Many people enjoying receiving books as Christmas gifts. Since most people have at least a few days off around Christmas, it’s a great time to sit by the fire (if you have a fireplace…I don’t!), enjoy a cup of hot chocolate or tea and dive into a new book. Books can be given as Christmas gifts to family members and friends, as host or hostess gifts or even Secret Santa gifts! And of course, books are the gift that keeps on giving since they can be passed along to others once you’ve read them. I have summarized some of the best books for Christmas 2022 that I think you will enjoy giving or receiving. You may be interested in reading “Luxury Gifts for Women for Christmas 2022“.
The Sleeping Car Porter by Suzette Mayr
Taking place on a train travelling across western Canada in 1929, The Sleeping Car Porter mixes themes of racial oppression, homosexuality, and the paranormal. At 209 pages, this book, which won The Giller Prize in 2022, is the perfect read over the holidays. R.T. Baxter has aspirations of going to dental school: he just needs several hundred dollars before he has enough money to attend. In the meantime, he works as a porter and finds himself catering to passengers that include a psychic, a cross-dressing entertainer, and a demanding grandmother and grandchild. He and his fellow porters must put up with inhumane treatment including being required to work without adequate sleep and receiving demerit points and possible dismissal for unwarranted passenger complaints. Mayr’s exquisite writing is not only rich with metaphor, but demonstrates a sophisticated restraint in letting the story unfold naturally. This is a book you’ll want to read at least twice.
The Sleeping Car Porter by Suzette Mayr is published by Coach House Books.
The Mindful Photographer by David Ulrich
As a blogger, I’m always trying to learn to take better photos and video. That’s why I was excited to read The Mindful Photographer by David Ulrich. Ulrich, a photographer and photography teacher with over 40 years’ experience, encourages the reader to give thought to why you are taking a photo, the messages you are trying to convey, as well as your intended audience. He also challenges us to venture beyond the norm by taking photos that reveal the unexpected. On the phenomenon of selfies, Ulrich states that most people receive a boost of dopamine when their selfie photos receive a lot of likes and comments. But he cautions that likes and comments are not real love and that we must hold our egos in check and “focus on the reality and needs of others, and of society itself.” As Ulrich wisely states, “The photographs you take say as much or more about you than they do the subject.” This book contains many photos, both colour and black-and-white, to help illustrate his points. I found this book very helpful in giving me a deeper perspective when taking photos.
The Mindful Photographer is published by Rocky Nook. ISBN No. is 978-1-68198-841-2.
This refreshing novel offers a unique premise: Sophie Go, a professional matchmaker is trying to establish her career in Toronto. There is one big problem, however: Although Sophie took her training in Shanghai, she never graduated. When she tries to pass herself off as accredited, her mother outs her at a party. Due to the difficulty in attracting clients when she is unaccredited, Sophie decides to focus her client base on the older generation – the Chinese senior population living in her condo building! Sophie sets some strict deadlines to acquire several paying clients; otherwise, she knows she will be forced to move back home under the roof of her critical and demanding mother. Although Sophie is deeply interested in providing the perfect love match for her clients, her own love life is on life support. The author has added a touch of magical realism: Sophie and her fellow matchmakers can “see” successful connections, which adds a whimsical element to the novel. Lim has also put a lot of thought into developing each character’s past, how it affects their present and their unique quirks, which further adds to the novel’s charm. You’ll definitely be routing for the lovable Sophie as she navigates her own path.
Sophie Go’s Lonely Hearts Club is published by Penguin Random House. ISBN No.: 978-0-593-33561-1
This cookbook from New York Times bestselling author Alton Brown presents classic and updated recipes, as well as clear instructions on how to prepare them. This hardcover book is something you’ll want to keep on your coffee table (if you have one) as it’s fascinating to pick up and read about cooking instruction. Each of the recipes has an accompanying photo, which is a plus in my opinion since I like to see what the end result is. Brown will also go into detail about particular ingredients, cooking methods and cooking equipment. Some of the recipes require specific cooking equipment that I just don’t have in my kitchen (and I do have a fair amount of equipment!) Recipes in the cookbook that include fat usually use butter as opposed to olive oil. Some of Brown’s recipes that I can’t wait to make include Chicken Piccata, Quinoa and Broccoli Casserole, Overnight Coconut Oats and The Final Pot Roast. Dessert fans will learn how to make the perfect pastry cream, chocolate glaze and buttercream frosting. There are several gluten-free recipes and you’ll even learn how to prepare the popular Korean dish, Bibimbap.
Good Eats4: The Final Years is published by Abrams. ISBN No.: 9-781419-753527.
One of the new Canadian fiction books for summer 2022 that is included on many most anticipated book lists is Anne Lazurko’s What Is Written on the Tongue. This is another book with a narrative that begins during World War II. The epic story follows Sam, a 20-year-old Dutch resident who is sent to a prison camp by the Nazis for evading the draft. After surviving harrowing conditions at the camp and witnessing several friends die, Sam manages to be selected to work on a farm before the Allies free him. A few years later, he is drafted and sent to the Dutch-colonized Island of Java in the Dutch East Indies to control the uprising of the Indonesian independence movement. As Sam witnesses his Dutch comrades committing similar acts against the Indonesian people as the Nazis formerly did, we see Sam grappling with moral questions of right and wrong, as well as learning about the loyalty of true friendship. This historical fiction novel is difficult to read at times due to the inhuman acts and extreme deprivation of war, but it also vividly presents the extreme capacity of the human spirit to love and hate his fellow beings.
What Is Written on the Tongue by Anne Lazurko is published by ECW Press and is $24.95. ISBN: 978-1-77041-619-2
I hope you enjoyed reading about the best books for Christmas 2022. Let me know in the comment section which books you’ll be giving for Christmas this year.