Share Your Holiday Reading Recommendations

'Tis the season to get cozy with a book. What are you reading? What would you recommend for the festive season?

As the winter wind rolls through Berkeley, rustling the orange leaves of tree-lined streets, the chill air brings with it a need for comfort and immersion in warmth from the inside out. 

Getting tucked up with a book is one of winter's most sacred delights. Whether it's a beloved paperback with yellowed and frayed pages, or a brand new e-book downloaded at the click of a button — the options are ample for literary escape. 

So, how do you decide what to read?

has put together a holiday reading recommendations list for a variety of categories, including art & architecture, biography & autobiography, fiction, food & cooking, gardening, history, humor, literature, poetry and travel. 

What is everyone else reading? Here are the best sellers this week, according to the New York Times:


  1. 11/22/63, by Stephen King
  2. THE LITIGATORS, by John Grisham
  3. THE NEXT ALWAYS, by Nora Roberts
  4. ZERO DAY, by David Baldacci
  5. THE BEST OF ME, by Nicholas Sparks


  1. STEVE JOBS, by Walter Isaacson
  2. KILLING LINCOLN, by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
  3. HEAVEN IS FOR REAL, by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent
  4. BACK TO WORK, by Bill Clinton
  5. SEAL TARGET GERONIMO, by Chuck Pfarrer

What are you reading during the holiday season? What would you recommend? Let us know in the comments.

Emily Henry November 29, 2011 at 12:54 AM
I like to alternate between classics and modern novels, so right now I'm reading Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert. Then, I'll start reading The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri — she is a beautiful writer. Does anyone have any Christmas/holiday themed books to recommend?
Lyra King November 29, 2011 at 06:40 AM
Emily--Ransom is a masterfully rendered--and restrained--account of the meeting between Priam and Achilles and the real ransom required to bring the body of Hector home to Troy. The Postmortal takes a look into the future after a cure for aging is discovered--not my usual fare, and I'm only 100 pages in, but it seems pretty interestingly imagined so far. Like you, I always mix classics into my modern picks. I've got Dickens and Shelley queued up alongside the new Barnes novel, The Sense of an Ending. What were some of your favorite books of the year?
Emily Henry November 29, 2011 at 11:19 PM
Thanks, Lyra. Ransom sounds amazing! I love Greek mythology and historical fiction (have you read The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory? It's wonderful — unlike the movie). I also love science fiction and would strongly recommend Dune by Frank Herbert as a sci-fi classic and lifetime must-read. As for favorite books of the year... I'd have to say that Stephen King's The Stand was quite an event. I also liked Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart, although it ended rather abruptly and was quite depressing. All time favorite book: The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera. How about you?
Lyra King November 30, 2011 at 04:46 AM
Emily-- My favorite books of the year are: Welcome to the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan, Ten Thousand Saints by Eleanor Henderson, Freedom by Jonathan Franzen, and the wonderful biography of Robert Oppenheimer, American Prometheus, by Kai Bird and Martin Sherwin. I have to call a tie for my favorite book of all time: Pride and Prejudice and The Mill on the Floss. P&P has a slight advantage as the book I rely on for cozy familiarity. I crack it open to any page and know just where I am!
Lyra King December 01, 2011 at 04:02 AM
Eleanor Henderson's wonderful novel, Ten Thousand Saints, made the NYTimes top 5 books of the year! Congratulations to Eleanor on her well deserved recognition!


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