Complete Holiday Book Recommendations 2008

Below you can find the complete list of recommended reading for the 2008 Holidays. To print this list, choose the "Print Page" icon in the upper right-hand corner. Click on the titles to read an excerpt from the book.

Recommended by Nancy Pearl
("Books Beneath The Reading Radar")

Alice in Sunderland: An Entertainment, by Bryan Talbot, hardcover, 319 pages, Dark Horse Comics, list price: $29.95

Borges and the Eternal Orangutans, by Luis Fernando Verissimo, translated from the Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa, paperback, 144 pages, New Directions, list price: $13.95

The Broken Shore, by Peter Temple, paperback, 368 pages, Picador, list price: $14.00

Firmin, by Sam Savage, illustrated by Michael Mikolowski, paperback, 162 pages, Coffee House Press, list price: $14.95

The Ghost in Love, by Jonathan Carroll, hardcover, 320 pages, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, list price: $25.00

The Ginseng Hunter, by Jeff Talarigo, hardcover, 192 pages, Doubleday, list price: $21.95

The Lost Spy: An American in Stalin's Secret Service, by Andrew Meier, hardcover, 304 pages, W. W. Norton & Company, list price: $25.95

Previously, by Allan Ahlberg, illustrated by Bruce Ingman, hardcover, 32 pages, Candlewick Press, list price: $16.99


Recommended by Karen Grigsby Bates
("Five Books To Give Yourself This Year")

American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld, Random House, Hardcover, 558 pages, list price $26.00

Tallgrass by Sandra Dallas, St. Martin's Press, paperback, 336 pages, list price: $13.95

I See You Everywhere by Julia Glass, Knopf, hardcover, 304 pages, list price: $24.95

Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri, Knopf, hardcover, 352 pages, list price: $25

Mrs. Astor Regrets: The Hidden Betrayals of a Family Beyond Reproach by Meryl Gordon, Houghton Mifflin, hardcover, 336 pages, list price: $28.00


Recommended by Laurel Maury
("Best Superhero Graphic Novels Of 2008")

Read a graphic excerpt of Joker by Brian Azzarello and Lee Bermejo, hardcover, 128 pages, DC Comics, list price: $19.99

Read a graphic excerpt of The Death Of Captain America, Vol. #1, #2, & #3 by Ed Brubaker, Steve Epting and Mike Perkins, paperback, 464 total pages, Marvel Comics, list prices: $14.99 (vol. #1 and #2); $19.99 (vol. #3)

Read a graphic excerpt of Runaways: Dead End Kids by Joss Whedon and Michael Ryan, hardcover, 152 pages, Marvel Comics, list price: $19.99

Read a graphic excerpt from Black Summer by Warren Ellis and Juan Jose Ryp, paperback, 192 pages, Avatar, list price: $24.99

Read a graphic excerpt of Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank, hardcover, 168 pages, DC Comics, list price: $24.99


Recommended by Maureen Corrigan
("Best Books Of 2008")

Netherland, by Joseph O'Neill, Knopf, hardcover, 272 pages, list price: $23.95

Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri, Knopf, Hardcover, 352 pages, list price: $25

Say You're One of Them, by Uwem Akpan, Little, Brown & Co., hardcover, 368 pages, list price: $23.99

The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery, translated from the French by Alison Anderson, Europa Editions, paperback, 336 pages, list price: $15

Indignation, by Philip Roth, Houghton Mifflin, hardcover, 256 pages, list price: $26

An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination, by Elizabeth McCracken, Little, Brown & Co., hardcover, 184, list price: $19.99

White Heat: The Friendship of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson by Brenda Wineapple, Knopf, hardcover, 416 pages, list price: $27.95

World War II Writings by A.J. Liebling, edited by Pete Hamill, Library of America, hardcover, 1,100 pages, list price: $40


Recommended by Troy Patterson
("Best Collections Of Literary Letters 2008")

Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence Between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell, edited by Thomas Travisano with Saskia Hamilton, hardcover, 928 pages, Farrar, Straus and Giroux. List price: $45

