With Valentine’s Day looming closer and closer, finding the perfect gift is probably becoming a not-so-fun chore right now. But don’t dust off your old iPad Mini and slap a red bow on it just yet. There are still options out there and, if you act fast, still time to find a bomb gift.
Books are perfect for this: they last a long time, they’re participatory, and you can NEVER have enough of them. Sit back, relax, and have one or two of these great reads delivered to you in time for Valentine’s day for that special someone. For bonus points, add a personal inscription in the front because, after all, it really is the thought that counts.
A great but hard read, given just how expertly author Adelle Waldman nails this certain but pervasive brand of modern dude to the wall. It’s smart, sharp, but never cruel. [Amazon, $8.64]
Dexter Palmer’s novel about a woman in the near future trying to come back from a devastating trauma is compelling enough, then it takes a hard sci-fi turn, and shit gets weird. An emotional and singularly unique book with some of the most inventive time travel storytelling ever. [Amazon, $11.52]
Simon Rich imagines a world in which heaven is run like your typical corporate office; memos lost, deadlines missed, and a boss who couldn’t care less. When two angels make it their mission to make two humans back down on earth fall in love, they use everything in their arsenal to make it happen. A sweet and almost rudely funny book that reimagines a major religion in the cutest way. [Amazon, $8.12]
Better known for her novels like White Teeth, Zadie Smith absolutely nails the “book of essays” like no one else. Changing My Mind is witty, reflective, and beautiful. It’s also, being a collection, easy to put down and pick up again and again. [Amazon, $15.05]
Robert Jackson Bennett has been quietly building a name for himself as one of the most consistent and compelling “weird fiction” writers of the moment. American Elsewhere covers everything from the nature of “family”, to one of those “this seemingly idyllic town isn’t quite right” stories, to Lovecraftian beings from another world. It has it all. [Amazon, $11.57]
Jonathan Ames, who you probably know best as the creator and writer of the underrated HBO series Bored To Death, has been writing for decades. I Love You More Than You Know collects some of his most thoughtful, beautiful, and most honest work. It’s funny, frank, and occasionally devastating. Much like being in love a lot of the time. [Amazon, $7.80]
1. Dark Matter
Another love and time travel story, this time with some absolutely nuts quantum theory baked into it. Blake Crouch uses real emotion to propel his twisting story, but it never loses focus. [Amazon, $16.28]