December Book Recommendations

WORDS Sara Putman, owner Bookish

Dec 1, 2022 | Books

Enjoy these Christmas gift recommendations from our friends at Bookish, Fort Smith, Arkansas’s only independently owned bookstore.


The Tired New Parent (or Just Plain Tired)
Whether you’re a tired new parent, or just plain tired, it’s crucial we keep our love of books close. When I was raising my boys, I found comfort in the words of Emily Dickinson and Mary Oliver. When we’re bone tired and soul tired, we can get overwhelmed with 500 pages. Here’s a list of some of our very favorite books that hit shelves this year. They aren’t a huge time commitment, and you’ll get a take-away that will soothe any book lover’s heart.

And Yet, Poems, Kate Baer
Happy-Go-Lucky, David Sedaris
Now is Not the Time to Panic, Kevin Wilson

The Renaissance Man (or Woman)
What do you give the person who has everything? Give a book that shares stories about the world and the ways history, faith, politics, and storytelling shaped it into what we see today. In these books, through thoughtful and tender narratives, readers find glimpses of remarkable humans overcoming insurmountable odds, leaving their mark on the world. These stories take us through Nazi Germany, the Civil War, and deep questions of faith. The end result is hope for a better us and a better world.

One Hundred Saturdays, Michael Frank
This Here Flesh, Cole Arthur Riley
And There Was Light, Jon Meacham

The Great Outdoors
For the nature lover in your life, the holidays are a great time to inspire! Through the books listed below, readers can plan new excursions and travel to distant places from the comfort of their own home. The love of nature is year-round, but we can foster it during the holidays. Let the new year bring waterfalls, mountains, new trails, or a newfound love for the wonders of nature right outside our doors.

Five Trails: The Ozarks, Jim Warnock
Slow Birding, Joan E. Strassmann
Riverman: An American Odyssey, Ben McGrath

Cozy Christmas
Setting is key when you settle in for a holiday read. There must be snow on the ground, a fire in the hearth, and something delicious to drink. You’ll find it all in our cozy Christmas selections, along with a little bit of murder, star power, and a renovated castle as the setting of a holiday wedding. Whether it’s romance that fills your stocking or simply the idea of a quaint English village, these selections are certain to get you in the spirit.

Your Guide to Not Getting Murdered in a Quaint English Village, Jay Cooper and Maureen Johnson
Just Like Magic, Sarah Hogle
Meet Me Under the Mistletoe, Jenny Bayliss

The Connoisseur
These last selections are for the experts. The connoisseur who knows the difference between a plot-driven narrative and a richly layered story woven together with hints of humanity, metaphor, and descriptions that draw you in. These are slow burns that connect us to the narrative in a thoughtful and sometimes heart-wrenching way, but the blend of thoughtful prose, fascinating characters, and the relevance of the story sustain us. These are selections for the book snobs in your life.

Our Missing Hearts, Celeste Ng
Demon Copperhead, Barbara Kingsolver
Signal Fires, Dani Shapiro

Do South Magazine

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