The Hippo


Apr 25, 2019








Wrap up a good read
Books to put under the tree this year


 The Hippo’s book reviewers shared some of the books they’d recommend as gifts for all kinds of readers, from fiction fans to history buffs.

For fiction lovers
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
This is one of my favorite books I read this year. It follows an Englishman named Harold Fry who’s convinced he must cross England on foot to hand-deliver a letter to his oldest friend in order to save her life from brain cancer. It shocks his wife, who’s forced to look at her husband in a new way, and the country, who flock to join him. — Kelly Sennott
And Every Morning The Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman
When you finish this book, you can’t help but sigh. It is the story of an old man, his grandchild and the grandfather’s dementia. In poetic language it attempts to explain what happens to the person when their mind begins to escape. At times heartbreaking but always stunningly beautiful, this book helps to ease the pain of those who are left behind. — Wendy Thomas
Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple
It’s Bad Moms, in book form, for the highly intelligent. — Jennifer Graham
Moonglow by Michael Chabon
This is a perfect gift for anyone who loved Chabon’s Pulitzer prize-winning novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay — along with any of Chabon’s other fantastic works. In Chabon’s latest work, which is presented as a memoir, the writer examines the lives of his maternal grandparents. — Jeff Mucciarone
Before the Fall by Noah Hawley
In Before the Fall, a plane carrying 11 rich people bound for Martha’s Vineyard crashes. Was it foul play? I don’t know, but I want to find out. Seems like a great choice for a mystery lover like me. — Jeff Mucciarone
For people who like poets
Upstream by Mary Oliver
Elegant and sometimes shocking essays on the wild life. Think Thoreau if he’d crawled on all fours through the woods and scrambled turtle eggs for his breakfast. — Jennifer Graham
Christmas at Eagle Pond by Donald Hall
As expected from a former poet laureate of the United States, Hall uses poetic language to recount his memories of a 1940s Christmas at his grandparents’ farm in rural New Hampshire. Christmas at Eagle Pond will bring you back to a simpler time when Christmas meant celebrating with family and friends and appreciating what you had. — Wendy Thomas
For biography fans
Belichick and Brady by Michael Holley
A deliciously intimate dissection of the most celebrated relationship since, well, Brady and Manning. — Jennifer Graham
The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from my Life by John le Carré 
Told by the author, one of the great spy novelists of all time, this audiobook gives the listener an inside look at le Carré’s own life — he cultivated his own writing while working for British Secret Intelligence Service. Several of le Carré’s works have been adapted for film, including Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and The Constant Gardener. A great gift for fans of espionage novels and those looking for that glimpse inside a writer’s own life. Or, you can give it to me.  — Jeff Mucciarone
Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen
The Washington Post says Springsteen’s memoir “delivers enough punch and laughter, sorrow and succor to satisfy your soul and still, somehow, leave you wanting more.” Any Springsteen fans out there in need of a Christmas gift? — Jeff Mucciarone
For middle-schoolers
Hundred Percent by Karen Romano Young
Filled with lovely language, a true voice, and compelling age-appropriate situations, this charming middle-grade book introduces us to Tink, a 12-year-old girl who is going through the typical tween angsty phase of figuring out who she is while wanting to fit in with the cool kids. Romano Young does an excellent job of introducing a new audience to what it’s like to be the odd duck who is just on the outside of the popular group. — Wendy Thomas
For foodies
Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal
This book would be a fun read for the foodie in your life; it follows a food prodigy named Eva who, against all odds, becomes the star chef behind a legendary and secretive pop-up supper club. It’s a satire, poking fun at foodie culture (does locally sourced mean you got it at the general store down the street?), with each chapter telling the story of a single dish and character. — Kelly Sennott
For history buffs
Rogue Heroes by Ben Macintyre 
In this work of nonfiction, Macintyre takes a close look at the history and evolution of military “special forces.” Any lover of military history would appreciate finding Rogue Heroes under the tree.  — Jeff Mucciarone 

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