Can You Ever Forgive Me?: Memoirs of a Literary Forger, by Lee Israel, hardcover, 144 pages, Simon & Schuster. List price: $19.95

Dear American Airlines, by Jonathan Miles, hardcover, 192 pages, Houghton Mifflin. List price: $22

Graham Greene: A Life In Letters, edited by Richard Greene, hardcover, 480 pages, W.W. Norton. List price: $35

The Timewaster Letters, by Robin Cooper, paperback, 192 pages, Chicago Review Press. List price: $11.95


Recommended by Booksellers to Susan Stamberg
("Booksellers' Picks For Your Holiday Lists")

All Art Is Propaganda: Critical Essays, by George Orwell, hardcover, 416 pages, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. List price: $25

The Cellist of Sarajevo, by Steven Galloway, hardcover, 256 pages, Riverhead Books. List price: $21.95

Downtown Owl, by Chuck Klosterman, hardcover, 257 pages, Simon & Schuster. List price: $24

Esther's Inheritance, by Sandor Marai, translated by George Szirtes, hardcover, 160 pages, Knopf. List price: $24

The Ecco Anthology of Contemporary American Short Fiction, edited by Joyce Carol Oates, paperback, 784 pages, Harper Perennial. List price: $18.95

The Economist Book of Obituaries, by Keith Colquhoun and Ann Wroe, hardback, 409 pages, Bloomberg Press. List price: $29.95

The Gargoyle, by Andrew Davidson, hardcover, 468 pages, Doubleday Publishing. List price: $25.95

Gone Tomorrow, by P. F. Kluge, hardcover, 368 pages, Overlook Press. List price: $25.95

The Man Who Invented Christmas, by Les Standiford, hardcover, 256 pages, Crown Publishing. List price: $19.95

Mudbound, by Hillary Jordan, hardcover, 336 pages, Workman Publishing Inc. List price: $22.95

The Oxford Project, photographs by Peter Feldstein, text by Stephen G. Bloom, hardcover, 264 pages, Welcome Books. List price: $50

Pinocchio, by Carlo Collodi, translated by Geoffrey Brock, introduction by Umberto Eco, afterword by Rebecca West, paperback, 208 pages, New York Review Books Classics. List price: $14

Serena, by Ron Rash, hardcover, 384 pages, Ecco. List price: $24.99

So Brave, Young, and Handsome, by Leif Enger, hardcover, 287 pages, Grove/Atlantic. List price: $24

A Splintered History of Wood: Belt Sander Races, Blind Woodworkers, and Baseball Bats, by Spike Carlsen, hardcover, 432 pages, HarperCollins. List price: $24.95


Recommended by John McAlley
("The Big Pictures: Best Gift Books 2008")

ABC3D, by Marion Bataille, hardcover, 36 pages, 7.5 x 5.9 inches, Roaring Brook Press, list price: $19.95

Annie Leibovitz At Work, by Annie Leibovitz, hardcover, 240 pages, 9.5 x 7.5 inches, Random House, list price: $40.00

Art of the Modern Movie Poster, by Judith Salavetz, Spencer Drate and Sam Sarowitz with text by Dave Kehr, hardcover, 16 pages, 13.25 x 11.3 inches, Chronicle Books, list price: $75.00

Dilbert 2.0: 20 Years of Dilbert, by Scott Adams, hardcover in slipcase, 576 pages, 13.5 x 10.5 x 2 inches, Andrews McMeel Publishing, list price: $85.00

The Nancy Book, by Joe Brainard, hardcover, 144 pages, 9.75 x 7.5 x 0.5 inches, Siglio Press, list price: $39.50

The New York Times: The Complete Front Pages: 1851—2008, introduction by Bill Keller, hardcover, 456 pages and three DVD-ROMs, 15 x 12 inches, Black Dog & Leventhal, list price: $60.00

Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs By Writers Famous & Obscure, edited by Smith Magazine, hardcover, 256 pages, 7.25 x 5 x 1.1 inches, Harper, list price: $16.95

