The ten commandments of book giving, one of which especially bears pointing out.
9. Support the midlist. Many good novelists, most poets and nearly all scholars sell only a few thousand copies of their books, if they're lucky. Blockbuster titles and brand-name authors will always be with us, but the books that matter in the long run, the books that will truly speak to our very innermost being, can easily be overlooked. Browse through the fiction shelves. Pause at the poetry section. Buy a few of these books, and you'll be a patron of the arts.
There's nothing wrong with opening the doors to something down the block a bit. Most brand name authors are exactly that-brands. The midlist stuff is more fun to give and definitely better to receive.
With that in mind, a few novels of note from '08
Andrew Sean Greer-Story of a Marriage
Sebastian Barry-Secret Scripture
Andrew Pyper-Killing Circle
Good to a Fault-Marina Endicott
Steig Larsson-Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Posted by David