2017 Holiday List

To round off the year and ring in 2018, we've compiled a list of best new and classic books to read and give this holiday season. They're available wrapped for last minute-shoppers!

General Nonfiction

Vogue Living: Country, City, Coast
Hamish Bowles and Chloe Malle
An exquisite collection of homes and gardens that have appeared in Vogue over the last decade ready to inspire the decorator in all of us.

The First Major: The Inside Story of the 2016 Ryder Cup
John Feinstein
Days after the death of golfing legend Arnold Palmer, the 2016 Ryder Cup proved to be one of the most tumultuous in the competition’s history.

S Is for Southern: A Guide to the South, from Absinthe to Zydeco
The editors of Garden and Gun 
An illustrated encyclopedia of all things Southern gathers such writers as Jon Meacham and Julia Reed to cover the traditions and contemporary culture of the American South.

Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children’s Literature as an Adult
Bruce Handy
From Louisa May Alcott to Maurice Sendak, Handy explores the creation and staying power of some of children’s literature’s classics.

The Living Forest: A Journey into the Heart of the Woods
Robert Llewellyn and Joan Maloof
Robert Llewellyn’s nature photography illustrates and accompanies lovely essays by Joan Maloof on the science behind the beauty.

Poetry of Place: The New Architecture and Interiors of McAlpine
Bobby McAlpine and Susan Sully
Featuring twenty recent projects of McAlpine, the celebrated architecture and interior design firm, this collection of photographs and essays offers a glimpse of the fantastical and classic.

Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process
John McPhee
Picking apart his own work, John McPhee offers his personal reflections and guidance on the art of writing and revising nonfiction.

Smitten Kitchen Every Day: Triumphant and Unfussy New Favorites
Deb Perelman
Simple to make but beautiful and delicious when made, these recipes provide perfect meals whether cooking for the holidays or for oneself on a quiet evening.

Hitler in Los Angeles: How Jews Foiled Nazi Plots against Hollywood and America
Steven J. Ross
The Nazis made plans to kill Jewish members of the film industry and sabotage military installations on the West coast, but a network of spies lead by Leon Lewis worked from the 1930s to the end of WWII to stop them.

Wait, What? and Life’s Other Essential Questions
James E. Ryan
Based on the popular commencement address, the incoming president of the University of Virginia James E. Ryan discusses some of life’s most important questions and how to answer them.

The River of Consciousness
Oliver Sacks
The last book overseen by Oliver Sacks, this collection of essays covers topics from Darwinian evolution to creativity using Sacks’s three great intellectual heroes: Darwin, Freud, and William James.

A Charm of Goldfinches and Other Wild Gatherings
Matt Sewell
A delightfully illustrated guide to groups of animals divided into land, air, and water. Learn to name a business of ferrets, a bellowing of bullfinches, and a shiver of sharks.

The Cooking Gene
Michael W. Twitty
Renowned food historian Michael W. Twitty traces the history of the Southern table through three generations of his own family, from Africa to slavery in America to freedom.

The Inner Life of Animals: Love, Grief, and Compassion–Surprising Observations of a Hidden World
Peter Wohlleben
By closely observing the behavior of animals – the devotion of pigs, the intelligence of magpies, the grief of deer – Peter Wohlleben gives us a look into the minds of our fellow creatures.

Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News
Kevin Young
Telling a particular and peculiar American history, Kevin Young examines everything from the humbug of Barnum to the “alternative facts” of today.

Biography and Memoir

Cutting Back: My Apprenticeship in the Gardens of Kyoto
Leslie Buck
Leslie Buck put much of her life on hold to pursue her passion for Japanese gardens, moving to Kyoto & becoming the first American woman to join one of the city’s oldest and most acclaimed landscape companies, Uetoh Zoen.

Going into Town: A Love Letter to New York
Roz Chast
Roz Chast, author of Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant? puts her love for her native city on display in these laugh-out-loud comics.

The Wine Lover’s Daughter
Anne Fadiman
Anne Fadiman fills this touching memoir with her love for her father, acclaimed literary critic and editor Clifton Fadiman, and with her father’s love of wine.

Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine
Joe Hagan
Joe Hagan paints an honest portrait of one of the most influential men of the twentieth century, Jann Wenner, “in all of his excess and glory,” and of Wenner’s magazine, Rolling Stone.

Leonardo da Vinci
Walter Isaacson
Leonardo da Vinci was an artist and scientist; Walter Isaacson shows how these two seemingly disparate identities were inextricable and continue to be essential elements of innovation today.

An American Family: A Memoir of Hope and Sacrifice
Khizr Khan
“I am an American patriot not because I was born here but because I was not.” A gold-star parent and local Charlottesvillian, Khizr Khan tells a uniquely American story.

l’appart: The Delights and Disasters of Making My Paris Home
David Lebovitz
Renowned chef and author of The Sweet Life in Paris David Lebovitz finally bought an apartment, but that only began his wonderful and hectic journey into building his Parisian home.

