2017 Holiday Gift Guide: Adult Literary

Here are our recommendations for the literary adult in your life including, fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and more.

Staff Pick Logo
The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780812989885
Availability: It's Complicated--Contact Us for More Info
Published: The Dial Press - March 28th, 2017

There isn't anything about this book I do not love.


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Sourdough: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780374203108
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: MCD - September 5th, 2017

From the author of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore comes a book of technology, programming, robotic arms, life-changing artisanal bread, and what makes life worth living.


A Working Woman Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781931883658
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Two Lines Press - October 10th, 2017

A strangely riveting story of a young woman trying to make her way in the world. Weirder than it appears on the surface, but, also, weirdly universal.


The Nix Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781101970348
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - May 2nd, 2017

What do you do when you’ve spent your book advance and still haven’t written your manuscript? Track down your absent vigilante-activist mom, of course.


Little Fires Everywhere Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780735224292
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Press - September 12th, 2017

Ng's second novel has everything that made her first book great, and then some. A gripping meditation on art, family, and truth that pulls no punches.


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Dinner at the Center of the Earth: A novel Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781524732738
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - September 5th, 2017

A departure from Englander's previous fiction, this riveting story weaves together three strands, in Berlin, Paris and Israel, to talk about spies, generals, prisoners, guards and waitresses. A total page-turner.


4 3 2 1: A Novel Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781250160010
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador - February 6th, 2018

Don't be put off by its heft - this delicately crafted intertwining of four stories in one is a virtuoso feat of plot and storytelling, and even after 800+ pages you won't want it to end.


The Leavers Cover Image
By Lisa Ko
$25.95
ISBN: 9781616206888
Availability: Available at Warehouse
Published: Algonquin Books - May 2nd, 2017

While this novel has immigration at its heart, it is about parents and children and fear and China and detention and the underground, invisible lives that illegal immigrants are forced to live.


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The Women in the Castle: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062563668
Availability: Available at Warehouse
Published: William Morrow - March 28th, 2017

Beautifully written, emotional and insightful, this historical novel of three women after the war poses deep questions of morality, behavior and family.


Kingdom Cons Cover Image
By Yuri Herrera, Lisa Dillman (Translator)
$13.95
ISBN: 9781908276926
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: And Other Stories - June 13th, 2017

An artist navigates the shifting borders of power in another gem by one of Mexico’s greatest living novelists.


The Almost Sisters: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062105714
Availability: Available at Warehouse
Published: William Morrow - July 11th, 2017

When graphic novelist Leia finds herself unexpectedly pregnant at 38, she and her niece head south to check on aging relatives.


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In the Distance Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781566894883
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Coffee House Press - October 10th, 2017

A brilliant reimagining of the Western and adventure genres. More pensive than violent, it presents a unique version of the American landscape. For fans of Cormac McCarthy and Eleanor Catton's Booker Prize-winning novel The Luminaries.


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You & a Bike & a Road Cover Image
$12.00
ISBN: 9781927668405
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Koyama Press - May 16th, 2017

Last summer, illustrator Eleanor Davis set out from Texas on her bike. Her goal? To bike all the way home to Georgia. This book collects the beautifully drawn comics she made of her trip.


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Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions Cover Image
By Valeria Luiselli, Jon Lee Anderson (Introduction by)
$12.95
ISBN: 9781566894951
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Coffee House Press - April 4th, 2017

In one of the most important books of the year, Luiselli eloquently explores the plight and courage of undocumented minors trying to make new lives in America.


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In Praise of Defeat: Poems by Abdellatif Laabi Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780914671596
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Archipelago - January 17th, 2017

The poetry is dark and unsettling but also beautiful and uplifting. Laabi’s voice is one of proud, even exuberant defiance. This collection is a punch to jaw, but the kind of punch that lets you know you’re ready to fight.


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Shrill Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780316348461
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hachette Books - February 28th, 2017

Unapologetic, inspiring, humorous, and brave. Lindy West does not back down.


Henry David Thoreau: A Life Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780226344690
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of Chicago Press - July 7th, 2017

A well-researched and thorough biography elegantly told.


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Translation as Transhumance Cover Image
By Mireille Gansel, Ros Schwartz (Translator)
$14.95
ISBN: 9781558614444
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Feminist Press - November 14th, 2017

Truly brilliant work on the nature of translation and how powerful the ability to reach across languages can be. One of those rare books you wish you’d read years earlier.  


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Priestdaddy: A Memoir Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781594633737
Availability: Available at Warehouse
Published: Riverhead Books - May 2nd, 2017

Perhaps the funniest and strangest book this year. You’ll hear Lockwood’s voice for weeks after you finish.


Concerto al-Quds (The Margellos World Republic of Letters) Cover Image
By Adonis, Khaled Mattawa (Translated by)
$25.00
ISBN: 9780300197648
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Yale University Press - November 28th, 2017

Perennial Nobel hopeful and one of the most important Arabic language writers of the 21st century, Adonis returns from retirement to explore the meaning of the city of Jerusalem.


Wild Geese Returning: Chinese Reversible Poems Cover Image
By Michele Metail, Jody Gladding (Translated by), Jeffrey Yang (Introduction by)
$19.95
ISBN: 9789629968007
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New York Review Books - March 14th, 2017

An exploration of a beautiful poetic form almost impossible to replicate in English. Grappling with these poems is chance to change not just how you read, but also how you think.