This Season’s Biggest Books Make This Season’s Best Gifts

Christmas is just around the corner, and shopping days are dwindling rapidly. If you’re in the market for surefire hits, gifts that will delight everyone on your list, look no further than this roundup. We’ve collected the biggest books of the season, the ones that are flying off the shelves and getting rave reviews from critics and readers alike. Don’t forget to add a few to your own bag as you’re shopping for friends and family!

Hope to Die, by James Patterson
Cross My Heartthe previous book in James Patterson’s Alex Cross series, ended on a cliffhanger that left fans reeling. Where was Cross’s family? They’d been abducted by serial killer Thierry Mulch—were they alive? How would Cross get to them in time? True fans, rejoice. At last the answers are here in Hope to Die, which pits Cross against Mulch, one of the most sinister and clever villains in fiction. The stakes have never been higher: if Cross fails, his family will perish. Patterson’s latest nail-biter will have you turning pages feverishly until you reach the thrilling and satisfying ending.

The World of Ice & Fire, by George R.R. Martin
While fantasy readers have long loved Martin’s epic work, the release of HBO’s addictive Game of Thrones, an adaptation of his A Song of Ice and Fire series, introduced thousands more to the revered fantasy author’s brilliantly imagined world of brutal violence and mortal combat, great heroism and old magic. While Martin has often teased readers (and viewers) with remembered glimpses of the dark and tangled past leading to the events of his series, this book is the first time he, with help from creators Elio M. García, Jr. and Linda Antonsson, has truly explored the early history of the Seven Kingdoms. The World of Ice & Fire will complete the library of any superfan who’s eagerly waiting for Martin to release book 6.

Gray Mountain, by John Grisham
When hotshot Manhattan lawyer Samantha Kofer finds herself laid off in the early days of the 2008 recession, she doesn’t expect her yearlong exile in an Appalachian legal aid clinic to be anything but a way to kill time while plotting her return to New York. But working in the tiny town of Brady, Virginia, brings her closer to the actual machinations of the legal system than she’s ever been before, and she soon finds herself entangled in a high-stakes Big Coal case that could prove deadly. Grisham takes readers far, far away from the big city in this propulsive tale.

The Escape, by David Baldacci
Military investigator John Puller tackles his most difficult case yet in this tense follow-up to Zero Day and The Forgotten. He’s faced tough cases and serious threats to national security before, but this time, he must square off against his own brother, formerly convicted of treason, now an escapee from a notoriously inescapable military prison. As he pieces together clues to explain his sibling’s impossible jailbreak, Puller must also figure out who else is pursuing his brother and why. The stakes have never been higher, or more personal.

Revival, by Stephen King
After terrifying readers and showing off his literary chops with the serial killer thriller Mr. Mercedes earlier this year, Stephen King is back with another riveting and bone-chilling read. Reverend Charles Jacobs is beloved in his small New England town, until the day tragedy strikes his family and he renounces God, then is banished. Jamie Morton, a boy who lives for his music, shares a secret bond with Jacobs. Decades after the tragedy, the two meet again, and a Devil’s pact is born. A great way to chill your bones without taking a step outside this winter.

Killing Patton, by Bill O’Reilly
General George S. Patton was respected, feared, loved, and despised in equal measure for his brash bravado in commanding U.S. forces during World War II, but it’s hard to imagine such a dedicated and accomplished leader might one day become a target of an assassination by his own government. Yet that is the very scenario explored in the latest entry in Bill O’Reilly’s best-selling Killing series. Through a detailed account of the latter days of Patton’s storied career and an exploration of the mysterious circumstances surrounding his death in December 1945, O’Reilly paints an indelible portrait of a great, controversial man. Like the previous volumes in series, Killing Patton makes history accessible, exciting, and eminently readable.

Make It Ahead, by Ina Garten
Let’s raise a glass to Ina Garten, the beloved superchef who doesn’t want you to stress out over a dinner party ever again. Whether your giftee uses this new collection of make-ahead recipes to feed a crowd, or whether he just wants to put together a week’s worth of dinners on a lazy Sunday afternoon, this book will be his guide to healthy, delicious eating that won’t cut into precious post-work relaxing time. You may want to buy yourself a copy while you’re at it.

41: A Portrait of My Father, by George W. Bush
John Quincy Adams, the first (and, for 175 years, only) son of a U.S. president to take the office himself, never wrote about his father’s legacy—a fact historians have long mourned. George W. Bush hasn’t let his own account go unrecorded. In his illuminating new book, the president has created a fascinating hybrid of memoir and biography, an intimate account of the life and political career of George H.W. Bush that is also a revealing look at a man who grew up in the shadow of a great leader, only to emerge into the light himself. This unprecedented book instantly ranks with the year’s must-read works of nonfiction.

