My first four recommendations are books edited or written by Joy Harjo, our first Native American poet laureate (2020). All of them together would make an excellent gift set. This anthology, edited by Harjo, is a comprehensive 2020 anthology of Native American poetry, including Oregon’s well known Ed Edmo.
Isabel Wilkerson won the Pulitzer Prize for The Warmth of Other Suns. The New York Times labels Caste “an instant American classic and...the keynote nonfiction book of the American century this far.” Wilkerson provokes the “dominant” caste in our country with unsettling comparisons between the untouchables in India’s caste system, the Jews and minorities in Nazi Germany, and the placement of African Americans in the past and present in the United States.
A thoroughly enjoyable biography of our powerful House Speaker, her childhood, her early adulthood as a mother of five, and the way she later was drawn into running for office, becoming a congresswoman and highly skilled Speaker of the House.
As a reader who has loved all her historical mysteries, the Maisie Dobbs series, and the fascinating life stories of Jacqueline Winspear's own life related while speaking at Broadway Books, I am really taken with this memoir. The quality of her writing style is steps above most memoirs, and I loved the focus on her parents’ challenging lives and her own childhood.
Extensively researched by the Harvard Professor and Pulitzer Prize winner for history, The Washington Post headlines this as a “deeper, worthier, and more interesting JFK.” A customer of ours who is a prolific reader of history, and has read many JFK biographies, states, “It’s the single best biography I’ve ever read.....and I laughed a lot.”
The 2020 prequel to Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. The same Broadway Books customer who recommended the JFK biorapghy lists this as one of his top reads of 2020 and describes it as a “contrast to the dark ages and a wonderful love story and real page turner.”
The newest children’s book from the Fan brothers, the authors and fabulous illustrators of The Night Gardener and Ocean Meets Sky. Many images to marvel at on each page while reading aloud with a child, the story emphasizes working together and not having to fit in.