What She Ate: Six Remarkable Women & the Food that Tells Their Stories
Laura Shapiro
This collection of biographical sketches of incredible women, including Dorothy Wordsworth and Eleanor Roosevelt, gives us a new way to meet them: at the dining room table.

Friends Divided: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson
Gordon S. Wood
Gordon S. Wood follows the friendship of Jefferson and Adams through all its tumult and matter


The Power
Naomi Alderman
Women around the world suddenly develop the power to hurt or kill with just a touch, completely rewriting the power-dynamics of gender.

Dinner at the Center of the Earth
Nathan Englander
The stories of a spy held prisoner, his guard, an American woman in Paris, a young Palestinian man in Berlin, and a dying Israeli general come together in this novel about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Annotated African American Folktales
Edited by Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Maria Tatar
Bringing together well-known classics and tales not seen since the Harlem Renaissance, Henry Louis Gates Jr. & Maria Tatar trace the history of African American folklore and revolutionize the canon.

Uncommon Type
Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks’s first collection of short stories is intelligent and heartwarming. The stories, whether about a man who keeps bowling perfect games or a millionaire and his executive assistant finding romance in a down and out hotel, have something for everyone.

Annalena McAfee
In this metatextual and “sweet and quaint novel” taking place on a fictional island off the coast of Scotland, Mhaira McPhail, leaving a crumbling marriage in New York with her daughter, has been commissioned to write the biography of the island’s great poet, Grigor McWatt.

The War Bride’s Scrapbook: A Novel in Pictures
Caroline Preston
Lila Jerome is more interested in architecture than romance, but when she falls unexpectedly in love with an army engineer she must create a new life for herself in America while her new husband is an ocean away.

Conversations with Friends
Sally Rooney
Frances, a 21-year-old halfheartedly pursuing a writing career while studying in Dublin, struggles to control her relationships with her girlfriend Bobbi, her father, and Nick, a new friend’s husband.

Modern Lovers
Emma Straub
While a pair of teenagers begins a relationship, their parents struggle with what-ifs brought on by a new documentary about their college friend, a successful musician who died at the age of twenty-seven.

Peter Taylor: The Complete Stories
Edited by Ann Beattie
A beautiful boxed set by one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century, lovingly edited by his former colleague at the University of Virginia, Ann Beattie.

Weike Wang
The unnamed narrator of this coming-of-age novel finds herself three years into her graduate degree with no passion for her subject and unsure how to respond to her boyfriend’s marriage proposal.


Tell Tale: Stories
Jeffrey Archer
Jeffrey Archer returns with this collection of short stories, from “Who Killed the Mayor?”, about a hapless young detective in a small Italian hillside town, to “A Gentleman and a Scholar,” about a woman in the 1930s who dares to challenge the men at her Ivy League university.

Two Kinds of Truth
Michael Connelly
Harry Bosch returns to aid in the investigation of the murder of a young pharmacist. Meanwhile, a killer Bosch put in jail claims he was framed and has evidence to prove it.

The Child Finder
Rene Denfeld
“Where are you, Madison Culver?” Three years after the disappearance of their daughter, a desperate family turns to private investigator Naomi, known for her uncanny ability to find missing children.

Bluebird, Bluebird
Attica Locke
Darren Matthews, a black Texas Ranger, must travel to the town of Lark to solve the murders of a black lawyer and white woman that threaten to bring racial tensions to a boil in this rural noir novel.

Midnight in the Bright Ideas Bookstore
Matthew Sullivan
When a bookstore regular dies and leaves what possessions he has to Lydia, one of the store’s clerks, she must make sense of the puzzle he has given her.


Half-light: Collected Poems 1965-2016
Frank Bidart
In this past half century, Frank Bidart has with impressive empathy given voice to society’s misfits, monsters, and misunderstood.

The Sun and Her Flowers
Rupi Kaur
The story of wilting, falling, rooting, growing and blooming again is divided into five chapters written and illustrated by Rupi Kaur, author of Milk and Honey.

Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver
Mary Oliver
Looking back over her career, Mary Oliver has chosen over 200 poems ranging from her first book, No Voyage and Other Poems, to her most recent, Felicity, to produce the definitive collection of her work.

Witch Wife
Kiki Petrosino
“Petrosino is at the forefront of a deeply heterogeneous, expansive poetic movement, one that is transforming traditional lyric subjectivity into a more inclusive, complex space.” —Boston Review

Good Bones: Poems
Maggie Smith
Maggie Smith was inspired to look at the world the way her children did: like a book they have opened for the first time. This collection was the result.

The Odyssey
Homer, Translated by Emily Wilson
The first English-language translation by a woman, Emily Wilson skillfully captures the pace and rhythm of the first great adventure story in the Western canon.

Signed Copies

The Genius of Birds
Jennifer Ackerman

The Rooster Bar
John Grisham

Playing with Dynamite
Sharon Harrigan

Aging Famously
Elizabeth Howard

To Be Where You Are
Jan Karon

Sargent’s Women
Donna Lucey


Katherine Applegate
Red is the wishtree of her neighborhood, and when a Muslim family moves in and is abused by their neighbors, she will do everything she can to help. (Ages 8 to 12.)

