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Galatea by Madeline Miller

A retelling of the classic story of Pygmalion and his unearthly creation, this is a potent bit of literature with the extra benefit of being a beautiful package that would work as a stocking stuffer for any book lover.

Properties of Thirst by Marianne Wiggins

A complex and consuming story of personal struggle, history and socio-political strife written with an astonishingly deft sense of language, both written and spoken. One of the finest books of recent memory.

Study in Crimson by Robert J. Harris

Using the Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce movies as a basis, this updated Sherlock Holmes mystery is set during WWII and features a killer who echoes the grisly crimes of Jack the Ripper.

Gilded Mountain by Kate Manning

A dramatic fictional account of early 20 th century mine workers and their oppressive overlords, peppered with social commentary and a history of union struggles.

The Boy and the Dog by Seishu Hase

A remarkable dog with eerily sentient powers enters and passes through the lives of seven people struggling to heal from life-changing natural disasters. It is sweet but strong, gritty but tender. A wonderful gift.

The Cloisters by Katy Hays

Dark, sinister, intricate and ultimately surprising, this art and antique-themed thriller will engage the reader’s interest up to and including the final shocking reveal.

Liberation Day by George Saunders

Saunders once again shows why he enjoys a stellar reputation. These powerful and moving stories, limned with a stunning variety of styles are magnetic, appalling and inspirational by turns. The collection can be recommended to anyone who loves great writing.

The Library of the Unwritten by A. J. Hackwith

This wildly imaginative journey into the library wing of Hell where unrealized manuscripts lay housed includes chases, fights, literary duels and a salmagundi of characters from various mythological realms. A true delight.

Blitz by Daniel O’Malley

A sprawling fantasy with astonishingly creative imaginings will delight fans of the genre. It is the third of a series but will stand alone admirably. Mutants of bizarre varieties, personal peril and heroism make this a real page-turner.

Hell and Back by Craig Johnson

This foray into the spirit world will not surprise veteran readers and will please newcomers to the series. Walt deals with the past, with regret and guilt, with spiritual peril but as usual, Henry and Vic are there to back him up. Great stuff!