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Holiday Gift List: Books for Book Lovers

10 books for bibliophiles about reading, writing and the literary life / BY Nathalie Atkinson / November 25th, 2021

Bookmark this list of 10 great new books about reading, writing and the literary life – because a bibliophile can always make room on the shelves for a few more titles.

Obsessive Book Buyers: Zoomer editors have carefully curated our book coverage to ensure you find the perfect read. We may earn a commission on books you buy by clicking on the cover image. 


1Hell of a Book by Jason Mott

The North Carolina novelist just won the National Book Award for this surreal novel, about an author and his imaginary friend on a cross-country book tour. The NBA judges call it “a structurally and conceptually daring examination of art, fame, family, and being Black in America.”


2Bibliophile: Diverse Spinesby Jamise Harper and Jane Mount

A beautiful miscellany in illustrated form that works as a guide to diversifying your reading list, and organizes stacks of suggested books by theme, with profiles spotlighting BIPOC-owned indies and recommendations from leading BIPOC literary influencers.


3The Writer’s Crusade: Kurt Vonnegut and the Many Lives of Slaughterhouse-Five by Tom Roston

The modern classic is viewed through the lens of PTSD, with a deep dive into Vonnegut’s journey to transform his experience as a POW who survived the 1945 aerial bombing of Dresden, Germany, into a work of art that wouldn’t glorify war.



4A Library of Misremembered Books by Marina Luz

“Ice was in the title,” “Lady becomes immortal because of aliens and it gets really philosophical,” and “Looking for a book. It’s red.” This is a witty, illustrated assortment of anecdotes about customer inquiries that long-suffering booksellers swap amongst themselves.



5A Lonely Man by Chris Power

This paranoid literary thriller opens in a Berlin bookshop, where a struggling novelist strikes up an acquaintance with a ghostwriter. Like The Third Man, the 1949 noir film with a screenplay by Graham Greene, the loner in a foreign city is drawn into playing detective, with a bit of cat and mouse.



6Dear Reader: The Comfort and Joy of Books by Cathy Rentzenbrink

The acclaimed British memoirist shares how books shaped her, how tastes evolve with life’s milestones, and explores the shape shifting nature of our favourites. With so many good recommendations along the way your to-be-read pile will soon become precarious.



7The Cat Who Saved Books by Sosuke Natsukawa

Already a bestselling phenomenon in Japan, this feel-good feline fable about a bookshop in dire straits, a high school student and a quirky talking cat on a quest to liberate neglected books from indifferent owners deserves all the heartwarming kudos. (Dec. 9)



8A Line to Kill by Anthony Horowitz

This third literary whodunit featuring detectives Hawthorne and Horowitz (yes, it’s meta-fiction) from the Foyle’s War creator is a locked-room mystery set at a book festival where the fatal stabbing is done with a letter opener. An intricately woven literary plot that’s too clever by half? Or course they’ll love it.


9Rescuing Socrates: How the Great Books Changed my Life and Why They Matter for a New Generationby Roosevelt Montas

It’s kinda all there in his subtitle. With a mix of memoir and scholarly argument, the Dominican-born academic wades into the debate about a liberal education and the relevance of the Western canon.


10The Last Bookseller: A Life in the Rare Book Trade by Gary Goodman

A sardonic account of the author’s impulsive purchase of a rundown, used bookstore and 40-year second career as a book dealer in Stillwater, Minn. It’s a dispatch from the last golden age of bookselling, a nearly lost world of estate-sale scores and auctions, bibliomaniacs and epic book thieves, before the Internet changed it all. (Nov. 30)



Canadian Author Details Anne Frank Cold-Case Investigation That Named Surprise Suspect in Her Family’s Betrayal in New BookAhead of the 75th anniversary of the publication of Frank's 'The Diary of a Young Girl' in June, a team that included a retired FBI agent and around 20 historians, criminologists and data specialists identified a relatively unknown figure as a leading suspect in revealing her family's hideout.

Man Who Tricked Authors Into Handing Over Unpublished Manuscripts Arrested by FBI in New YorkFilippo Bernardini, an employee of a well known publication house, has been arrested for stealing hundreds of unpublished manuscripts.

Hollywood Legend Betty White Has a Last Laugh in New Biographic Comic BookThe creators of the biographical comic book have released similar books about Hollywood legends like Carrie Fisher, Lucille Ball, David Bowie and Elizabeth Taylor.

Barack Obama Reveals His List of Books That Left “A Lasting Impression” in 2021Obama's favourite 2021 reads include two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author Colson Whitehead's 'Harlem Shuffle' and 'Klara and the Sun,' by Nobel Prize-winning author Kazuo Ishiguro

“Interview With the Vampire” Author Anne Rice Dies at 80 — Tributes Pour in From Stuart Townsend and OthersThe author, who was best known for her work in gothic fiction, died on Saturday evening as a result of complications from a stroke.

Norma Dunning wins $25,000 Governor General’s English fiction prize for ‘Tainna’The Edmonton-based Inuk writer explores themes of displacement, loneliness and spirituality in six short stories

Omar El Akkad wins $100,000 Giller prize for “What Strange Paradise”The former Globe and Mail reporter, who published "American War" to acclaim in 2017, tackles the global migrant refugee crisis in his second novel

South African Author Damon Galgut Wins the Booker Prize For ‘The Promise’Galgut received nominations for his 2003 and 2010 works before finally taking home the prize this year. 

Hollywood Legend Paul Newman Discusses Life, Acting and Aging Gracefully in Newly Discovered MemoirPublishers of the newly discovered memoir say the Hollywood legend wrote the book in the 1980s in response to the relentless media attention he received during that time.

Here’s What You Need to Know About the Toronto International Festival of AuthorsDirector Roland Gulliver lands in Toronto to open his second, much-expanded virtual festival with more than 200 events

Tanzanian Novelist Gurnah Wins 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature for Depicting the Impact of Colonialism and Refugee StoriesGurnah, 72, is only the second writer from sub-Saharan Africa to win one of the world's most prestigious literary awards

Miriam Toews Garners Third Giller Prize Nomination for “Fight Night” after Shortlist AnnouncedSophomore efforts from novelists Omar El Akkad and Jordan Tannahill join debut books from Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia and Angélique Lalonde

Tina Brown’s New Book, ‘The Palace Papers’, Covers the Royal Family’s Reinvention After Diana’s Tragic DeathTina Brown's sequel to her 2007 release 'The Diana Chronicles' is set to hit shelves April 12, 2022. 

Audible.ca Releases Andrew Pyper’s Exclusive Audiobook “Oracle” For New Plus Catalogue LaunchThe thriller about a psychic FBI detective is one of 12,000 titles now available for free to members

Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen to Release Book Based On Their “Renegades” PodcastThe new book will feature a collection of candid, intimate and entertaining conversations

Prince Harry Will Publish a Memoir in Late 2022Harry says he's writing the book "not as the prince I was born but as the man I have become."


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