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The Top Books to Buy Before The Holiday Season

The Top Books to Buy Before The Holiday Season

By Jordan Maxwell

January 25, 2021

This year has been a great one for book releases. With the holidays quickly approaching, there’s no better time to curl up with a good book. You can give the gift of edutainment, self-help or fantasy to the ones you love as well. There’s no shortage of good reads out there; a collection of essays, comic books, novels or literature — all of them have something for everyone. Whether you prefer a physical copy of a book or you like to read them with an e-reader, we’ve sourced some of the hottest book releases that will keep your eyes peeled.

1. Editor's Pick — Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know

  • Available on: Kindle, Audiobook, Hardcover, Paperback and Audio CD

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As one of the most Canadian prominent authors on the scene right now, Malcolm Gladwell made quite the impression on international audiences this year with his latest book, Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know. The host of the podcast Revisionist History and #1 bestselling author of The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, David and Goliath, and What the Dog Saw offers a powerful examination of our interactions with strangers---and why they often go wrong. It’s an intellectual adventure that examines thought-provoking topics such as Fidel Castro’s manipulation of the CIA, the Bernie Madoff scandal and the troubling death of Sandra Bland — a black woman who was found hanged in a jail cell in Waller County, TX following an arrest by police authorities. In the book, Gladwell argues that something is seriously wrong with the way we communicate with people we don’t know and calls out the tools and strategies we’ve long been told were effective and rational. It’s a great read for the cultured academic or the curious mind.

2. The Testaments: A Novel

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Fresh off the success of the hit TV series, The Handmaid’s Tale, Canadian author Margaret Atwood followed up with one of her strongest works to date. The Testaments: A Novel is a sequel to the modern classic she released in 1985. More than 15 years after the events of The Handmaid's Tale, the Republic of Gilead continue to maintains its theocratic grip on power but there are signs that change could be on the horizon. The novel tells the story about three radically different women and how their stories intertwine — a tale that could lead to truly explosive results. Two have grown up as part of the first generation to come of age in the new order. The testimonies of these two young women are joined by a third voice: a woman who wields power through the ruthless accumulation and deployment of secrets. The novel won the Booker Prize and has been longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. If you’re looking to transport yourself to this dystopian nightmare of a series, this is the book for you.

3. The Body: A Guide for Occupants

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If you’re looking for an enlightening read, The Body: A Guide for Occupant by Bill Bryson might just do the trick. This book will give you an all-encompassing look at the human body — how it functions, how it heals itself and the ways it can fail. Heading into the New Year — a time when everyone goes reaching for the gym memberships — this could be a good substitute to that impulsive purchase. The Body will give you a deeper understanding of “the miracle that is life” and will delve into the treasure trove of information that one can glean from the human body.

4. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

  • Available on: Kindle, Audiobook, Hardcover, Paperback and Audio CD

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Self-help books have become really popular over the last few years and Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life has struck a chord with readers this year. The guide cuts through the bullshit to demonstrate the importance of not being so positive all of the time so that you can actually be a happy and better person.

"Let’s be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it." That’s the basically the spinal function of the book — a dose of raw, refreshing and honest truth that isn’t evident in literary and media-driven circles today. With premises backed by academic research and well-time banter, Manson challenges readers to get to know our limitations and accept them. “Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek.” This could be a great read for the enlightened readers looking to challenge themselves as they walk into 2020.

5. Becoming: A Guided Journal for Discovering Your Voice

  • Available on: Hardcover

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The former First Lady is breaking all kinds of records with her bestselling memoir, Becoming: A Guided Journal for Discovering Your Voice. This journal chronicles her life and provides you with the encouragement to find value in your own personal journey of becoming. In it, she pens 150 questions and quotes to help you discover, or rediscover, your story. She writes:

“It’s not about being perfect. It’s not about where you get yourself in the end. There’s power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice. And there’s grace in being willing to know and hear others. This, for me, is how we become.”

6. The Parade: A Novel

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This novel is one of the sleepers of the year — a really great read that kind of flew under the radar. American author Dave Eggers tells the story of two Western contractors that are sent to work far from home to pave a road to the capital in a dangerous and largely lawless country. Named Four and Five, the two men are partners and are given a new machine, the RS-90, and are very different characters. One is focused on his work while the other is an agent of chaos. When illness, corruption, and theft compromise their high-stakes mission, Four and Five discover danger far greater than anything they could pose to one another. It’s a thrilling read that will keep you engaged all the way through.

7. The Nickel Boys

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Colson Whitehead has been on fire lately. In a follow-up to his Pulitzer Prize–and National Book Award–winning #1 New York Times bestseller, The Underground Railroad, the American writer took another journey through American history through the story of two boys sentenced to an austere reform school in the Jim Crow-era in Tallahassee, Florida. The novel tells the tale of Elwood Curtis and his friend Turner at a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy. Pulitzer Prize–and National Book Award–winning #1 Nickel Academy is a hellish chamber of horrors where the sadistic staff beats and sexually abuses the students, corrupt officials and locals steal food and supplies, and any boy who resists is likely to disappear "out back." While Elwood aims to hold onto the ideals of Martin Luther King— the man who shaped him— his friend Turner wants no part of that thinking. It’s a riveting read that will give you all of the feels.

8. The Water Dancer (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel

  • Available on: Kindle, Audiobook, Hardcover, Paperback and Audio CD

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From the National Book Award–winning author of Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates delivers another strong performance with his novel. The American author and essayist tells the story of a young boy named Hiram Walker who is born into bondage. After his mother was sold, Hiram is left to fend for himself. An incident occurs in which he almost drowns and that event shapes what will become his new life after he decides to try to escape his circumstances. From the corrupt grandeur of Virginia’s proud plantations to desperate guerrilla cells in the wilderness; from the coffin of the Deep South to dangerously idealistic movements in the North: the novel is a tale that details an underground ware between slavers and the enslaved. It’s a work that is as thought-provoking as it is detailed. Consider this among your holiday reads this holiday season.

9. Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion

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If you’re a fan of an essay book, Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion by Jia Tolentino will surely capture your imagination. The American culture critic delves into ideas of self-deception, examining everything from scammer culture to reality television. This collection of nine essays centers around the incentives that shape us and discusses topics such as the rise of the nightmare social internet, the dream of optimization and so much more. It’s definitely worth a browse if you’re looking to challenge conventional norms and elucidate your reality.

10. Strange Planet

  • Available on: Kindle and Hardcover

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If you’re a fan of a good comic book, Strange Planet by Nathan W. Pyle paints a profound universe in pink, blue, green, and purple and covers the life cycle of the planet’s inhabitants. With dozens of never-before-seen illustrations in addition to old favorites, this book offers a sweet and hilarious look at a distant world not all that unlike our own.

Start Shopping Today!

There are a variety of book sales this holiday season. Whether it’s from the Book Outlet or Amazon.ca, there are a number of bestsellers and great books that you can find. If you’re more of the e-reader type, we’ve selected a number of deals you can catch on the sidebar and you can also check out our forums at RedFlagDeals.com.

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