With the holiday shopping season officially in full swing, we have tons of recommendations to offer over the next few weeks for the book lovers on your list. To kick things off, we’re going to spend this week taking a look at some of the books we and our indie bookselling colleagues across the country are particularly fond of and think will do nicely wrapped up with a little festive paper and tied with a bow. There’s even a handy list of all of our favorite titles in one place, if you care to take a look. Some of these picks you may already know and love, others may have slipped under your radar. Sharing our love of these titles is the best way we know how to say Thanks for Shopping Indie this holiday season.
It’s hard to believe it’s been just over a year since Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus hit shelves; it feels as if we’ve been recommending this book our whole lives! If you know a reader who enjoyed the magic of Harry Potter, the circus setting of Water for Elephants, and any vibrant love story set inside a sweeping plot told with visually stunning details that transport you to a whole other world, this is the book to give. The Night Circus has developed a tremendous following of devoted raveurs, many of us here among them.
Here’s an excerpt from what Alison had to say about the book when she first read it:
“Le Cirque appears out of nowhere, opening at dusk and closing at dawn. Filled with only white and black, the performances found inside seem impossible. As, indeed, they are. As the contest between Celia and Marco continues, each devises more outlandish and fantastical displays of magic than the next.
Erin Morgenstern’s writing is beautiful in its descriptions, transporting you into this Circus so that you will never want to leave. I find myself imagining it still, wondering what it would be like to bite into a caramel apple and walk around the tents, peeking inside them all.”
For those who have read and loved this novel, you’ll be delighted to know the publisher has made available a new scene Morgenstern wrote for the book. She also answered a few questions on behalf of her publisher, which we’re happy to share with you here:
Q: Where did you find the inspiration for The Night Circus’ fantastic setting? How did you keep that inspiration alive as you wrote the novel?
A: The setting rather appropriately just appeared in my head. I was working on a different story and got bored with it and sent my characters to the circus in order to make something, anything interesting happen. I knew as soon as I thought of it that it was a circus with a lot of separate tents and a bonfire in a center courtyard and it was immediately so interesting that I abandoned that other story and focused on the circus instead. I knew what it felt like so it was easy to keep that tone and feeling alive, though it took quite a while to find the story within the space.
Q: Many classics have memorable opening lines that make the quote, novel, and author all instantaneously recognizable. How did you come up with such a memorable first line for The Night Circus?
A: I actually had a long, rambling paragraph at first and then when I first started self-editing I realized that it could be cut down to that one simple sentiment. It was one of those moments when I figured out that less was more, though of course I had to get through the more first.
Q: Some authors write in bookshops, while some have a designated place. What surrounds you when you write?
A: Kittens. I write at home, I’m not a coffee shop writer (I feel obliged to buy too much coffee and end up over-caffeinated) and my area of Boston is sadly lacking in bookstores (moving soon, hopefully to a more book-filled neighborhood) so I end up either in my office or on my couch with my laptop. Kittens aren’t allowed in the office because Tessa likes to chew electrical cords, so they sit outside the glass door and look forlorn, but when I write on the couch she’s usually snuggled nearby. As I type this, she is flopped under my arm, though she is also fond of sitting on my feet.
Thanks for Shopping Indie! For more picks from BookPeople and independent booksellers across the country, visit our website.