Gift Guide: For the Avid Reader

If you have a bookworm on your list, you may be intimidated by the idea of picking them out a book. But never fear -- the WORD team has compiled a list of some of our favorite reads of late that didn't quite make it into the mainstream hype. So your odds are good that they'll be new to your rabid reader. 

(Still not totally sure? Consider gifting them a WORD To Your Mailbox subscription! Then our booksellers can curate a regular stream of new reads based on their interests & feedback).

Go back to all Gift Guides


 

Bibliophile: Diverse Spines Cover Image
By Jamise Harper, Jane Mount, Jane Mount (Illustrator)
$18.95
ISBN: 9781797211916
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Chronicle Books - November 2nd, 2021

It's time to diversify your reading list.


Against the Loveless World: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781982137045
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Washington Square Press - November 2nd, 2021

2020 Palestine Book Awards Winner
2021 Aspen Words Literary Prize Finalist

“Susan Abulhawa possesses the heart of a warrior; she looks into the darkest crevices of lives, conflicts, horrendous injustices, and dares to shine light that can illuminate hidden worlds for us.” —Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize–winning author

In this &ld


Book of the Little Axe Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780802158543
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Grove Press - May 18th, 2021

A BOOKLIST EDITOR'S CHOICE BOOK OF THE YEAR

Ambitious and masterfully-wrought, Lauren Francis-Sharma's Book of the Little Axe is an incredible journey, spanning decades and oceans from Trinidad to the American West during the tumultuous days of warring colonial powers and westward expansion.


The Secret Lives of Church Ladies Cover Image
$17.09
ISBN: 9781949199734
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: West Virginia University Press - September 1st, 2020

*FINALIST for the 2020 National Book Award for Fiction*
*WINNER of the 2021 PEN/Faulkner Award*
*WINNER of the 2020 Story Prize
*
*WINNER of the 2020 L.A.


Staff Pick Badge
A Passage North: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780593230701
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Hogarth - July 13th, 2021

SHORTLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE • A young man journeys into Sri Lanka’s war-torn north in this searing novel of longing, loss, and the legacy of war from the author of The Story of a Brief Marriage.
 
“A novel of tragic power and uncommon beauty.”—Anthony Marra


The Night Watchman: A Novel Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780062671196
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Harper Perennial - March 23rd, 2021

WINNER OF THE 2021 PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

WASHINGTON POST, AMAZON, NPR, CBS SUNDAY MORNING, KIRKUS, CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY, AND GOOD HOUSEKEEPING BEST BOOK OF 2020


Staff Pick Badge
A Ghost in the Throat Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781771964111
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Biblioasis - June 1st, 2021

An Post Irish Book Awards Nonfiction Book of the Year - A Guardian Best Book of 2020 - Shortlisted for the 2021 Rathbones Folio Prize - Longlisted for the 2021 Republic of Consciousness Prize


Staff Pick Badge
Three Rooms Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9780358572091
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Mariner Books - August 31st, 2021

A piercing howl of a novel and "a tart pleasure...with echoes of Zadie Smith and Sally Rooney," about one young woman’s endless quest for an apartment of her own and the aspirations and challenges faced by the Millennial generation as it finds its footing in the world, from a shockingly talented debut author (Kirkus, starred review).

“A woman


Pleasantview Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781632462022
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Ig Publishing - May 25th, 2021

In one of Chekhov's stories, a character says that every happy man should have someone who taps at his door with a little hammer, reminding him that there are unhappy people in the world.


Staff Pick Badge
Popisho: A Novel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780374602451
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - April 20th, 2021

"Bold, iridescent... Dazzling and shocking... Ross’s lyrical, rhythmic writing is something to be savored... [Her] voice sings out loud and pure."
—Eowyn Ivey, The New York Times Book Review

An uproarious, sensual novel, Leone Ross's Popisho conjures a world where magic is everywhere, food is fate, politics are broken, and love awaits.


Afterparties: Stories Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780063049901
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Ecco - August 3rd, 2021

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

A Roxane Gay's Audacious Book Club Pick!

Named a Best Book of Summer by: Wall Street Journal * Thrillist * Vogue * Lit Hub * Refinery29 * New York Observer * The Daily Beast * Time * BuzzFeed * Entertainment Weekly 


Staff Pick Badge
Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Riotous Black Girls, Troublesome Women, and Queer Radicals Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9780393357622
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - January 14th, 2020

Winner of the 2019 National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism
Winner of the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction
Winner of the 2020 Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction
Finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Memoir/Biography

"Exhilarating…A rich resurrection of a forgotten history." —Parul Sehgal, New York Times


Read Until You Understand: The Profound Wisdom of Black Life and Literature Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780393651904
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 14th, 2021

A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year in Nonfiction

A brilliant scholar imparts the lessons bequeathed by the Black community and its remarkable artists and thinkers.


The Devotion of Suspect X: A Detective Galileo Novel (Detective Galileo Series #1) Cover Image
By Keigo Higashino, Alexander O. Smith (Translated by)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250002693
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Minotaur Books - February 28th, 2012

Yasuko Hanaoka is a divorced, single mother who thought she had finally escaped her abusive ex-husband Togashi. When he shows up one day to extort money from her, threatening both her and her teenaged daughter Misato, the situation quickly escalates into violence and Togashi ends up dead on her apartment floor.


How Much of These Hills Is Gold: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780525537212
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Riverhead Books - April 6th, 2021

NEW YORK TIMES  NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR

WASHINGTON POST NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR

ONE OF BARACK OBAMA'S FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR

ONE OF NPR'S BEST BOOKS OF 2020 

LONGLISTED FOR THE 2020 BOOKER PRIZE

FINALIST FOR THE 2020 CENTER FOR FICTION FIRST NOVEL PRIZE


Long Division: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781982174828
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Scribner - June 1st, 2021

From Kiese Laymon, author of the critically acclaimed memoir Heavy, comes a “funny, astute, searching” (The Wall Street Journal) debut novel about Black teenagers that is a satirical exploration of celebrity, authorship, violence, religion, and coming of age in post-Katrina Mississippi.


American Estrangement: Stories Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9780393541236
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - August 10th, 2021

A New York Times Editors' Choice pick
One of Literary Hub's Most Anticipated Books of 2021

Stories that capture our times by “a young author who has already established himself as a unique American voice” (Elle).


Shelf Life: Chronicles of a Cairo Bookseller Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780374600181
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - October 5th, 2021

“As a bookseller, I loved Shelf Life for the chance to peer behind the curtain of Diwan, Nadia Wassef’s Egyptian bookstore—the way that the personal is inextricable from the professional, the way that failure and success are often lovers, the relationship between neighborhoods and books and life.