Books to Give Away

Although I have many ebooks on my phone, I have combined my attempt to support independent bookstores and my yearning to hold pages in my hands with a ton of books now crowding my shelves.  Since the library is not accepting donations, I need to disperse my collection some other way.  Maybe this year everyone I know will receive one of my books (only read once, some pages only slightly turned over, few markings in the margins) – the perfect used Christmas gift.  They should be safe to read, although they have not been tested and some of the contents may have contagious ideas.

Here’s my list of two dozen – want any?

  1. The Red Lotus by Chris Bohjalian
  2. The Second Home by Christina Clancy
  3. American Dirt by Jeanine Cummings
  4. The Secret Guests by Benjamin Black
  5. Feels Like Falling by Kristy Woodson Harvey
  6. Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner
  7. Beach Read by Emily Henry
  8. Dumpty by John Lithgow
  9. Don’t Overthink It by Anne Bogel
  10. Naamah by Sarah Blake
  11. Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore
  12. Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? by Beverly Tatum
  13. The Confession by Jessie Burton
  14. No Time to Spare by Ursula LeGuin
  15. I’m Not Complaining by Ruth Adam
  16. How to Find Love in A Bookshop by Veronica Henry
  17. Hell and Other Destinations by Madeleine Albright
  18. Weather by Jenny Offill
  19. Friends and Strangers by J. Courtney Sullivan
  20. Inland by Tea Obrecht
  21. The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman
  22. Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookshop by Matthew Sullivan
  23. Miss Austen by Gil Hornby
  24. Paris by the Book by Liam Callanan

What books are on your giveaway shelf?


A Sample List from Semple

Maria Semple, author of Where’d You Go Bernadette and Today Will Be Different, revealed her reading habits in a Boston Globe interview on her way to the Boston Book Festival this year.  Sample tries to read three books a week –

“I can’t think of anything I am more afraid of having missed out on in life than reading important works of literature.”

Always looking for another book, I was delighted to discover her recommendations, thanks to my friend who faithfully sends me Boston Globe clippings.  I was also encouraged by Semple’s attitude on not finishing books:

“I’ve heard some people say they will give a book fifty pages.  That is too much…if a book is too obtuse on the first page I feel as if the writer doesn’t have my best interests at heart…I’m pathological about how quickly I put a book aside….”

I’ll probably stay by my rule of reading the number of pages of one hundred minus my age before giving up on a book; it gets closer to Semple’s formula every year.  Do you finish every book you start?

unknownBooks Semple is Reading Now     (of course, I immediately went to the library to find them):

  • The Red Car by Marcy Dermansky

Leah inherits a red sports car from an old friend and mentor who died in a car accident.  As she journeys to San Francisco to claim the car,  Leah revisits past lives and loves.

  • Voices from Chernobyl by Svetlana Alexievich (Nobel prize winner)

Personal accounts of the worst nuclear reactor accident in history  which contaminated three quarters of Europe.

  • Nutshell by Ian McEwan

Told from the perspective of the child in the mother’s womb, McEwan respins Shakespeare’s Hamlet, turning the tale into a modern tragedy of betrayal and murder.

  • Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

Read my review here.

  • A Sentimental Journey by Laurence Sterne

In 1765, Sterne, facing death, travelled through France and Italy as far south as Naples, and after returning, described his travels from a sentimental point of view through the adventures of his alter ego, Rev. Mr. Yorick.  First published in 1768.


imagesSemple’s  Favorite Classics:

  • Middlemarch by George Eliot
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys