It’s been eons since the publishing world produced a year of such majestic proportions, and it seems absurd not to give friends novels for holiday presents. Though two of these books are available in paper, they are all available from bookstores — and of course online — in hardback, too.
Books: Fiction Gift Picks
Three Books to Give for the Holidays
Monday, December 30, 2013
The best American novel about America written in decades, Ben Fountain’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk combines all the elements of our country’s epic, ignoble and amoral obsessions — foreign interventions, Dallas Cowboys football, sex, and the nightmares of the family romance — and puts them in a riveting package that gloriously observes the Aristotelian unity of place and time. The novel about a troop of Iraqi War vets back from the fray to see a Thanksgiving football game grabs you from the first page and doesn’t let go ’til the last hurrah.
From America, we go to England, where Hilary Mantel won her second Man Booker Prize for her second installment (the first won, too) of her Thomas Cromwell/Henry VIII series: This one is called Bringing Up the Bodies and rarely has the historical novel lived up to a title so well. Nobody I know writes with the same elliptical precision.