Yes Please, by Amy Poehler
Filled with such nuggets of wisdom as “nothing is anyone’s business” and “nobody looks stupid when they are having fun,” the debut memoir of comedian, writer, and feminist inspiration Poehler shouldn’t be missed. From her first, ecstatic brush with improv (during a grade-school production of The Wizard of Oz) to her right-now salad days as a producer, she tells her story with the wit and weirdness you expect from the creator of such indelible characters as Parks and Recreation‘s Leslie Knope.

MONEY Master the Game, by Tony Robbins
How can I achieve financial freedom for my family? It’s a question that keeps many of us up at night. In his first book in two decades, beloved life coach and Oprah favorite Tony Robbins helps readers answer it. After interviewing more than 50 wildly successful people, including Warren Buffett and Steve Forbes, Robbins has boiled down their advice to seven simple steps. His approachable writing style illuminates complicated financial concepts with easy-to-understand metaphors and stories.

ArtFolds READ
ArtFolds are both beautiful editions of books and permanent pieces of art. Through the magic of page folding, your book is transformed into a paper sculpture, perfect as an accent piece alongside stacks of your favorite reads. With ArtFolds, Charlotte Brontë’s steel-spined governess Jane Eyre becomes a daily reminder to “Read” (not that we needed one).

Leaving Time, by Jodi Picoult
In one of the most unusual, ambitious novels of her career, Jodi Picoult shares the story of Jenna, a zoological researcher in search of her missing mother, who disappeared in the wake of a terrible accident. With the aid of unexpected allies, including a down-on-her-luck psychic and a world-weary private eye, Jenna searches for an answer to a mystery that turns out to be far more than she expected, and Picoult draws readers into a captivating mystery that shares all the qualities of her best books: characters dealing with the messy emotions of real life, a riveting plot that delivers on a compelling premise, and an emotional through-line that carries you through to the last compelling page.

Edge of Eternity, by Ken Follett
Ken Follett closes out his Century Trilogy in grand fashion with this epic conclusion to the odyssey of five interrelated families across the 20th century. This volume opens in the turbulent 1960s and proceeds through the excesses of the 1980s, along the way tackling political upheaval (from the Cuban Missile Crisis to the fall of the Berlin Wall), assassinations (from JFK to MLK),  the fall of a president, and the rise of rock and roll. Captivating in both its illustration of history and its depiction of real flesh-and-blood characters, this is a worthy end to one of the most ambitious literary feats in recent memory.

The Burning Room, by Michael Connelly
Harry Bosch is back, and he’s facing his strangest case yet in the latest installment of this gripping procedural series. Paired with a rookie partner, the veteran detective must solve a murder nine years in the making when the victim of a drive-by shooting finally succumbs to his injuries nearly a decade after he was struck by a stray bullet. As they piece together the clues in this most unusual investigation, Bosch and his inexperienced colleague uncover a conspiracy involving another cold case—an act of arson that left 20 children dead. Connelly’s fans will relish this page-turning tale, and the flawed but admirable protagonist at its center.

Full Force and Effect, by Tom Clancy, Mark Greaney
Jack Ryan, Tom Clancy’s iconic character, is back in a new novel by Mark Greaney. Ryan stares down villains ripped from the headlines: corrupt North Koreans, Mexican drug gangs, and rogue freelance spies. Meanwhile, his weapons, technology, and tactics have all evolved with the times, making this installment feel as fresh and fascinating as his 30-year-old debut.

The Cinderella Murder, by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke
The first in a new suspense series, The Cinderella Murder follows a TV producer, Laurie Moran, whose new reality drama investigates cold cases. One such case concerns Susan Dempsey, a beautiful UCLA student who turned up dead—and who might have been murdered by a Hollywood celeb or a tech billionaire. This page-turning read from two bestselling authors will delight anyone who enjoys thrillers, ripped-from-the-headline shows, or fascinating protagonists.

Flesh & Blood, by Patricia Cornwell
Penny for your thoughts, Dr. Kay Scarpetta? Our favorite forensic pathologist’s daydreams of a relaxing Florida vacation with hubby Benton Wesley are thrown out the window when she’s sent a threatening email, then finds seven heads-up, freshly polished pennies all dated 1981 on her garden wall. Kay’s given little time to ponder these bizarre events before she’s thrown into a case involving a murdered high school teacher, a tweet reporting the murder 45 minutes before it took place, and a series of killings in New Jersey that seem to be connected.

The Skinnytaste Cookbook, by Gina Homolka
Blogger Gina Homolka’s first book features beautiful photography of 150 recipes that combine good nutrition and flavor with lower calorie counts, such as Breakfast Tostadas and Slow-Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup. This is how you eat better without depriving yourself.

America: Farm to Table, by Mario Batali
Celebrity chef Mario Batali’s newest cookbook, America: Farm to Table, will remind you what a fabulous teacher he was onMolto Mario, explaining techniques and the origins of different kinds of Italian cooking. In it he does the same for regional American cuisine, sharing recipes from his chef friends inspired by food grown all over the country. This makes a great gift for the person in your life who has a backyard garden and likes to take advantage of the bounty of tomatoes, greens, and squash they haul in every year.


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