Monday, December 12, 2011

Books I'm Not Recommending for Christmas

It’s that time of the year when I don’t recommend books for Christmas. Books have always been a personal thing for me, and I usually hesitate, and hesitate long, before I buy a book for someone else, unless they’ve expressed a desire for it.

That said, I can say there are a number of books I thoroughly enjoyed reading this year, and even though I’m not recommending them, I do think others – a lot of others – would enjoy them as well. They would definitely fall into the “best books I read in 2011” list.

One note: some of the titles below appeared first or only in their ebook versions. The industry is a-changing.


Paradise Valley by Dale Cramer.

Lime Creek by Joe Henry.

Bright’s Passage by Josh Ritter.

The Emperor of Lies by Steve Sem-Sandburg.

The Devil’s in the Cows by Greg Sullivan.

The Opposite of Art by Athol Dickson.

Paper Angels by Billy Coffey.

Dancing Priest by Yours Truly (I had to include it, even though I’m biased)


Maximal Reserve by Sam Batterman.

Darkness Follows by Mike Dellosso.

Nick of Time by Tim Downs.

Gravestone by Travis Thrasher.



Neruda’s Memoirs by Maureen Doallas.

Delicate Machinery Suspended by Anne Doe Overstreet.

Underworld: the Modern Orpheus by Matthew Duggan.

Another Hotel Room (new edition) by Steven Marty Grant.

The Back Chamber by Donald Hall.

Saint Sinatra by Angela Alaimo O’Donnell

Why the House is Made of Gingerbread by Ava Leavell Haymon.

Kingdom Come by John Estes.

The 93rd Name of God by Anny Krugovoy Silver


One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp.

All is Grace by Brennan Manning.

Discovering Advent by Mark Roberts.

Man Shoes by Tom Watson.

My Amish Roots by Shawn Smucker.

The Four Holy Gospels by Makoto Fujimura.

Rumors of Water by L.L. Barkat.

Words Made Fresh by Larry Woiwide.

Photograph: Old Books by Petr Kratochvil via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission.


Maureen said...

How kind of you to list my poetry collection. A lovely surprise on this cold morning. Thank you.

Fortunately, I have read a number of the books but by no means all. Your list would keep anyone in sufficient books throughout 2012. Will never catch up to you.

Btw, hope you might write about that Storr book.

Sheila said...

Thank you, Glynn. This list will keep me busy for a while.

Jennifer @ said...

What a great list of non-recommended, recommended reads. :)

All is Grace and a certain book about a dancing priest are on my list.

C. S. Lakin said...

Thanks for recommending my fantasy series! I'm glad I've made you a new convert to fantasy. My next one, The Unraveling of Wentwater is all about the power of words and how they knit our world together. It'll be out in spring and I'll be sure to send a copy to you in about a month for sneak peek! Thanks again! Susanne Lakin

nance marie said...

rule #1 of book buying-
never, never, never buy a self-help book for a loved one.

Karen Kyle Ericson said...

hahaha nance! Good idea. Just wanted to let you know I'm getting a Kindle for Christmas and yours will be my first book to download. Not that I would peek...

S. Etole said...

A few of these are on my "someday" list.

Jerry said...

Thanks Glynn, I have several of these and yet they be a sittin' this time of year...I really want to get through the Bonhoeffer book over the holidays.

H. Gillham said...

I always like to know what others liked ....

Thanks for giving out this list.

Sherry said...

I have your novel on my Kindle. I don't know when I'll get to it. And I'm going to make some non-recommendations for you, too--in the comments at the Saturday Review---because fools rush in . . .