Looking for a book to gift someone? Here’s a list of a few interesting, recommended books. Not all of these are 2014 releases (why restrict ourselves to a calendar year?). Some will be found at Amazon, some at Barnes & Noble, and some can be ordered through your local bookstore. But you can and should find a way to purchase any of them that may be of interest. Joseph Arellano
The Nobodies Album: A Novel by Carolyn Parkhurst
A major rock star from San Francisco is accused of murdering his girlfriend. It’s a uniquely told story that’s worth reading and re-reading.
Everything I Never Told You: A Novel by Celeste Ng
A Chinese-American girl tries to find out how and why her older sister died. There’s both more and less here than meets the eye.
Five Days Left: A Novel by Julie Lawson Timmer
A woman intends to kill herself on her next birthday, which is five days away. “I sat down with this book after dinner, and when I looked up, it was 2 a.m. and I had turned the last page.” Jacquelyn Mitchard
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao: A Novel by Junot Diaz
Wao is a strange yet wonderful novel that’s sad, funny, touching and sometimes aggravating. Diaz won the Pulitzer Prize for this work. “Diaz establishes himself as one of contemporary fiction’s most distinctive and irresistible voices.” Michiko Kakutani
The Poetry Cafe: Poems by John Newlin
“Poems are like cafes along a street/intimate places where friends ever meet…” Contemporary poems about the life of a poet, and the good and bad things in life.
Alex Haley’s Roots: An Author’s Odyssey by Adam Henig
This is a valuable introduction to Alex Haley and the 1977 Roots phenomenon, for those too young to have experienced it.
Life and Life Only: A Novel by Dave Moyer
Life and Life Only is a story of baseball, love and Bob Dylan. Who could ask for more?
Songs Only You Know: A Memoir by Sean Madigan Hoen
33 Days: Touring In A Van. Sleeping On Floors. Chasing A Dream. (A Memoir) by Bill See
Two true tales of bands on the run, living the rock and roll life. Hoen is a surprisingly skilled writer, but See’s story will stick with the reader.