Frida Kahlo and Her Animalitos
Monica Brown, illustrated by John Parra
Monica Brown tells us about Frida Kahlo’s many wonderful pets and how Kahlo embodied many of their best traits herself. (Ages 4-8.)

Vegetables in Underwear
Jared Chapman
In this silly board book, children learn one of the joys of becoming a “big kid”: underwear! (Ages 2-5.)

She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World
Chelsea Clinton, illustrated by Alexandra Boiger
Chelsea Clinton introduces a new generation to thirteen inspirational women “who always, inevitably and without fail, persisted.” (Ages 4-8.)

Turtles All the Way Down
John Green
The author of The Fault in Our Stars returns with the story of Aza, a young woman struggling with mental illness while trying to piece together the mystery of a fugitive billionaire. (Ages 14 and up.)

This Is Our Constitution
Khizr Khan
Khizr Khan provides the story of his own love for the U.S. Constitution, as well as its history, its amendments, and some key supreme court decisions interpreting the document. (Ages 11-17.)

The Way Home in the Night
Akiko Miyakoshi
A bunny child carried home by their mother imagines other city inhabitants wrap up their days in this going-to-bed book. (Ages 4-7.)

Red and Lulu
Mat Tavares
When a pair of cardinals is separated, Red searches for his missing love. Luckily for them, during the Christmas season anything is possible. (Ages 3-7.)

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow
Jessica Townsend
A young girl cursed and blamed for all manner of local calamities finds herself whisked off to the magical city of Nevermoor, where she must compete for entrance into the city’s most prestigious organization, the Wundrous Society. (Ages 8-12.)

Animal Talk: Mexican Folk Art Animal Sounds in English and Spanish
Cynthia Weill, illustrated by Rubi Fuentes and Efrain BRoa
With delightful pictures and plenty of animal sounds to make as you read, this board book will undoubtedly become a story time favorite. (Ages 2-5.)

Carol Troxell Reader

From the Virginia Festival of the Book:
“The 2018 Virginia Festival of the Book will honor Carol in its printed program and feature an author as the Carol Troxell Reader, featuring him or her in a solo reading at New Dominion in addition to their regular program. To celebrate the breadth of Carol’s reading, the genre of the selected author will vary each year, building a wide-ranging list of Carol Troxell titles over time.”

Lisa Ko
The Leavers

The first Carol Troxell Reader will be Lisa Ko, author of The Leavers. Polly, an undocumented Chinese immigrant, leaves for work at a nail salon and never comes home. Her son, the eleven-year-old Deming Guo, is left alone and afraid. Ko artfully describes the toll this separation has on Deming and Polly, examining borders and belonging.


Albemarle: A Story of Landscape and American Identity
Avery Chenoweth and Robert Llewellyn

Mastering the Art of French Cooking
Julia Child and Louisette Bertholle

Murder on the Orient Express
Agatha Christie

A Wrinkle in Time
Madeleine L’Engle

Letters to a Young Poet
Rainer Maria Rilke

A Child’s Christmas in Wales
Dylan Thomas

Selected 2018 VA Festival of the Book Authors

The Thin Light of Freedom: The Civil War and Emancipation in the Heart of America
Ed Ayers
Ed Ayers recreates the great drama of the Civil War to show the causes of two of the most astounding events of the 19th century: the destruction of the largest and most powerful system of slavery in the modern world, and the granting of rights to those previously enslaved.

American Fire: Love, Arson, and Life in a Vanishing Land
Monica Hesse
Washington Post reporter Monica Hesse tells the bizarre story of a series of arsons in Accomack County, VA.

The Imbible: A Cocktail Guide for Beginning and Home Bartenders
Micah LeMon
Micah LeMon, bar manager at the Alley Light in Charlottesville, VA, introduces readers to his philosophy and the principles of mixology.

The World of Tomorrow
Brendan Mathews
Taking place in the week leading up to the World’s Fair, Irish brothers on the run from the IRA, the assassin forced out of retirement to track them down, a talented heiress, and a Jewish street photographer desperately trying to avoid returning to Nazi-occupied Prague collide in this thrilling debut novel.

Chasing Space Young Readers’ Edition
Leland Melvin
“In Chasing Space, Leland Melvin, the former NASA astronaut, shares this remarkable trajectory of his life. En route he tackles stupendous obstacles with dogged determination, showing you what is indeed possible in life-if you believe.” —Neil deGrasse Tyson

Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II
Liza Mundy
More than 10,000 American young women served their country as code breakers during World War II; Liza Mundy brings their riveting story to life.

Homegrown Pantry: A Gardener’s Guide to Selecting the Best Varieties and Planting the Perfect Amounts for What You Want to Eat Year-Round
Barbara Pleasant
Barbara Pleasant will have you planting, harvesting, storing, and most importantly enjoying a garden and its crops in no time.