The Oxford Project, photographs by Peter Feldstein, text by Stephen G. Bloom, hardcover, 264 pages, 12.8 x 10 x 1.2 inches, Welcome Books, list price: $50.00

Over: The American Landscape at the Tipping Point, by Alex S. MacLean, introduction by Bill McKibbon, hardcover, 336 pages, 13.2 x 9.2 inches, Abrams, list price: $45.00

Performance: Richard Avedon, hardcover, 304 pages, 13 x 10.5 inches, Abrams, list price: $75.00

The Phaidon Atlas of 21st Century World Architecture, by the editors of Phaidon Press, hardcover, 800 pages, 19.2 x 16.1 x 2.5 inches (without case), Phaidon Press, list price: $195.00

A Road Trip Journal, photographs and text by Stephen Shore, limited edition hardcover, 256 pages, 17.2 x 12.1 x 2.1 inches, Phaidon Press, list price: $250

Seen Behind the Scene: Forty Years of Photographing on Set, by Mary Ellen Mark, hardcover, 264 pages, 11.6 x 8.7 inches, Phaidon Press, list price: $59.95

State By State: A Panoramic Portrait of America, edited by Matt Weiland and Sean Wilsey, hardcover, 574 pages, 9.25 x 6.25 inches, Ecco, list price: $29.95

A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments, by David Foster Wallace, paperback, 368 pages, 9 x 6 x 1 inches, Back Bay Books, list price: $14.99

Things I Have Learned In My Life So Far, by Stefan Sagmeister, paperback, 246 pages, 9.5 x 7 inches, Abrams, list price: $40.00

Wham-O Super-Book: Celebrating 60 Years Inside the Fun Factory, by Tim Walsh, paperback, 192 pages, 8.5 x 8.5 inches, Chronicle Books, list price: $19.95


Recommended by Maureen Corrigan
("Top Five Crime And Mystery Novels Of 2008")

The Chinaman, by Friedrich Glauser, translated from the German by Mike Mitchell, paperback, 186 pages, List Price: $14.95

Death Vows, by Richard Stevenson, paperback, 212 pages, List Price: $14.99

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson, translated from the Swedish by Reg Keeland, hardcover, 463 pages, List Price: $24.95

Small Crimes, by Dave Zeltserman, paperback, 272 pages, List Price: $14.95

The Long Embrace: Raymond Chandler and the Woman He Loved, by Judith Freeman, paperback, 368 pages, List Price: $14.95


Recommended by Alan Cheuse
("Give A Book (And Yourself) This Holiday Season")

Dear Darkness, by Kevin Young, hardcover, 216 pages, List Price: $26.95

Hallelujah Junction: Composing an American Life, by John Adams, hardcover, 352 pages, $26.00

John Lennon: The Life, by Philip Norman, hardcover, 822 pages, $34.95

Just After Sunset, by Stephen King, hardcover, 384 pages, $28.00

Katherine Anne Porter: Collected Stories and Other Writings, by Katherine Anne Porter, hardcover, 1100 pages, $40.00

Still Alive!: A Temporary Condition , by Herbert Gold, hardcover, 250 pages, $25.00

Stories, by Doris Lessing, hardcover, 680 pages, $26.00

Supreme Courtship, by Christopher Buckley, hardcover, 304 pages, $24.99

Who We Were: A Snapshot History of America, by Michael Williams, Richard Cahan, & Nicholas Osborn, hardcover, 240 pages, $45.00


Recommended by T. Susan Chang
("The 10 Best Cookbooks of 2008")

660 Curries: The Gateway to Indian Cooking, by Raghavan Iyer, paperback, 816 pages, List Price: $22.95

Baked: New Frontiers in Baking, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, hardcover, 208 pages, List Price: $29.95

How to Cook Everything: 2,000 Simple Recipes for Great Food (Completely Revised 10th Anniversary Edition), Mark Bittman, hardcover, 1,056 pages, List Price: $35.00

