8 Books to Be Thankful For

It’s the month of Thanksgiving—the annual call for gratitude as we wind down one year and gear up for another. Each year I like to look back at the books I’ve read and pause to consider which ones left a special mark, the ones I would recommend without hesitation.

As we head into the holiday season, these are the books for which I am most grateful this year, and would recommend for anyone’s bucket list.


books-to-be-thankful-for-Bad-FeministBad Feminist
Roxane Gay

Gay’s collection of essays is everything all at once: touching, funny, witty and thought-provoking. Plus, it’s just smart—whether the topic is privilege, likeability or the ins and outs of competitive Scrabble. She nails it every time.



books-to-be-thankful-for-MrMr. Mercedes
Stephen King

Speaking of smart, King still has it. This taut thriller is about a madman with a thirst for more death and destruction and the retired cop still harboring regret over the cold case that started it all.



books-to-be-thankful-for-The-UnimaginableThe Unimaginable
Dina Silver

Every girl needs a little chick lit in her diet, and Silver’s novels never fail to please. But this one, the North Shore resident’s fourth, could just be her breakout hit. And, it’s the first time she’s killed a character. Hang on for an emotional ride.



books-to-be-thankful-for-Shotgun-LovesongsShotgun Lovesongs
Nickolas Butler

A great bromance, from the guy’s perspective—enough to give you pause when you think that it’s just the girls that have to cope with adult drama. Your guy may not be as stoic as you thought.



books-to-be-thankful-for-How-to-Get-Filthy-Rich-in-Rising-AsiaHow to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia
Mohsin Hamid

This was one of my absolute favorites, not just this year, but maybe in the past decade. Written as a self-help narrative of sorts, what appears to be a young man trying to reach the top of the scurrilous business world is really just a love story that will make you weep.



books-to-be-thankful-for-This-Dark-Road-to-MercyThis Dark Road to Mercy
Wiley Cash

This has got Matthew McConaughey written all over it (if it were ever to make it to the silver screen). A one-time baseball prospect, Wade Chesterfield is a father on the run with his two girls, whom he kidnaps after their mother dies of an overdose.



books-to-be-thankful-for-The-ActressThe Actress
Amy Sohn

Soapy, gossipy fun that, at the end of the day, does carry a message. How far are you willing to go for love? To make a marriage work? To advance your career? Maddy Freed has a lot to ponder as she takes on the role of wife (and possible beard) to A-lister Steven Weller.



books-to-be-thankful-for-The-Book-of-Unknown-AmericansThe Book of Unknown Americans
Cristina Henríquez

This tale of Central and Latin American immigrants looking to the U.S. not for sanctuary, but for hope, has critics raving and is on my bucket list, thanks to a recommendation from Chicago author Rachel Bertsche. “It’s awesome,” she says. “Wonderfully written.”