According to the BBC, Iceland has more books and writers per capita than anywhere else in the world, with the Christmas traditions to prove it. In fact, it is said that one in ten Icelanders will publish a book, and their nod to the Christmas season is complete with a book festival in the days leading up to the holiday for the sole purpose of gift giving (and reading, apparently.) Also chocolate! In Iceland, it is tradition to give a book on Christmas Eve, and then, to head to bed- with chocolate- to spend the rest of the evening reading. We can’t imagine a better tradition.
Bravo, Iceland, and Merry Christmas from Books for Her.
A Gentleman in Moscow is available now
Amor Towles does it again with prose, plot, and characters who grab hold and won’t let go. Need a gift this Christmas? This is it.
Here’s my Rankings:
- 5/5 for characters
- 5/5 for plot
- 5/5 overall
On house arrest in Moscow’s grand Metropol Hotel for being a Former Person in the new Soviet Union, Count Alexander Rostov once wrote a poem that inspired revolutionary fervor, and cannot, apparently, simply be shot at dawn. He is instead removed from his old suite of rooms and confined to the attic, where he builds a new life full of the kind of characters you can only hope to meet in your own. It’s a novel of fully-realized tragedy that somehow doesn’t get lost there, instead brimming with optimism and hope. With Rules of Civility, Towles had me for life– I looked up from the ending of that gem feeling as if it were impossible that I could be somewhere besides 1930s New York– and once again, Towles wins me over. Wonderful prose, characters, and plot, the holy trifecta for any writer, complete with literary, historic, and cinema references. With Amor Towles, know that you are reading something from someone infinitely more intelligent than you, but who writes so that you can still enjoy it, who makes you stop and think while still plunging forward to discover what happens next.
To quote the dust jacket: “He can’t leave. You won’t want to.”
Buy it now on Amazon
Coming in January: The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers
****4/5 stars-loved it
A young bride accused of murder must fend for herself and her farm during the Civil War.
- If you like letter format novels,
- and if you like romantic and historical suspense, this one is for you.
Here’s my Rankings:
- 4/5 characters
- 4/5 plot
- 4/5 overall
- 4/5 steaminess, including violence
Inspired by a true event, The Second Mrs. Hockaday uses the convention of letters, court inquests, and journal entries to tell the story of a woman accused by her husband of murdering a child conceived while he was away at war. This unusual format grabbed and held my attention from the start, as I tried to determine through perspectives of multiple characters what really happened. A stunning debut.
Available on Amazon January 10th: The Second Mrs. Hockaday