army until their lives intertwine. Like most book set in this era, it’s a tear-jerker. However, it is well worth the mascara drips. It won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the 2015 Andrew Carnegie Medal for excellence in fiction.
The Outsider by Stephen King
This new tale from the Master of Horror isn’t for the faint of heart. What starts off as a murder mystery is full of surprises. I’m usually a fast reader, but this book took me a couple of weeks to finish because I kept getting too creeped out when I read it before bed. I will confess I ran to and from the bathroom in the middle night a few times expecting to see King’s creation standing in my path. However, this story feels fresh and new and is extremely interesting. If you are a Stephen King fan, you might also appreciate that some characters from his other books do make an appearance.
A Beautiful, Terrible Thing: A Memoir of Marriage and Betrayal
This book was interesting to read as a psychology student, but it is so shocking that anyone would be sucked in. It is a true story in which a woman discovers that her perfect, loving husband has lying to her since the day he met her. She believes he may even be a psychopath. It reads like a psychological thriller but is heartbreakingly true. This is a quick read that will have you turning pages all night long.