Buy books for the holidays — THESE books

IMG_2023It’s been a book year in the Snoek-Brown household. I already posted about the book-shopping my wife and I did over the Thanksgiving weekend, but we’ve recently picked up several more books — some as gifts, some as door prizes, some as new purchases of our own — and yesterday, as I was straightening up the house, I stacked up all the books lying around the living room and realized we’d amassed 20 books in just the past couple of weeks!

Which got me thinking how many books we’ve picked up over the past year in general, and gang, it’s a ton. Easily a few dozen, and that’s on top of the books stacked up in the living room. And while many of those books are older, things we’ve long wanted or have been missing from our collection, a whole bunch of those books are brand new, just published this year by friends of mine.

So I decided to make a list of all the books in 2013 by people I know. (I say “all the people” — but I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few. I might have to post a follow-up list in a few days!)

Consider this your shopping list. Pick as many as you want or can afford; give liberally as gifts to friends and family. I haven’t got round to all of these — some I haven’t bought yet myself, and some I’ve bought but haven’t got around to reading yet — but many of these I can personally recommend. And, actually, I could recommend all of them, because I know some great writers, folks, and I trust that these books are all great even if I haven’t read them yet.

Below is a list of the books, by sort-of-genre, but it’s just a list. My librarian wife likes to say that we all judge books by their covers, regardless the usual admonition against it, and she’s right — sometimes we grab books on instinct, based partly on what they look like — so below the list, I’ve made a gallery of all the books I can find covers for. You can also find most of these on a special bookshelf I’ve created in Goodreads.

Academic  |  Fiction  |  Humor  |  Memoir  |  Poetry

Cover gallery


David Gillota, Ethnic Humor in Multiethnic America

Laura E. Thomason, The Matrimonial Trap: Eighteenth-Century Women Writers Redefine Marriage


Stevan Allred, A Simplified Map of the Real World

Kassten Alonso, The Pet Thief

David S. Atkinson, Bones Buried in Dirt

Gabriel Blackwell, The Natural Dissolution of Fleeting-Improvised-Men: The Last Letter of H. P. Lovecraft

Christopher Bowen, We Were Giants

Matthew Burnside, Book of If & Ever (proceeds from this book go to the Make a Wish Foundation)

Matthew Burnside, Escapologies

Matthew Burnside, Infinity’s Jukebox

James Claffey, Blood a Cold Blue

Justin Lawrence Daugherty, Whatever Don’t Drown Will Always Rise

Monica Drake, The Stud Book (out now in hardback; out in paperback Dec. 31)

James H. Duncan, The Cards We Keep (a portion of each sale will go to the Food Bank of New York City this Christmas)

Ben Patrick Eden, The Tower of Sarah

Ruth Tenzer Feldman, The Ninth Day

Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly, The Tilted World

Danny M. Hoey, Jr, The Butterfly Lady

Ben Larken, The Man in the Wall: The Hollows, Part Two

Kristina McMorris, The Pieces We Keep

Brad Pauquette (ed), Best of Ohio Short Stories

Misti Rainwater-Lites, Bullshit Rodeo

Kevin Sampsell, This is Between Us

Michael J. Seidlinger, The Laughter of Strangers

Samuel Snoek-Brown (yep — that’s me!), Box Cutters

Ben Tanzer, Orphans

Susan Tepper, The Merrill Diaries

Nathaniel Tower, Nagging Wives, Foolish Husbands (should be out in time for Christmas)

Meg Tuite, Bound By Blue

Meg Tuite, Her Skin Is a Costume

Elissa Wald, The Secret Lives of Married Women

Ryan Werner, Murmuration


Mark Russell and Shannon Wheeler, God Is Disappointed In You


Nicole J. Georges, Calling Dr. Laura

Eva Hunter, A Little Mormon Girl


Bruce Bond, Choir of the Wells

Russell Brickey, Cold War Evening News

Anhvu Buchanan, The Disordered

Natalie Giarratano, Leaving Clean

Dena Rash Guzman, Life Cycle

Jeffrey Hecker, Instructions for the Orgy

Marie Marshall, I Am Not a Fish

JP Reese, Dead Letters

David Shattuck, Invisible Cities

Noel Sloboda, Our Rarer Monsters

John Sibley Williams, Controlled Hallucinations

Published by Samuel Snoek-Brown

I write fiction and teach college writing and literature. I'm the author of the story collection There Is No Other Way to Worship Them, the novel Hagridden, and the flash fiction chapbooks Box Cutters and Where There Is Ruin.

10 thoughts on “Buy books for the holidays — THESE books

  1. What a great, resounding cheer of literary joy this list is, Samuel. I have a few of these on my bedside reading stand, a few on my to-buy list, a few on my gift list, multiple copies of one of these in boxes in my house (being a publisher), and I will have to look into the others. Thanks for sharing.

    1. You published Stevan Allred’s A Simplified Map of the Real World, yes? I’m kicking myself that we ran out of funds before I could grab that at the Oregon authors event at the Historical Society after Thanksgiving! I’ve been hearing good buzz, and I love story cycles (I’m teaching a class on them now). That book is WAY up my to-buy list (I might try to wrangle a copy of Christmas), and I’m looking forward to reading it. Thanks for publishing it!

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