A Master Class: Sensational Recipes from the Chefs of the New England Culinary Institute, by Ellen Michaud, hardcover, 292 pages, List Price: $35.00

The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper: Recipes, Stories, and Opinions from Public Radio's Award-Winning Food Show, by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift, hardcover, 352 pages, List Price: $35.00

The Spice Merchant's Daughter: Recipes and Simple Spice Blends for the American Kitchen, by Christina Arokiasamy, hardcover, 240 pages, List Price: $29.95

Secrets of the Red Lantern: Stories and Vietnamese Recipes from the Heart, by Pauline Nguyen, hardcover, 344 pages, List Price: $40.00

The Sweet Melissa Baking Book, Recipes from the Beloved Bakery for Everyone's Favorite Treats by Melissa Murphy, hardcover, 256 pages, List Price: $27.00

Ten: All the Foods We Love and 10 Perfect Recipes for Each, by Sheila Lukins, paperback, 416 pages, List Price: $19.95

Two Dudes, One Pan: Maximum Flavor from a Minimalist Kitchen, by Jon Shook & Vinny Dotolo, paperback, 240 pages, List Price: $24.95


Recommended by Jessa Crispin
("Best Foreign Fiction, 2008")

Senselessness, by Horacio Castellanos Moya, translated from the Spanish by Katherine Silver, paperback, 142 pages, List Price: $15.95

Kieron Smith, boy, by James Kelman, hardcover, 432 pages, List Price: $26.00

2666, by Roberto BolaƱo, translated from the Spanish by Natasha Wimmer, hardcover, 912 pages, List Price: $30.00

Metropole, by Ferenc Karinthy, translated from the Hungarian by George Szirtes, paperback, 279 pages, List Price: $14.95

The Lost Daughter, by Elena Ferrante, translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein, paperback, 204 pages, List Price: $14.95


Recommended by Simon Maxwell Apter
("Best Political And Current Affairs Books Of 2008")

The Forever War, by Dexter Filkins, hardcover, 384 pages

An Imperfect Offering: Humanitarian Action for the Twenty-First Century, by James Orbinski, M.D., hardcover, 448 page

Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America, by Rick Perlstein, hardcover, 896 pages

The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals, by Jane Mayer, hardcover, 400 pages

The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century, by Steve Coll, hardcover, 688 pages


Recommended by John Freeman
("Migration And Memory: Top Five 2008 Books")

Netherland,, by Joseph O'Neill, hardcover, 272 pages, $23.95

Basrayatha: The Story of a City, by Muhammad Khudayyir, paperback, 176 pages, $15.95

Unaccustomed Earth, by Jhumpa Lahiri, hardcover, 352 pages, $25.00

Palestinian Walks: Forays into a Vanishing Landscape, by Raja Shehadeh, paperback, 224 pages, $15.00

Blood Dazzler, by Patricia Smith, paperback, 90 pages, $16.00


Recommended by Laurel Maury
("Best Graphic Novels Of 2008")

Skyscrapers of the Midwest, by Joshua W. Cotter, Adhouse Books, 282 pages, $19.95

Local, by Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly, Oni Press, 374 pages, $29.99

Good-Bye, by Yoshihiro Tatsumi, Drawn and Quarterly, 204 pages, $19.95

Alan's War: The Memories of G.I. Alan Cope, by Emmanuel Guibert, First Second, paperback, 304 pages, $24.00

Heavy Liquid, by Paul Pope, Vertigo, 256 pages, $39.99


Recommended by Maureen Corrigan
("Best Books For A Transformative New Year")

The Tribes of America: Journalistic Discoveries of Our People and Their Cultures, by Paul Cowan, The New Press, 311 pages, list price: $16.95

Hunger of Memory, by Richard Rodriguez, Dial Press, 1982, Paperback 2005, 212 pages, list price: $15.00

American Crucible: Race and Nation in the Twentieth Century, by Gary Gerstle, Princeton University Press, paperback, 2002, 454 pages

The Wordy Shipmates, by Sarah Vowell, Riverhead Books, 254 pages, list price: $25.95

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